The Boy Jesus in the Temple

By: Steve Negley

Posted: February 4, 2022

Category: Daily Devotional

Luke 2:41-52

41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents[l] saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”[m] 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years,[n] and in divine and human favor.

There are lots of places to go in our mind with this scripture:

  • Did your parents take you to God’s house for special days?
  • Did your parents ever lose you?
  • In their panic, should Mary and Joseph thought that Jesus would be “in His Father’s house?”
  • Have we paused to think about the fact that Jesus was fully human (a baby, a boy, a man)?

And if Jesus, at 12 years old, could talk with the teachers about God, maybe we can too.

Confirmation has started in the church for our 12-year-old disciples. You can bet they will think about this story, too.


God, let us treasure the encounters we have with You and Your people when we come to God’s house. Be with Your children at whatever age, as we engage our minds in faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.