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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Why did Jesus leave his parents at 12?

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Joined: 2009/11/11
Posts: 73

 Why did Jesus leave his parents at 12?

Luke 2:41-51

I was thinking why didn't Jesus stay with his parents and instead go to the temple. Was this OK in that culture at that time?

Was this his parents fault?

 2010/1/20 10:40Profile

Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: Why did Jesus leave his parents at 12?

At the age of twelve, a young Hebrew was
considered a young man; and therefore
allowed to speak and teach in the temple.
Jesus welcomes this priviledge and went
about His Father's business!

Martin G. Smith

 2010/1/20 11:16Profile

Joined: 2008/10/17
Posts: 113
Notts. England.

 Re: Why did Jesus leave his parents at 12?

There was no fault of his parents here.

The Pharisees had insisted many years previously that all Jewish boys from the age of 6 years attend a 'House of the book' school, where they would learn the old testament, the law and prophets. Jesus would have gone to such a school in Nazareth. Much of the teaching was done by memorising, repetition and reading aloud.

Between the ages of 10 - 15 boys were taught traditional law by a teacher paid for by the Synagogue at a 'House of Study' one of which was attached to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Jewish law was taught to boys 15 years plus in a higher education setting at a law school where they would sit at the feet of the great teachers, as Saul(Paul) did.

It was at such a 'House of Study' for 10-15 year olds where Jesus was in this account of Him at the age of 12.

In v 46 He was as a student - sitting among the teachers 'listening' and 'asking questions' This was the method of teaching practised whereby a student would ask questions and the teacher would encourage that student to answer their question by asking a series of counter-questions - this is where 'the teachers were amazed at His understanding and answers'.

This occasion fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah 11 v 2 'And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him - the Spirit of Wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord'

The family would have travelled to Jerusalem in a 'caravan' of many relatives, there were enough relatives for Mary and Joseph not to miss him all day. They wouldn't have worried as they'd have been assured he was somewhere among the family and safe.

The statement in v 46 regarding finding him 3 days later was due to the fact they had already travelled a full days journey towards Nazareth before realising he wasn't anywhere among them, they then had to turn around the next morning and travel the second day to return to Jerusalem. No wonder they were upset when they finally found him on the third day!

Jesus asks them though 'why did you have to search for me?'
'didn't you know I must be in my Father's house?'
Jesus was aware that His greatest loyalty was first to His heavenly Father, but he also humbled himself and was obedient to his earthly parents, v 51 'He returned to Nazereth with them and was obedient to them...Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and all the people'

Jesus stayed behind at the Temple school because he was aware that he was entering manhood and must be preparing for his heavenly fathers work. Upon turning 13 years of age he would then be regarded as a 'son of the law'

The significance of this account being mentioned in scripture is due to the fact that it was Jesus' last time in the Temple as a child!

His parents did nothing wrong, I think they responded as any of us parents would, but then as with all of us who are parents they had the realisation that he was now becoming a man - and would soon be of age to be a man of the synagogue.

His mother, as with any mum, stored these memories in her heart, she would have reflected on the significance of these events, as she did with the events of his birth, and as with any mum would also have wondered about Jesus' future and adult life.
Throughout his life though Jesus honoured his parents.

Ceri Elaine

 2010/1/20 19:47Profile

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