DAY 5 : ASTONISHED  Luke 2:41-52 

We haven’t heard anything from or about Jesus in over a decade now. What do you think has been going on in his life in those years? What do his days look like? He’s a boy growing up with brothers and sisters and two parents. I have a 12-year-old son so I have some perspective on that stage. It’s, how should I say…....full.

Now, the family is going on it’s annual trip to Jerusalem for Passover. It’s a big trip with a whole entourage of people - family, friends. It takes several days and there are no minivans or ipads. Then on the way home, a full day into the trip, they start to look around for Jesus. It’s not recorded but I have a pretty good idea of how the conversation went. One of them asks, “Hey, where is Jesus? When was the last time you saw him? I thought he with Uncle Ben and his cousins?” Questions. Fear and concern. Anger at his (and their) irresponsibility. More fear.

He must be back in Jerusalem. “How could we have left him?” Now all of those emotions swirl together as they make the full days’ journey back - hoping, praying like crazy. They arrive in a panic. It has been 3 days since they have last seen their 12-year-old son! Imagine it. Try to feel it. Your 12-year-old son has been missing for 3 days in a huge city, by himself!

They ask everyone they see if they have seen him. And finally, “They found him in the temple.

What do you imagine they feel as they see him? Joy. Anger. Relief. Hurt. More anger.

Verse 48 says, “When they saw him they were astonished”. That word can mean something like “amazed” or “awestruck”. That’s how it usually gets read I think. Thrilled to have their missing son back. But it can also have a “to strike with panic” meaning. That sure seems a lot more like what I as a father would be feeling at that moment.

He’s asking questions of the temple and religious leaders. Why? He’s Jesus! Doesn’t he know it all?

They are amazed at his answers. There are dialogue and learning and curiosity and hunger for “the things of my Father.” That is really intriguing and rich to me.

And finally for Mary and Joseph, after all of this, “they had no idea what he was talking about”.

To be honest, that is way less than I was hoping for as the denouement to this story.

And then, young Jesus went home with them and “increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”


Morning Pause: What are some things about this event that stick out to you or stick with you? A question. Something you’ve never noticed before. Spend some time asking why they stand out.

Afternoon Pause: How does the reality that Jesus was a boy that “grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” matter to who he was/is to us? Why is this little episode recorded in scripture and not any others from his childhood?

 Evening Pause: Verse 51 says, “And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.” As you have reflected on this story through the day, finish the day by stepping into Mary’s sandals. What are the things you treasure in your heart about this, about Jesus?