His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
“But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he meant.
Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart.
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people. Luke 2:48-52 (New Living)
The central tenet of the Christian faith is that Jesus, the son of God, set aside his divine nature and came to earth as a frail human being. Having done so, he became subject to all of the facets of the human condition. He had to learn things about how to live- learn toilet training, learn how to work, how to feed himself, understand language and people- all of it.
I think it is hard for people to square this understanding of Jesus’ humanity with the divine nature he had willingly set aside. Jesus had emotions. He got angry, sad, hurt, depressed, anxious, happy, playful. He would get sick, make mistakes, forget stuff. Yes, I said that Jesus made mistakes. He didn’t sin, but he made mistakes, and he had to learn.
I think about the passage when he got lost from his parents on the way back from the Temple. In his careless young mind, his parents should have known what he was doing even when he had not bothered to share it with them. He did not understand that parents worry about their kids, because he was a kid himself. He wasn’t being deliberately disobedient, he was being careless and thoughtless of what his parents were going through.
Later, Luke (who got his stories of Jesus’ early life from Mary) remarked that Jesus then “grew in wisdom”. He learned about emotions and human interactions. I love that Luke shared this story. Jesus could truly relate with the people he was to redeem, and he understands in that special way what we go through.
Isn’t that as amazing as it gets?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the sacrifices you made for us- even to humbling yourself as one of your creation, Amen.