The 12-Year-Old Jesus in the Temple (1879)
I have many questions about this odd text
Where the soon-to-be teenager's parents were vexed
By the child who went off and then worried them sick,
And they scratched their heads, saying, "What makes this boy tick?"
Oh, why did they travel e'en just for a day,
While they thought with the neighbors he'd be on their way?
And I wonder just where for three days did he stay?
Did he sleep? Did he eat? Did he ever once play?
And why such obedience back at the house?
Was he loud, in high spirits, or quiet as a mouse?
Most of all, I ask why in God's favor he grew?
And then how in God's name was this something Luke knew?
Like Mary, I treasure these things in my heart,
While the text, in another way, Mystery imparts.
Scott L. Barton
Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.