Summary: A sermon for the 1st Sunday after Christmas Jesus at the temple
1st Sunday after Christmas
41 ¶ Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom;
43 and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,
44 but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances;
45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions;
47 and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48 And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously."
49 And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?"
50 And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them.
51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.RSV
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
Thirty children gathered around their Sunday School teacher to hear her tell about the birth of Jesus. She went all out that day and used straw, a real crib and little stuffed animals which almost looked alive. The children were enthralled with the story and her presentation. She closed by asking each of the children to offer a prayer or thought or whatever they wanted to share about the Baby Jesus.
They were invited to come to the crib to share their thoughts, etc.
One little boy deftly reached in his pocket and placed something beside the crib. When the teacher asked what his gift was, he asked her to come and see. There was a tiny statue of Jesus. In a hushed voice he said, "I put it there so Jesus could see what he will look like when he grows up."
When he grows up! That is a strange thing to be saying at this time of year. When he grows up. We have just come off of the Christmas high of Jesus being born in a manger, and now this Sunday we are looking at Jesus as he is growing up.
Luke is the only gospel that has this story about Jesus when he reaches his 12th birthday. For pete sake we might be saying to ourselves, we just got done seeing Jesus as a baby and learning about why God sent him to earth and now we have to deal with him at the age of 12.
When he grows up! Jesus does not remain a baby, but indeed he does grow up as all children do. We know the story of his birth, we know the story of his flight to Egypt to escape the terror of Herod, but from then to this day there is nothing about Jesus.
We must assume that he grew up like all other Jewish boys. And now was a time for him to become a man. This text is a right of passage for the boy Jesus as he grew into manhood.
Like all Jewish boys and men who lived within a 20 miles radius of Jerusalem they were required to worship at the temple during the feast of Passover. Mary and Joseph being responsible parents took Jesus with them to the temple. They traveled together with the others who were going for the same purpose.
After they arrived at the temple the men and the women would separate each going to their separate section of the temple. Joseph and Jesus would be together and Mary would be with the other women.
They probably had it arranged that afterwards they would depart separately as was the custom.
Joseph and Jesus as custom would have it stayed at the temple longer because men traveled faster than women. They would catch up with the party at the evening camp site.
I suspect that Joseph and Jesus somehow got separated so when it was time to leave, Joseph looked around for Jesus and could not find him, so he probably thought Jesus found Mary and had left with the women. And when Marry arrived at the evening camp site she was not worried about Jesus because she knew he would be with Joseph.