Reflection 2: Jesus As God? Part 2

47 “Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’ 49 ‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’” ~ Luke 2:48-49.

Children have a spectacular way of looking at the world around them. They say some of the wildest things, all of which in the beginning is by-in-large truthful in a very naive way. They have this ability to sum things up and spit them out without regard to anyone else’s agendas, goals, purpose, feelings, and or wants for the information to be shared. Parents cringe each time their three year old says something on a topic the parent wanted to keep private, or teachers who have given examples on something the children misunderstood. It is all about perception, and Jesus not just silenced his parents even though they had a reason to be upset with him, but also thge 12" src="" alt="" width="229" height="220" />e pharisees who would later come to hate him and work for his destruction.  Children and adults alike work off of their own world view, their own varying opinions, and of course wants and desires. Because God gave man free will we have always had conflicts which have riddled our collective human history with wars, death, and disease, all of which has been justified based off of our perception of right and wrong, morality, and immorality, justices and injustices. As children we share freely, but as we grow some of us become secretive and in some cases those secrets manifest themselves in the most inhuman ways. Good can become evil, and evil can be justified if done for good purposes. Our lives the older we get become more complicated because of our learned perceptions soley based off of our collective experiences.  With all this stated and accepted as fact by most educational and child development experts, then the real questions that need to be asked about Jesus as a boy is, “What major world view, or learned experience could Jesus have had at his tender age of twelve? What knowledge base was he drawing off of which amazed the Pharisees so?” To truly answer these questions we must admit, no normal twelve year old would have such insight without formal training. Most normal children of his age group could not exhibit their knowledge in such a manner as to not be confused or fooled by older, wiser,  and  or learned people such as the Pharisees were. In addition there is no other child in history so filled with the correct interpretation on legal issues and matters of religious belief as Jesus proved his understanding within that specific visit to Jerusalem for Passover.

The other unexplainable issue which is presented that must be fully explored is Jesus’s ability to simply know things, to have certainty about the world and his role in it. Few people pocesses such self awareness as to convenience older more scholarly people as adults, let-alone as a child no matter how clever they are. Jesus was working off of a higher intellect, a source of wisdom beyond his years. The idea that a desert dweller who up to this point had no formal education other than working with his hands with Joseph could have possibly gone toe-to-toe with the Pharisees as Jesus did for about three days straight. I would also like to include a comment my daughter made to me as she helped to flesh out this point, “Jesus continuously gave flawless answers with amazing confidence without the help from anyone.” (Des, 2012). I would just like to add to this comment that Jesus’s family was not there to help him, there was no one who could have been giving him the answers as the Pharisees had surrounded him asking him questions. There was no intermediary, it was just God and man, Jesus as a boy and religious scholars. It is also important to note that the Jewish people where a repressed people at this point in history, and formalized education was almost none existent. Most Jewish boys learned a trade or skill to help pay their families taxes, few had time to learn the laws of Moses and or interpret them with such clarity as Jesus. This is not discounting that his father Joseph did not take him to the Synagogue, because he must have as a practicing Jew, but still this does not account for the extent of knowledge Jesus exhibited, nor his confidence in this knowledge. So we must ask again, from were did Jesus get his learned knowledge?

“39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” ~ Luke 2:39-40.

Briefly, the Bible mentions an Angel of the Lords coming to Joseph in a dream telling him to flee with Mary and the new born baby Jesus and go into Egypt.  This is found only in Matthew 2:13-23, then in Chapter 3 Matthew starts straight off with John the Baptist. Mark starts straight away with John the Baptist and the temptations of Christ. Then John starts with the creation of man and then dives straight into John the Baptist. It is only Luke who gives us an insight to the boy Jesus. Thus, it is important to state that Luke is was referencing to the accounts found in Matthew 2:13-23 then scripture would read something like this; and so it was from Egypt the family of three was returning from, “39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.” ~ Luke 2:39.

It is also important to note that the Laws of God included Jesus to be circumcised and then to be presented to God in the Temple in Jerusalem to be purified all of which is according to Jewish law handed down from Moses. Luke tells us that Jesus was presented in the temple according to this law, but if King Herod the Great had indeed ordered the deaths of hundreds of babies as it is written in Matthew, then logic would dictate that Joseph and Mary would be playing straight into King Herod’s hands by going to Jerusalem. It would not have been safe for them to have done so. Thus, Luke is most likely referring to the accounts found in Luke 2:21-38 which tells a completely different story than the one found in Matthew. So the Laws of God handed down by Moses according to Luke was fulfilled in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Another interesting point to make is that Jesus would have been  circumcised to fulfill the Law of Moses. This is also done to all male Jews at this period. So it would appear the Bible has a conflict in facts and events. However, because the writers of the Bible were less concerned with exact dates as we are today, there is a Book which does a very fine job at making the Bible come together in a chronological order, that book is called, The Book of Jesus, written by Dennis F. McCorkle, ISBN-13: 9780595258925. I am in no way endorsing this book, but it does do a nice job at sorting out this controversy.

Historical Chronology of Jesus
Fact 1: Jesus was born and fulfilled proficy as the Son of God. (More of this found in future blog posts)
Fact 2: After Jesus was born Shepherds from the hills sides came to see him.
Fact 3: According to Luke Jesus was circumcised and then taken to the temple to be presented. (Luke 2:21-38)
Fact 4: Then King Herod ordered the slaughter of all the boys under 2 years of age and Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-23)
Fact 5: Joseph and Mary came back from Egypt after all the Laws of the Lord had been fulfilled and after the death of Herod. (Jesus would have been about 10 years old)

Therefore, it could also be said that Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to present their new born son in the temple. Then they went back to their home in Nazareth, where by Joseph wanted to return to his ancestral home and place of Jesus’s birth in  Bethlehem in Judea. This is where Matthew begins his story. Upon this second visit to Bethlehem did  the Magi enter into the picture finding the child Jesus, (not the new born) for Jesus was about two years old at this point. Then Joseph received the dream from the Angel of the Lord telling him about Herod’s desire to kill the child. It is then that Joseph left his home and took his family to Egypt until the death of Herod. Instead of returning to Bethlehem for fear that Herod’s son Archelaus would search them out Joseph took his family back to Nazareth and settled there.

No matter the order of events, no matter the amount of traveling to keep Jesus safe, it is clear than God went to great pains to both forewarn and protect Jesus. It is very clear that people in the region saw Jesus as someone special. It is very clear that Jesus had been brought up with the blessings of God upon him. So in the final analysis all these prior events of supernatural interventions which really began at the conception of Jesus within Mary and then the protective hand of Joseph, all leads to one date in time that will serve as the precursor of things to come. That being the Passover celebration where Jesus demonstrates the power of God as a twelve year old boy, without any formal training, without any help form scholars, and without any need of books and intense studying, Jesus as a boy, proves that he alone is God manifest in human form. Interestingly Jesus does not appear again until his baptisum by John the Baptist, which is an indicator that Mary was more than just upset at Jesus for losing track of him, but chose to protect him in a very quiet secluded area of the country in hopes to save him from his own future, as any loving mother would attempt to do.
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Brother Brian

Brother Brian currently serves within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Catholic School System. He is currently in his twentieth year of teaching.

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