The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 2

Rather than just copying what He says, I want to set the stage when He does speak.

The Young Yeshua at the Temple

41 Every year Yeshua’s parents went to Yerushalayim for the festival of Pesach (Passover). 42 When He was twelve years old, they went up for the festival, as custom required. 43 But after the festival was over when His parents returned, Yeshua remained in Yerushalayim. [Think back when you were twelve. Would you have been that brave?] They didn’t realize this; 44 supposing that He was somewhere in the caravan, they spent a whole day on the road before they began searching for Him among their relatives and friends. 45 Failing to find Him, they returned to Yerushalayim to look for Him. 46 On the third day they found Him – He was sitting in the Temple court among the rabbis, not only listening to them but questioning what they said; 47 and everyone who heard Him was astonished at His insight and His responses. 48 When his parents saw Him, they were shocked; and His mother said to him, “Son! Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried looking for you!” 49 He said to them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be concerning myself with my Father’s affairs?”50 But they didn’t understand what He meant. 51 So He went with them to Natzeret and was obedient to them. But his mother stored up all these things in her heart. 52 And Yeshua grew both in wisdom and in stature, gaining favor both with other people and with God. ~ Luke 2:41-52

This single incident from Yeshua’s“silent years” (see Matt. 2:16 & Luke 3:23) took place near the age at which a Jewish boy today undergoes his bar-mitzvah ceremony and becomes a “son of the commandment,” personally responsible for keeping the Torah given by God to Moshe on Mount Sinai. At this time, he dons t’fillin [1] for the first time officially, and for the first time, he is given an aliyah (call-up) to come to the bimah (lectern) and read from the Sefer-Torah (Torah scroll) in a synagogue service. Verses 46–47 suggest a comparable “coming out” for Yeshua, but there the parallel ends. Bar-mitzvah did not start to become a major ceremonial event in the Jewish life-cycle until the Middle Ages, and only in modern times has it become the focus of grandiose celebrations. Moreover, the age for bar-mitzvah is not twelve but thirteen. [2]

According to John MacArthur: Yeshua’s reply was in no sense insolent but reveals a genuine amazement that they did not know where to look for Him. This also reveals that even at so young an age, He had a clear consciousness of His identity and mission.[3]

In our next post, we will examine Yeshua’s Baptism and The Temptation of Yeshua.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] T’fillin are small leather boxes containing parchment scrolls on which are written excerpts from the Tanakh (specifically, Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13–20, Exodus 13:1–16).

[2] Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur Study Bible: NASB.

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