October 02, 2007

Picture the Scene

Luke 2:41-52

Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

—  Luke 2:47

Picture the faces of the religious experts in the Jeru­sa­lem temple. They show a mixture of astonishment and delight. Some even show the beginning shades of alarm. These men are used to having all the answers, impressing others with their knowledge, and finding special ­fellowship with one another as members of the elite teaching class. But the questions of a 12-year-old boy are pushing them into places where no one else goes.

Eventually these experts start asking Jesus questions. At first their questions are fairly simple, aiming to gauge the depth of the boy's knowledge. But then the questions get harder, intending to humble the boy and put him in his place. At some point the answers he gives and the budding authority with which he speaks lead them to voice questions they themselves have wondered about.

A whole day of scholarly discussion flies by, and then another, and another. Eventually the boy's mother and father show up. The anxious parents hardly dare enter the circle of experts, but after three days of looking for Jesus, Mary can't keep still. She demands to know: "Son, why have you treated us like this?"

Jesus' answer likely surprises the religious experts even more, as it stirs something in Mary's wondering heart: "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" Clearly, this boy is someone worth watching!

"Open our eyes, Lord. We want to see Jesus" -- and hear him, connect with him, and do as he says. Make us branches to his vine and doers of his Word. Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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