THE CUSTOM OF THE FEAST
Luke 2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
The Holy Spirit stamps this passage, both at the beginning and the end, with the awareness that this was a time of the Lord’s maturing in wisdom and stature. We see that in verses 40 and 52. And to make sure we don’t miss this, we see Him supplying the word “Nazareth” in both verses 39 and 51 as well. For to obtain this portion of his maturing, he had to leave Nazareth, as it afforded him no such opportunity as did Jerusalem.
For only there was the physical city that typlified the spiritual city of Sion, the church! And as we see him “in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors” (of the law), so we find him in the Revelation “sitting in the midst of the throne,” surrounded by his church! (5:6). Mary and Joseph pose a threat to spirituality here in natural Jerusalem, but none shall do so in the spiritual city! (Heb 12:22-23).
It has only been 12 short years since heaven had literally showered Mary and Joseph with more miraculous revelations than any one person had before seen! They had the angel Gabriel, God’s personal messenger; they had the shepherds, with their account of the angelic host; the eastern dignitaries that stirred up all of Jerusalem, providing them with the richest of gifts, and their account of a special star; they had the confirmation of Simeon and Anna in the temple, upon their presentation of the holy child to the Lord; and Mary had the glorious account of her visit with her cousin, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist! BUT! – now these two were so given to only the social aspect of “The Custom of the Feast,” that they lost Christ!
I’m sure that these two had been the center of attention at all the social and religious events for the past 12 years! Surely Cousin Sue, and Uncle Jake, and Aunt Sally had them to tell again and again the description of the wise men, both their appearance and gifts! “And Mary, go get the box that the gold was presented to you in! Let everyone see the workmanship of the eastern craftsmen!”
The Lord Jesus wondered that they had to seek him for three days in order to find him! Had they not lost their spiritual edge by attending too many social, religious meetings they would have known that “the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.” (Mal. 3:1). Now she rebukes the Godman for not dealing properly with “us!” And just who was that “us?” It was “thy father and I!” She meant Joseph and herself! She had even grown dull concerning the virgin birth, and she was that virgin!
Let us be careful in all our religious meetings that we seek not the warm fuzzy feelings of social acceptance, for by doing so we lose our spirituality! For strangers were blessed by his every word! But Mary and Joseph could not understand his sayings! (vs. 47 & 50).
Pastor Gene Breed