-Rev Melissa Fain-
41 Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival.42 When he was 12 years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to their custom. 43 After the festival was over, they were returning home, but the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t know it.44 Supposing that he was among their band of travelers, they journeyed on for a full day while looking for him among their family and friends.45 When they didn’t find Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple. He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them and putting questions to them. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed by his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were shocked.
His mother said, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Listen! Your father and I have been worried. We’ve been looking for you!”
49 Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what he said to them.
51 Jesus went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. His mother cherished every word in her heart. 52 Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people.
Luke 2:41-52 CEB
Let's just focus on verse 52 for a second: "Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with the people." The word I want us to highlight and underline is mature. Here, let me do it for you.
Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with the people.
To say Jesus matured is to say immaturity was in there somewhere. Words have meaning and implications. You can't have both a matured Jesus, without an immature Jesus being somewhere in the story.
Immature, especially that hectic transition between immature and mature, is about potential. We cannot judge a rose by it's newly formed bud. We cannot judge a tween on their questionable actions. We can be frustrated. Oh, we can be frustrated! Also, before you get on your high horse and call me out on Jesus' action being somehow wrong...
He didn't tell his parents where he was going. He was caught doing something he wasn't supposed to do. Adult Jesus wouldn't have found himself in that situation. He would eventually go mano-a-mano with the well versed Jewish lawyers. You can't convince me he was completely in the right here. An adult Jesus would convince his parents they should be in the temple with him! Forget just letting him go!
Second statement you are making: He could have asked and then went. If that were the case, those parents would be casing that temple. I'm a parent. Children are fairly transparent. They would be checking out the temple, going to the aunt's house, back to the temple, what about the food vendors, and back to the temple. Taking two days to finally get to the temple doesn't speak to the idea that Jesus ever communicated anything about wanted to be in the temple. Adult Jesus communicated!
God lives in these immature, potential messes! They are not perfect. Mistakes are made. Lessons are learned, and everyone moves on. God is a child.
Wait! Yeah, I'm not ending on the title today. Today is a mess, an un-mature mess! Do you think when Jesus called the children to him he knew the importance of being present with the immature child. (The future mature?) Yeah, God was there.
Let us pray:
Dear Father, take my immaturity and help me grow up! Amen.