Jesus, at Age Twelve, Teaches in the Temple

Every year Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem for the feast of the passover. When Jesus was twelve years old, and their family came to Jerusalem, this time, Jesus stayed behind when his family left. Mary and Joseph didn’t realized that he was not with their group as they began the journey home (they may have thought he was with cousins or relatives). After they had travelled for a day, they realized He was missing.

They returned to Jerusalem and searched for Jesus for 3 days. They must have had a fair amount of anxiety at not seeing him for many days. Finally, they found him in the temple, and he was asking questions of and answering the questions of the doctors. All were amazed “at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:47). When Mary found Jesus, she said, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing” (Luke 2:48). Jesus, giving them a gentle reminder of his true parentage said, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). In other words, this was a gentle reminder that Joseph was not his true father, but his stepfather.

See our Bible quiz page to learn more from the book of Luke and test your knowledge on it.

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This is one of the few scriptures we have about Jesus’ youth. We don’t know much about Him before He started His ministry at the age of 30. Few are the morsels of scripture about this tender time in His life. Another small taste of His early life is in Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man”. Learn more about Jesus' life and teachings by video.

Dave Clark Author

By Dave Clark