Day 25: Wednesday, 25 March – Adar 29 5780
Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for Passover. And when Jesus was twelve years old, they all went there as usual for the celebration. After Passover his parents left, but they did not know that Jesus had stayed on in the city. They thought he was traveling with some other people, and they went a whole day before they started looking for him. When they could not find him with their relatives and friends, they went back to Jerusalem and started looking for him there.
Three days later they found Jesus sitting in the temple, listening to the teachers and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was surprised at how much he knew and at the answers he gave. When his parents found him, they were amazed. His mother said, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been very worried, and we have been searching for you!" Jesus answered, "Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I would be in my Father's house?"
We move to the New Testament. The whole neighbourhood went up to Jerusalem, as they did every year. There was no benevolent king handing out free livestock as Josiah did. The Temple merchants did a good line all year round in selling livestock for sacrifices. I expect that Jesus and his extended family and neighbours would have clubbed together to buy a lamb or goat at the Temple. We assume that the Temple administration was set up to deal with this seasonal surge and could manage offering sacrifices on behalf of the large numbers of pilgrims pouring into Jerusalem.
Passover in Jesus’ day was much the same as it had been in past years. They would have followed the story of the release from slavery, eaten bitter herbs, ate thin bread and drunk wine. The modern Jewish Passover with a seder plate, an egg, a leg bone and other items would probably have been quite foreign to Jesus. The words of Psalms 113 to 118 would have been recited.
It was clearly a big holiday and while there were large numbers of people about the various groups that came together were able to stay together and their children mix with each other in one big extended family. That’s why Jesus was not missed when he went off to the Temple. What must the young boy have thought of it?
What was special about this visit for Jesus?
What did Jesus know at this time?
Had he misbehaved?
Do you know your Father’s house, or allow him to overrule in your family/business/social life?
Father God, I know that time spent with you is better than time with anyone else, but I shy away. Call me into your presence, and let me find peace and joy and a sense of your everlasting kindness. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.