As a twelve year-old boy, Jesus is left behind in Jerusalem. Sort of like Home Alone, but the opposite direction. We read about this example of inattentive parenting in Luke 2:41-52. Jesus’ parents are leaving Jerusalem after a religious holiday, mixed in with large crowds of people headed home. They think Jesus is in the entourage somewhere and when they realize he’s not, they head back panicked.
They finally find Jesus in the temple (after three days of looking), where he’s discussing religious topics and answering questions with the top scholars of the day. You might say he was conducting a seminar with the top professors in the field. Everyone who heard him was “amazed at his understanding and his answers.” Jesus was a prodigy, like Mozart or Pascal.
Memories are long, especially in a religious culture hungry for a messiah. I wonder who in the crowd of teachers remembered this Q&A time with the young wunderkind when Jesus began his public ministry eighteen years later? Surely, someone would have put this together. How about Nicodemas, who came to Jesus at night (see John 3)? Had stories circulated over the years? Rumors about the boy with all the answers who’s making furniture somewhere out in the sticks?
Just one of many questions I have. His mother also had questions, but she kept them to herself. We’re told that Jesus went home obediently and grew up “in favor with God and man,” waiting for future, more contentious meetings with the religious leaders in Jerusalem.