What did God look like as a 12 year old boy?
Hey, everybody. Welcome to my office this morning. Sorry. I can’t be with you, but glad you can be with me here in my office. I’d like you to turn with me in your Bibles to Luke chapter two. I know the pastor, Mike has already explained why I can’t be with you this morning. And Luke chapter two, verse 39 to 59.
When Joseph and Mary, I had done everything required by the law of the Lord. They returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him every year. His parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.
When he was 12 years old, they went up to the feast. According to the custom, after the feast was over while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking it was in their company. They traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.
When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days, they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished.
His mother said to him, Son. Why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you. Why were you searching for me? He asked didn’t, you know, I had to be in my father’s house, but they didn’t understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.
But his mother treasured, all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature favor with God and men, father. We come to you this morning and we thank you for. This passage and this story, Lord, as we gather on this Christmas Sunday, and we celebrate the advent, the coming of Jesus to our world, we look today and grateful for this glimpse.
You give us when he was a middle schooler and pray Lord that as we reflect on what we see and his interaction with his parents here. We might learn more about the nature of, of Jesus coming as God and becoming one of us in Jesus name. Amen. You know, 12, 13 years old is an interesting time in a young man’s life.
Physical changes occur, his voice, his complexion, his personality, quiet kids often become talk a holics. Outgoing kids can become somewhat silent or morose muscles start showing up. So to zits, maybe even whiskers. I remember the seventh grade. I was a chunky guy. And I remember, um, one time in a church supper, a potluck supper.
I was there and I had a pretty good heaping on my plate as usual and Lorraine. Whitmarsh a couple years older and a sharp tongue woman, girl. Um, she made a statement as I walked by that I still remember as I was walking by with my plate, she looked at it and she said, you better not eat all that. Or you’ll get fat or man at earth was a, was a, was a knife.
Year later, I had grown a bunch of inches and dropped a lot of weight. I’d send it out, stretched it all out. It was now playing basketball and I was playing on a baseball team and I was pitching. And I as always hurling my undoubted undoubted 98 mile an hour, fastballs. I still remember this guy over to the side, yelling out about me.
What is that bag of bones doing on the mound? I mean, sheesh. It can be tough to be a middle school aged kid. This story is the retelling. Of the Christmas story extended. It is where we tend to look at the Christmas story ending at the wise men coming to Jesus and worshiping Jesus. This actually is the next part of the story.
It actually is after the time that Jesus and his earthly parents. Moved from Bethlehem. They had fled to Egypt and then had come back and rather than settling in Bethlehem, they went up to Nazareth and Jesus while living there the first few years of his life is in Otter silence to us until this passage.
This passage presents Jesus as a 12 year old boy. And it is an amazing story. As we see Jesus as an adolescent. It is a tremendously significant passage because we have the opportunities to see the dawning understanding of who Jesus is, both by Jesus himself and by his parents. This is a time of transition and change.
Apparently the most exceptional thing about Jesus in those early years is that there was not. A great deal. That was exceptional about him. We don’t see things are here of things, or even in the events we see here, the, he was, he was a normal kid in their home. The family of Joseph this year is seen attending the feast of Passover in Jerusalem as they are going.
It is one of the three annual feast. And as they go, shockingly, As they leave the feasts to go back up North to Nazareth, they arrive home and find out that Jesus is not in the large entourage of family members and relatives and friends that have traveled with them. You can imagine the, the horror story parents as they, as they make their way, all the way back to Jerusalem and forth three long days are wondering what has happened to their son.
They find him he’s in the temple with the religious leaders. It must’ve been a shocking experience for them. This interchange we have between Jesus’ parents, particularly his mom and him show us some things about Jesus. What is it like? To have the God of heaven become human. What is it like for him to grow up from an infant in your home?
This passage presenting Jesus as a 12 year old boy is the first glimpse of the combination of humanity and deity in Jesus Christ. The confession of CALSEIA Don and four 51 Ady city. That is the modern day. Istanbul. Was the, was the, um, synopsis that could be the gathering of church leaders. That was the first one that really wrestled to put in print the merging of the two natures of Jesus.
Here’s what they said. Following the Holy fathers, we unanimously teaching confess one in the same son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The same perfect individuality and perfect in humanity. The same, truly God and truly man composed of rational soul and body consubstantial with the father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity, like us in all things.
But sin here in Luke two, we have these two natures of. The God man revealed we see in this passage, what God in human form will look like in a mid schoolers body. We see them interacting with the parents who have raised him in this passage, I believe is given to help us understand and be better worshipers.
As we better see Jesus, there are five quick things I want to focus on as we think of God becoming human. And now living that out as a 12 year old. Child. The first thing we find is he lived under authority under God appointed human authority. At first glance it’s this passage might argue against that.
It seems like, uh, Mary is somewhat ticked off at least fearful. And it seems like he just, he didn’t live under the authority, makes a statement. You know, why expecting me to do that? But if you look at the passage closely, Marion verse 48 is, is astonished that his behavior, how could you wander off and not check with us?
I mean, this is so unlike him in, in the 12 years that he spent in their home, she’s amazed at his seeming insensitivity and breach of respect for their authority in verse 51, Luke seems to be trying to highlight the fact that this was such an abberant moment in Jesus’ life, because he says. He went down to our back to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.
It seems like he’s emphasizing using the regular pattern of yieldedness that Jesus had to the authority of his human parents. Jesus came God among us living under human authority. Secondly, he lived under God’s laws for people it’s tradition at age 12 for Jewish boys to be made quote a son of the commandments.
Actually the word son of the commandment is what bar mitzvah actually means. We hear about juices Jewish boys who have that experience even today. That is what is taking place in Jesus’ life. He’s coming in. And this is his coming out party. If you will, as a son of the commandment himself, placing himself willingly, not just under the authority of his parents, but now he himself uniquely, specifically responsible.
To live under the laws of God. Jesus came to live under the laws and be under the commandment. It’s striking in another passage. In the book of Hebrews, it says Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. He always lived under the commandments. The second characteristic we find is Jesus came limiting, limiting his exercise of deity.
Verse 52 says a remarkable thing about God. It says about the son of God. He grew in wisdom, Philippians chapter two, verses five through seven. Explains a little bit about how this is possible. It says Christ Jesus who thought he would, who though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God, a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself.
By taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men, this phrase, he emptied himself and a literally is the word empty. Uh, it’s used often in this, in the old Testament to talk and the new to talk about being empty handed. The idea of you come without anything. There’s no gift. There’s no offering.
Uh, you don’t, you come with empty hands. Jesus came. Emptying himself. He did not bring all that he had before. There were things he left behind. Those were his attributes. He did not, he did not give them up in the sense that he had them, but he did not exercise them. Mostly logins, believe this is what Philippians two is talking about.
Jesus was omniscient as God. He knew everything. He knew everything that it was was conceivable. But he grew in wisdom because he emptied himself limited himself of the expression of some of his attributes. It’s why in Mark chapter 13, verse 32, Jesus said this, no one knows about the day or the hour of his return.
He’s saying not even the angels in heaven nor the son. But only the father. Now this leads to a really interesting question. I think when did Jesus know he was God? I mean, did he know the, the moment he was born? I would argue, no. When did he come to the, to the realization? If he had laid aside limited himself, emptied himself of some of the expressions of his attributes of deity.
I think there was a progressive realization to Jesus as he lived his young life in the old movie, in the original movie, the original Superman back in the late 1970s, there was a scene where Superman is now grown up on Clark Kent, and he’s talking to Mrs. Kent. Um, and he says, um, he had seen a ball and, and he’d gone and gotten it and, and he brought it to her and he was troubled and he said, I didn’t find it by looking in back of the rock.
I saw it through the rock Lake or when he’s in, what’s called the fortress of solitude. He’s talking in a, in, in sort of a recorded thing that his, uh, earthly father had done and a guy named GRL and Superman’s talking to him and he says, who am I. And the voice comes. Your name is kolel. You are the only survivor of the planet Krypton, even though you’ve been raised as a human, you are not one of them.
You have great powers, only some of which you have as yet. Discover. I think this is the sense, th th there was a growing awareness that Jesus had who he was and what he was to do. The third thing we find is he transcended the understanding of everyone. Even those are doing best. Your heart goes out to Mary and Joseph, especially his mom here in verse 48 is your anguish.
I mean, she’s found her son. You can imagine how, how relieved she is and, and how worried sick she been. And she comes in, she said, Jesus, I don’t get it. This is, this is, this is so unlike you. What she didn’t know was there was more to Jesus than even she could grasp. Now, Mary knew in pest in John chapter one, the first miracle that Jesus will do.
She, she knows he can do it before anybody else. It’s the miracle of the changing of the water into wine and, and they’ve run out of wine. And she says, um, to a servant. Um, well, first she says to Jesus, they’ve run out of wine and he says, woman, my time has not yet come. And she turns to the servants and she says, whatever he tells you to do, do it.
And he ends up in response, turning the water, water into wine. So they had more wine, Mary recognized and striking thing. In that passage, it says this was the first time he revealed his glory. But she already knew she already saw something in Jesus. Nobody else I saw, but even Mary did not grasp the full picture.
Again, going back to the Superman flick after Clark has, has this, this guy named Brad that’s a football player and he sort of always marched clock mops Clark because Clark doesn’t participate in the sports activities. He doesn’t because he would pull rise all these guys, but he’s frustrated one day and he knows that Brad is driving by his road.
And so he actually leaves him and he, and well, Brad is driving Clark runs zooms ahead. And so he’s there when the guy comes by and his father watches the old thing and his father says to him, been shown off a bit. Haven’t you son? And he says, Oh, I didn’t mean to show off pop. It’s just that well guys like that, Brad, I just want to, well, you know, I shouldn’t, but Jonathan Kent then said this, I know you can do all these amazing things.
And sometimes you think that you’ll burst wide open, unless you can tell someone about it. Don’t you. There’s one thing I know for sure son. And that is you are here for a reason. I don’t know what it is exactly. But I do know this much. It’s not score touchdowns. Mary and Joseph had that kind of relationship with Jesus.
They knew he was here for a purpose, something big, something majestic in human experience. They knew they had been singled out to raise a son of supernatural origin in power, but he, they were limited in their understanding of the scope. The third, fourth thing is he obeyed the will of God. The father that when Jesus came at 12 years old, he’s feeling a necessity, a compulsion to do something that seems utterly out of character that is hurtful to his mom, especially.
But it’s because he senses that, that in this coming out party, as a son of the commandment, he is now called to do something unique. He actually goes in among those that are the teachers of those commandments and instructs them to their astonishment.
Jesus came and before he arrived on earth and experienced the willing limitation. Of his attributes. This is the statement he made. It’s one, it’s an amazing statement. It’s actually Jesus talking to the father as he leaves heaven to come to that Bethlehem major. Here’s what he says in Hebrews 10, verse five, consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, sacrifice and offerings.
You have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me in burnt offerings and sin offerings. You’ve taken no pleasure. Then I said, behold, I have come to do your will. Oh God. As it is written of me in the scroll of the book at this moment, as Mary comes and she says, what I don’t understand, this is so unlike you Jesus.
And he says, mom, don’t, you know, I had to be in my father’s house. There’s there’s, there’s a will beyond even yours that I have to submit to an honor. Jesus came to obey the will of God, the father. And lastly, he came to reveal what God does implied in this passage, but not directly stated is that Jesus came to do God’s work.
All that Jesus did has as its goal to make known the father and his works. He says that over and over in the gospels, I come to do the works of the one who sent me. This explains the miracles of Jesus and the nature of them. They are not these, uh, bizarre, uh, tricks of a charlatan just to get attention.
He always does miracles that operate according to the laws and principles that God has built in for the benefit of others. When he does a miracle, he doesn’t, uh, make mice sing two while the crowds or, or makes rocks all of a sudden start dancing. No, he turns water into wine. Well, wine comes from water, water waters, the plants and, and, and the vines reach their roots in and out of the water.
The vines produce grapes, which are, are crushed and form wine. He takes water and he makes it into wine. So does the father, when he heals people, he does things that the body already is working to do to, to fight against affliction and disease and death. Jesus, every one of his miracles is not sensationalist and bizarre and odd.
They all follow according to the principles of how God works in the, in the benefit of creation and his creatures, Jesus performs on a small scale at a faster speed, what God the father is doing all the time. That’s why CS Lewis in his book miracle says this. The miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story, which is written across the whole world.
In letters too large for some of us to see Jesus came to bring God to us. He was born as one of us grew as one of us died as one of us. And for us that you don’t have to live a life separate from him or on your own. God is a middle-schooler. Gives us a glimpse of the whole story of why he came Lord on this Christmas, Sunday, we worship you and she did come among us.
Lord, thank you. That you have revealed
your nature, your purpose, your design in coming to this world. Even as a teenager, even as a 12 year old. Jesus. We love you for it. Whose name we pray? Amen. Now go in peace to love and serve and enjoy the Lord. Merry Christmas.