Scripture references are from,
The SET (Stone Edition Tanach) or the JPS (Jewish Publication Society) for the OT and the PNT (Power New Testament) for the NT unless otherwise specified.
Lk 2:41. And His parents were going to Jerusalem from year to year to the Feast of Passover (Pesach). 42. And when He was twelve years old, they went up for the feast according to their custom and for His Bar Mitzvah 43. and when the days were completed, on their return the child Y'shua remained in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know that. 44. And thinking He was in the caravan they came a day on the way and they were searching for Him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45. but when they did not find Him they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. 46. Then it happened after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them: 47. and all those who heard Him were amazed over His understanding and answers. 48. And when they saw Him they were amazed, and His mother said to Him, “Child, why did You do this to us? Look, Your father and I were suffering while we were searching for You.” 49. Then He said to them, “Why were you seeking Me? Had you not known that it was necessary for Me to be among these of My Father?” 50. And they did not understand the answer that He spoke to them. 51. Then He went down with them and came into Nazareth and was subject to them. And His mother was keeping all the words in her heart. 52. And Y'shua was progressing in wisdom and stature and favor before G_D and men.
Previously I have discussed how Joseph was a devout Jewish man. This passage promotes those statements when it declares that...
Lk 2:41. And His parents were going to Jerusalem from year to year to the Feast of Passover. 42. And when He was twelve years old, they went up for the feast according to their custom and for His Bar Mitzvah
There are three festivals that ALL Jewish males were to attend in Jerusalem and as a devout Jew, they simply would not be missed. These are...Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Festival of Weeks), and Sukkot (the Festival of Tabernacles). Thus from this passage we see that Joseph is a devout Jew!
Additionally we NEED to take note of what also happened at that time! In other versions of The Scriptures it does not make this as clear as in the PNT but the PNT is absolutely correct in making this poignantly and/or emphatically clear! They were also there for the Bar Mitzvah of Y'SHUA! There is no other reason to take note of His age at that point but for this reason. This is of crucial importance if we desire to have a clue as to when Y'SHUA was born. It is normal to have one's Bar Mitzvah on or very near ones twelfth birthday (today this has been changed to one's thirteenth birthday). There is no requirement for a Bar Mitzvah (for boys) or Bat Mitzvah (for girls) in The Scriptures and this was not instituted formally into Jewish law until about 100 years after the death of Y'SHUA. Until then it was a more informal time of dedication of the child into adulthood. It is at this time that the child is to bear their own responsibility for Jewish ritual law, tradition, and ethics and are privileged to participate in all areas of Jewish community life. Because of this, later when His mother, Mary, finds Him and voices her concerns He gives her a reply that indicates why it was necessary for Him to stay behind in Jerusalem as we read in...
Lk 2:48b ...His mother said to Him, “Child, why did You do this to us? Look, Your father and I were suffering while we were searching for You.” 49. Then He said to them, “Why were you seeking Me? Had you not known that it was necessary for Me to be among these of My Father?”
Y'SHUA knew, that is to say that His only desire from deep within Him was leading Him so strongly that He knew that He was to become responsible for the ritual laws of the Jews and that He was to be a Rabbi; a teacher of the Word and will of G_D. We should also take notice that Y'SHUA is declaring publicly that G_D and not Joseph is His FATHER, for what to our knowledge is the first time and while in the presence of Joseph. Also notice that Joseph is silent on the matter. At this point Mary is taking notice. She is going to keep and consider these words from Y'SHUA as she is noticing a change in her son. Instead of what just actually transpired it would have been common or at least more so if...
Lk 2:43. and when the days were completed, on their return the child Y'shua remained in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know that. 44. And thinking He was in the caravan they came a day on the way and they were searching for Him among their relatives and acquaintances,
...if He had been with other relatives within the caravan.
A twelve year old Jewish boy would have been excited to have had his Bar Mitzvah! Something he had worked hard, everyday for, during almost his entire life had just come to pass. Now he would have been equally excited to play and celebrate this with the other kids in the caravan. It is therefore not at all unlikely that His parents did not really show any concern that He was not with them even through the night. The next day they would have at least wanted to know where He was and thus the hunt began. As this caravan slowly passed them they would have simply asked each family if He was with them or if they had seen Him. If then they had found Him they would have simply fallen in line. Since they did not, they returned to Jerusalem to search the places where they had been or where He may have stated that He wanted to see.
Lk 2:46. Then it happened after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them:
They must have been in Jerusalem for a while! Just taking a quick look through all the places they had been took them three days!
Just consider how many places you could quickly visit within a large, major city in three days if you were walking?
These would have been small businesses by today's standards so you would not have spent much time searching within each one. There is no clue to elude that The Temple may have been the last place on their list either. Thus it is possible that they were going to still be in Jerusalem many more days if they had not found Him there. In short this was a major vacation time for them! They had gone to Jerusalem for the festival, for the Bar Mitzvah of Y'SHUA and for much more.
This was a Time!
This was an annual opportunity like no other for a small town carpenter and his family. This was a vacation, an educational trip as well as a business trip for Y'SHUA and His family. His business would have been His Bar Mitzvah. This is a serious time for a young Jewish child. It is like having to take and pass your SAT's (Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test) before you can graduate High School.
It was possibly a business trip for Joseph. What better opportunity for him to make money than to bring with him small projects which he had constructed all year long to sell to the rest of the Jewish world. He could have brought cabinets, chairs, tables, toys, etc., etc., etc... and sold them either out of a wagon or from his own booth constructed quickly around that wagon.
It would have been a shopping trip for Mary as well as one where she spent time helping Joseph to sell his goods and a social trip in that she would have been able to meet and get reacquainted with relatives from other areas such as those they had left behind in Bethlehem.
For every Jew this was a religious event of great importance! An event to focus and reconnect with the events which had formed their belief system. Not just what today we would call their "religious" beliefs but these beliefs were fundamental to who they were! This was also their national independence day. They were a specific nation group; a people chosen, formed and removed by The One and Only G_D. They were set apart by HIM from all the other nation groups in the world which HE had created to be HIS Children. They were obviously, "Special" and this event (Pesach - Passover) like no other event clarified this as well as the other concepts. It was this event which celebrated the time when they were called to come out of the bondage of this world and to come to serve G_D alone as they passed through the doorway covered in the blood of the lamb which had been sacrificed to preserve them from the angel of death. It was this event which heralded in the leading of The HOLY SPIRIT as a part of G_D's plan for their existence as HE would lead them by day and by night. It was this event which had led them as a nation to inhabit this land. It was this event which illustrated their CREATOR to them as HIS personal Creation; as HIS prized possession.
This was an "Event"!
Lk 2:46. Then it happened after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them: 47. and all those who heard Him were amazed over His understanding and answers. 48. And when they saw Him they were amazed, and His mother said to Him, “Child, why did You do this to us?
This was an event of such magnitude that it is easy to understand that Mary was simply beside herself as she and Joseph went back to Jerusalem. How were they to find one child amongst the millions of people that were filling a city which normally only had thousands within its walls? Where were they to look? Would He be in the places they had been or would He be wandering into new areas? Her imagination could comprehend the possibility that Y'SHUA had been kidnapped to be sold by slave traders or several other scenarios all of which would have been equally disconcerting to her.
Now consider her relief to find Him safe within The Temple?
Equally consider how that relief might be vented as an almost anger?
Lastly consider her amazement that He was the center of focus amongst those who were in The Temple when they arrived?
Fear, anger, relief and amazement all within seconds. vs 48b...“Child, why did You do this to us? This must have almost blurted out of Mary in frustrations, anguish and relief. It must have come out as the only thing she could think of; as the only thing she could say! But as you look at Mary in this scene also look at Y'SHUA.
This was first a child. A child that one could easily excuse for acting as a child after His Bar Mitzvah. This was also a child which His parents understood "could" possibly be found in The Temple still? This means that Y'SHUA was obviously a child which had shown periods of frivolity as well as moments of seriousness. This Y'SHUA was still a child and yet He was not! What is also apparent is that Y'SHUA had been waiting for this opportunity! For most of His twelve years of life He had been studying The Torah with the Rabbis of Nazareth. He had probably even worn them out with His constant questioning. Worn them to the point where they were challenged to the point of giving Him stereotypical, placating answers such as, "That is just the way it is" or "That is just the way we do it." - "Tradition!"
Y'SHUA was likely truly waiting for this day to arrive! He wanted His shot at questioning the "leaders" of Israel! He wanted His shot at digging into the minds and spirits of the most learned Rabbis and Priest! He wanted this so badly that not only could He taste it but He thought that Mary and Joseph could as well...
Lk 2:49. Then He said to them, “Why were you seeking Me? Had you not known that it was necessary for Me to be among these of My Father?”
To say the least, Mary and Joseph were befuddled!
Lk 2:50. And they did not understand the answer that He spoke to them. 51. Then He went down with them and came into Nazareth and was subject to them. And His mother was keeping all the words in her heart. 52. And Jesus was progressing in wisdom and stature and favor before G_D and men.
Not only did they not understand but they were at a loss to explain this. This was Y'SHUA the son of Joseph the carpenter from Nazareth. He was training as an apprentice to take over the family business; His inheritance! But they had forgotten the truth. They had forgotten that He was not the son of Joseph but that The HOLY SPIRIT of G_D had brought Him to life within Mary. They had forgotten that it was G_D's WORD which had been spoken to Mary, through the angel, which promised of His eventuality. That it was this spoken Word from G_D which had been made into a flesh being; into a boy; and now a man.
This was The Word of G_D made flesh!
Within this child, G_D's Words; HIS promises had become manifest...
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; they shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise their heel.'
Gen 22:8 And Abraham said: 'G_D will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.' So they went both of them together.
1Ch 17:7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto My servant David: Thus saith the LORD of hosts: I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be prince over My people Israel;
1Ch 17:12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne for ever.
1Ch 17:13 I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee;
1Ch 17:14 but I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom for ever; and his throne shall be established for ever.'
This child was the manifestation of The WORD of G_D. All the Promises of generations past was sitting before them as a child just turning into a man.
Lk 1:26. And in the sixth month of her pregnancy the angel Gabriel was sent down from G_D to a city of Galilee by the name of Nazareth, 27. to a virgin betrothed to a man by the name of Joseph out of the house of David, and the name of the virgin was Mary. 28. And when he came to her he said, “Hail, highly favored one, the Lord is with you.” 29. But she was confused over the message and was wondering what sort of greeting this might be. 30. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with G_D. 31. And behold you will conceive in your womb and you will bear a Son and will call His name Y'shua. 32. This One will be great and He will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord G_D will give Him the throne of David His father, 33. and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will not end.” 34. And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had intimacy with a husband?” 35. Then the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and power of the Most High will cover you: for this reason then the Holy One Who is birthed will be called the Son of G_D.
Now this was!
G_D had promised to provide a Lamb for HIMself and this was that Lamb!
It may have been some of these same Rabbis, which on this day were being amazed, who eventually would be calling for His death eighteen years later?
Isa 6:9 And He said: 'Go, and tell this people: hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they, seeing with their eyes, and hearing with ears, and understanding with their heart, return, and be healed.'
Isaiah spoke of his countrymen when he prophesied this.
Was Isaiah talking about you?
Are you a Jew; a chosen Child of G_D?
A Child of the One and Only G_D who has been blinded by the prince of this world or are you the one who sees that there is so much more to this child?
Do you see beyond the facade to see that which sustains the structure.
Are you one who can see The SPIRIT which is inside of this child?
Are you one who can see the manifestation of G_D's WORD within?
Can you see the Lamb that was being manifest at this Pesach?
Can you see The Lamb?