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The boy Jesus in the temple



Luke 2:41-51


Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, 42and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. 43After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, 47and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” 49And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he said to them. 51He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.



HIS MOTHER KEPT ALL THESE THINGS IN HER HEART. What a mother! Mary’s sufferings have begun. There was so much joy at the birth of her Son. She got an inkling of what she would undergo, however, when Simeon took the Child into his arms at the presentation in the Temple.

Now after 12 years, Jesus slowly asserts his mission. Without informing his parents, he stays behind in Jerusalem. They find him discussing with the teachers and experts of religion. The people find him interesting. He has a good grasp of his faith.

What keeps Mary and Joseph perplexed is his answer. Jesus seems to be disrespectful but reiterates his mission, to be in his Father’s house. He will not be a priest, like the Sadducees, but a prophet, a teacher, a savior as foretold by the angel Gabriel. They should remember that. At any rate, Jesus goes home with them and is obedient to them. Meanwhile, Mary ponders in her heart the meaning of all this.

At this point, Mary tries to reconcile in her heart the seeming contradictions of Jesus’ identity, as their son and as God’s Son. Both are correct. To Mary’s mind as a concerned mother, what is in store for Jesus? People will be confused as how to treat him, the human and divine. It will depend on their faith in him.


SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:

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