The Boy Jesus Stays Behind – Bible Study #8

How is the account in Luke 2:41-52 relevant to our understanding of Jesus? 

Up to this point in the gospel, Luke has introduced us to the glorious news of the miraculous birth of the promised Messiah. Now, he tells us one account about the twelve-years-old-boy Jesus.

What is the point of this account?

The religious teachers were amazed by his answers, his parents did not understand his words and choices, and Jesus increased in favor with man—people liked him and approved of him. Jesus was a prodigy.

But even though Jesus grew up in a religious family, a religious community, and a religious nation, his understanding of his own identity and connection with God was different from everyone else’s understanding of their own identities.

Jesus wasn’t a Clark Kent slowly discovering his alien identity and his super powers. Instead, the sense that God was his Father in a unique way and that it was his duty to do God’s will was always a part of him.

Jesus was special. He knew it, and his mother also knew it (even though she didn’t always understand him).

However, the fact that Jesus increased in stature, wisdom, and favor shows that he was fully human, and therefore people overlooked him (Mark 3:21, John 7:5)—just as his parents did not immediately notice his absence from the group.

Jesus was fully human, and yet he had come down from heaven (John 3:13).

Questions for Reflection

  • What is the hypostatic union? How is the hypostatic union portrayed in Luke 2:41-52? (Click here to read about the hypostatic union)
  • Do people ever focus so much on Jesus’ human nature that they miss out on his divine nature?
  • Are we truly believing in Jesus if we think of him only as human (a prophet, a sage, a teacher)?

Prayer Focus

  • Praise God for the wonderful mystery that is the Word made flesh (John 1:14).
  • Praise Jesus because He is the Word of God who became flesh.
  • Ask God to help you be more like Jesus: to be aware that through faith in Jesus you are a child of God born of the Spirit, and to be committed to doing God’s will.


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