I'm not exactly a Biblical blogger. In fact, we might go years and years without me ever mentioning the Bible again. And yet....
Last night a certain passage caught my eye. Even if you're not a religious person, you've probably heard the story. It's the story of Jesus in the temple, the time when 12-year-old Jesus stayed back in Jerusalem while he parents went on. Mary and Joseph were, of course, frantic when the realized that Jesus wasn't with their family group. They returned to Jersusalem to find him.
For three days they searched. (I never remembered that part before. Can you imagine searching for your son for three days?) They found him in the temple, preaching.
Of course, his earthly parents basically asked, "What do you think you're doing, young man?!?" and Jesus, being Jesus, responded, "Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"
That part of the story I knew. That part mystified Mary and Joseph, at least in the moment, but I've attended enough Catholic school to know exactly what he meant.
It was the next sentence that got me: "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them." (Luke 3:51)
So let me get this straight -- their twelve-year-old son stayed back in Jerusalem to preach in the temple. Then headed home and was obedient for the next 20 or so years?? This is what the Bible has to tell me about Jesus' teen years?
My oldest son is 11 1/2 and quite precocious. If we'd lived back in BC, I could see him lingering at the temple, hanging around and talking. (OK, since this is my son and not the Son of God, it's more likely that he would have been hanging out at the Sea of Galilee, chatting it up with the fishermen.) And I could see him giving a relatively smart-ass answer when we found him again and asked what he was up too.
I can NOT see him coming home and being obedient. Maybe it's because my boys are going through some kind of annoy-Mom-and-each-other-stage right now, or maybe it's because I just can't see any boy going home and being perfectly obedient after being that independent at the age of twelve.
Suddenly, the Bible seemed all too vague. What was Jesus really like as he grew? How did he handle peer pressure and shaving and voice changes? How did Mary reconcile her need to love and protect her son with his need to blossom? How did Jesus grow up to be, well -- Jesus?
Someday, I think, Mary and I need to chat.