Luke 2:49 - And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
The verse above is the first words of Jesus in the bible found in Luke 2:49. This is during his finding at the temple when he was just a child. After missing for three days, his father and mother was able to locate him in the temple in the midst of scribes and teachers, astonishing them with his understanding and answers to their questions.
Jesus was eager to preside his Sonship to the Father above all things
When Jesus asked his parents why were they looking for him, it was never in his intention to put them aside as if they were just surrogate parents. His eagerness to fulfill his role as the Father’s Son is ingrained in his very identity. An identity that he must own up to because that is just how close the Father and the Son is. They are eternally united as one and the familial love and obligation they have for each other is unstoppable. Their unity simply is defined at all times.
The bold statement of a 12 year old
According to scripture, Jesus was only 12 years old during this time. When Mary came to him and ask him why he has done this to her and his father Joseph (Luke 2:48), Jesus’ closing remark to them was “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”. This is a bold statement by Jesus not because he says this to his mother, but because he says this in front of the scribes!
This statement must have confused the scribes and the teachers. They might have thought for themselves who is this “Father” that Jesus is referring to if his father Joseph was there. They knew that Jesus wasn’t referring to Joseph as his Father because the temple wasn’t Joseph’s house, but God’s.
It’s a bold statement because this was considered as blasphemy by the Jewish authorities! In fact, when the adult Jesus mentioned before the Jews that he was the Son of God (John 10:29-39), they almost stoned him to death.
The young Jesus in Luke 2 was already boldly revealing to the Jews that he was indeed the Son of God way before he did when he was an adult in John 10. Not only was it a bold thing to say, but it was a statement of authority. By disclosing that he was the Son of God, he was effectively making it known before everyone that he was the main authority figure of the Jews.
This wasn’t an ordinary boy-genius that has captivated the teachers of the law, this was a young king out to reclaim his nation!
Luke 2:41-52 is reignited in John 10:22-40
There are several parallelisms between what happened in the life of the young Jesus in Luke’s Finding of the child Jesus in the Temple in chapter 2 and John’s Feast of the Dedication in chapter 10.
In both Gospels:
- Jesus reveals that he is the Son of God out to do his Father’s will
- Both happened in Jerusalem
- Both were happening on feast days: in Feast of the Passover in Luke and Feast of the Dedication in John
- Both happened in the temple
- “They” did not understand Jesus in Luke as the Jews did not understand Jesus in John
- He came back to a place where he came from and “remained” there for some time and many found favor in him there.
*In Luke, he came back to Nazareth, a place where he grew and where God’s favor was upon him
*In John, he came back to where John the Baptist first baptized across the Jordan, where the Holy Spirit was upon him
We too have to be in our Father’s house!
The eagerness to be the Father’s Son that Jesus has shown should be taken as an excellent example of perpetual lifestyle for every Christian. If we Christians believe that we have attained a new life in the life and body of Christ, then we must also believe that we have attained a new identity of being children of God. Because this is the point of being a follower of Jesus: To be truly united with Christ is to take on the identity of a child who is fathered by God.
Like Jesus, there is nothing else that we must prioritize more than remaining as children of God.
This is Part 1 of a three-part article that sheds light on the first words of Jesus in the Bible. We are diving deeper in what those words mean about his Sonship to the Father, his destined kingship, and his love for Mary and Joseph. Yes, his first words are packed full of power, dominion, and love. This three-part article’s objective is to show the faithful that there is more to the narrative than just a boy who was lost and later found.