The Boy Jesus a Few Years Later
Looking at Jesus and his environment a few years AFTER that first Christmas
“And when he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast according to custom. And when the Feast had ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in ‘the group’ they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and friends, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.”
It was their regular custom to travel back and forth to Jerusalem from Nazareth. Joseph and Mary and family did this as part of ‘the group‘. Other bible translations for ‘the group’ include:
– the entourage
– the company
– the traveling party
– the caravan
Most of our modern pictures of young Jesus are exclusively with his mom and dad. But here we see that they were actually part of a very large ‘group‘ of family and friends that did life together. This ‘group‘ was in fact so large and so trustworthy that Mary and Joseph left the city and traveled most of a day before they even started checking on him.
Now, Jesus was approaching manhood at the age of 12 and was also the oldest of his siblings but this is still an example and a strong statement for the value of family, an involved extended family and a tight circle of trusted family friends. Joseph and Mary built a community of families full of faith who were living life together. This was the environment of Jesus’ childhood.
Action Step: What can I do to better build, participate and contribute to this type of family community?