February 17, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
What Else should be Expected?
Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?
Luke 2: 49
Historians differ on the age that Jewish boys began going up to Jerusalem for the feasts. If, as some claim, it was at the age of 12, then the visit by the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem in Luke 2 (when a boy of 12) would have been His first visit to that city since He was brought as an infant of 40 days with His mother to the Temple for her to offer her two turtle-doves for her purification.
The story is well known of the departure of the parents, their search for the child, the return to the city, and their eventual discovery of Him in the Temple. There He sat amid the doctors of the law, asking questions and replying to their statements.
In their anxiety and stress, His parents no doubt felt annoyed with Him. “Why hast Thou dealt thus with us? Thy father and I sought Thee sorrowing.” Their words probably came tumbling out before they could control them all. Upset and fearful, both relief and frustration are evident in their words.
But listen closely and consider the implications of what the Lord Jesus said to them: “How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” Certainly one, and perhaps two corrections are being made in His words.
First, He needed to clarify His awareness to them of Who His Father was. “Thy father and I” is corrected by: “My Father’s business.” While never unappreciative of His earthly parents nor disrespectful, He was always conscious of His divine relationship and its priority.
More pointed, however, was His question to them. Why did they not know where He was? Why were they surprised to find Him in the temple? His words suggest that they should have known that at the first opportunity He had, He would be in the temple. This teaches us that there was nothing during 12 years of boyhood, growing up in Nazareth which would have been inconsistent with His interest in His Father’s temple and business. As well, there was everything about Him which should have made it evident that His interests were all bound up in God’s.
Imagine those 12 years in Nazareth: absolutely nothing which would have hinted at any interests or concerns on earth apart from what concerned His Father in heaven. Why did they not realize that the only place He would be found – the only logical and natural place to look would, in fact, be the temple?
1. Luke is the Gospel of temple scenes, even though it was the Gospel to the Greek world. Collect these scenes and look at lessons taught and revelations given in each instance.
2. Can you think of other insights we can gain into the ‘silent years’ of the Lord Jesus at Nazareth? What about His half-brother James referring to Him as ‘The Lord of Glory’ (James 2:1)?