The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Thursday, May 12, 2016
The only description of Jesus as a child is found in the Gospel of Luke. Almost everyone would like to know much more about Jesus growing up. The Scriptures tell us what we need to know to prepare us for eternal life, leaving out the details that we would like to know to satisfy our curiosity. However, the brevity of the Bible is a blessing rather than a handicap. Every single passage is filled with spiritual wisdom and leads to more passages overflowing with comfort, mercy, peace, forgiveness, love, and joy. Every passage is a goldmine never exhausted by study, always leading to more treasure in additional passages.
Jesus accompanied His family on their trip to Jerusalem when He was twelve years old. The family went with relatives and friends, so Joseph and Mary did not look for Jesus on the way home. They assumed
He was with His young friends and relations in the group. Joseph and Mary traveled a day before they began to wonder and look for Jesus. Then they headed back up to Jerusalem—an uphill climb to the heights of that ancient city.
Joseph and Mary did not find Jesus for three days, finally seeing Him in the Temple talking with the religious leaders. Jesus was in a circle of scholars, listening to them and asking them questions. Mary was angry with Jesus and made it clear that both parents were extremely disappointed and grieved.
Jesus said, “Did you not realize that I must be doing the work of My Father?” Joseph and Mary did not understand what He was saying. In conclusion, Luke stated that Jesus returned to Galilee with His parents and was subject to them.
This Gospel lesson, so well known to children and adults, teaches us about the human and divine natures united in Jesus. In most of the story Jesus seems to be an ordinary boy, doing what most boys will do from time to time, losing track of his parents. However, Jesus stayed behind in obedience to His Father’s will, not to play with friends. When Jesus was in the Temple, His divine wisdom became obvious to the learned scholars.
And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
The teachers of the Law saw a twelve year old boy, but they heard the wisdom of the Lord of Creation. That is a good example of the divine and human natures of Jesus. Since the Son of God took on our human nature, we use the term God Incarnate (God in the flesh) for Jesus.
Jesus is both God and man. His divine nature allowed Him to do anything as God, never limited by His humanity. Nevertheless, Jesus chose not to reveal His divinity most of the time, so people saw an ordinary looking man. It is wrong to think of Jesus as only God or as only man. Jesus is not part God and part man. He is both God and man.
Within the Father’s house
The Son hath found His home, And to His Temple suddenly The Lord of Life hath come.
The doctors of the Law
Gaze on the wondrous Child And marvel at His gracious words Of wisdom undefiled.
Yet not to them is given
The mighty truth to know,
To lift the earthly veil which veils Incarnate God below. 
Posted by Gregory Jackson at 5:33 AM