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Luke 2:41-52, The Boy Jesus in the Temple

Saturday, December 30

Jesus, an Exceptional Kid

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

When Jesus was twelve, his parents were still quite devout Jews. They traveled with their extended family and friends to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. When they left, it would have been quite customary for family and friends to look out for one another. It's not child neglect that they didn't notice he was missing for an entire day's journey. Surely, Jesus was with the group somewhere. Only he wasn't.

Can you imagine the terror his parents must have felt when they couldn't find their son for three days of searching in the large city of Jerusalem? I can just picture how angry they must have been to find him in the temple, chatting it up with the temple teachers there! And his response -- "Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?" I'm surprised they didn't ground him for the rest of his life for mouthing off so casually after such a terrible scare!

Jesus was brilliant and wise beyond his years, but it came with its own set of challenges for his parents. Jesus was no ordinary kid. And his parents knew it from before he was born. It's probably why Mary was able to forgive and move on, and even "treasured all these things in her heart." It's not easy raising a kid. But raising a kid that's not "normal" is even harder.

I wonder what "normal" even means for kids today. Is there even such a thing? Kids learn at different speeds and in different ways. Kid behave on a wide spectrum of what's "normal." Kids' energy levels and attention spans are all over the map. And every single kid deserves love, respect, attention, and the tools they need to succeed.

At Clergy Stuff, we offer a blog devoted to "exceptional people," and the unique challenges and gifts they bring to congregations and families. We hope you'll check out the articles there and become more aware of the many ways congregations can be accepting and accommodating to families with exceptional kids. You can read the blog, "An Exceptional People" here:

Narrative Lectionary Text: Luke 2:41-52

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.