Trips to Jerusalem
SPRING has arrived. And it is time for Joseph’s family, along with friends and relatives, to make their yearly springtime trip to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. As they leave on what is about a 65-mile [100 km] journey, there is the usual excitement. Jesus is now 12 years old, and he looks forward with special interest to the festival.
To Jesus and his family, the Passover is not just a one-day affair. They also stay for the following seven-day Festival of Unfermented Cakes, which they consider part of the Passover season. As a result, the entire trip from their home in Nazareth, including the stay in Jerusalem, takes about two weeks. But this year, because of something that involves Jesus, it takes longer.
The problem comes to light on the return trip from Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary assume that Jesus is in the group of relatives and friends traveling together. Yet he does not show up when they stop for the night, and they go hunting for him among their traveling companions. He is nowhere to be found. So Joseph and Mary go all the way back to Jerusalem to look for him.
For a whole day they hunt, but without success. The second day they cannot find him either. Finally, on the third day, they go to the temple. There, in one of its halls, they see Jesus sitting in the midst of the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions.
“Child, why did you treat us this way?” Mary asks. “Here your father and I in mental distress have been looking for you.”
Jesus is surprised that they did not know where to find him. “Why did you have to go looking for me?” he asks. “Did you not know that I must be in the house of my Father?”
Jesus cannot understand why his parents would not know this. At that, Jesus returns home with his parents and continues subject to them. He goes on progressing in wisdom and in physical growth and in favor with God and men. Yes, from his childhood on, Jesus sets a fine example not only in seeking spiritual interests but also in showing respect to his parents. Luke 2:40-52; 22:7.
▪ What springtime trip does Jesus regularly make with his family, and how long is it?
▪ What happens during the trip they make when Jesus is 12 years old?
▪ What example does Jesus set for youths today?