Tonight I have been reading through Luke 2:41-52. I love this snapshot of a day in the life of a 12 year old Jesus. It appears that none of the other Canonized Gospel accounts of Jesus share this story. Scholars categorize Luke’s Gospel as the “human gospel” as opposed to Matthews “kingly perspective and Mark’s “servant perspective.” The New Unger’s Bible Handbook in particular points out how Luke seems to emphasize the humanity and the human perfection of Jesus.
From my perspective, the humanity of Jesus really comes to light in this passage. Here is Jesus, a twelve year old boy, less than a year from becoming a “son of the commandments,” which in Hebrew law meant that at that point he would be considered a man, responsible for his actions. It seems to be another illustration by Luke of Christ’s perfect fulfillment of God’s commandments as he sits listening and asking questions among the teachers of the law, desiring to be with His Father.
I love this picture of Jesus as a boy, but I don’t want to miss that He was also part of a human family and a community of friends who loved him. I love the thought of them traveling in a large group together. The community of friends and family that traveled together had to be pretty large to lose track of a twelve year old boy. Finally, while Jesus was perfect in the eyes of God. He grew up in a family that was less than perfect. They struggled, worried and even suffered like any family in the world.