Luke 2:41-52 – Symbolism of Christmastime: Jesus’s Childhood
For five weeks, we will be reintroduced to those who played pivotal roles in the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Some of the faces will be familiar, like Mary and Joseph. Others we will meet again, for the first time in a way, such as the magi who have so often and so long been misunderstood. We will hear about the significance of the angels, the messengers of God, bringing the good news to the shepherds, whom most people considered the bottom of society. Throughout this time, our knowledge of the story of Jesus’s birth will be recounted, and sometimes elements of it will be challenged, but in all ways our grasp of it should be strengthened for the sake of knowing Jesus himself even better.
The brief account of Jesus traveling to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph for the annual festival of the Passover occurred when he was twelve years old. It is the only Biblical story we have of his life between when his family returned from being refugees in Egypt, presumably when he was still a young boy, until when his public ministry began around the age of thirty years old. We hear about how he disappeared for three days, which terrified his parents, but then they found him with the teachers in the Temple in Jerusalem, asking and answering questions. This story gives us a sense of Jesus’s insight and curiosity, and it also reminds us that, while Jesus was God in the flesh, he still fully experienced the life of a human being who learned and lived as we do.
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