Week Four: The Finding in the Temple

Verse to memorize

Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house? (Jesus, Luke 2:49)


Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking 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. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them, and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
(Luke 2:41-52)


1) Q: What did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do every year? A: They traveled to Jerusalem on pilgrimage for the feast of Passover. Q: What is Passover? A: A Jewish feast celebrated each spring to commemorate the deliverance of Jewish ancestors from slavery in Egypt. Families traveled in large groups, and the journey took several days.

2) Q: How old was Jesus? A: Twelve. Q: Why is twelve an important age for a young Jewish boy. A: It is the time when the boy becomes old enough to participate in the reading and discussion of God’s law and the prophets in Holy Scripture. Q: What happened to the Holy Family on this Passover feast? A: They lost Jesus. They unknowingly left Him behind in Jerusalem, thinking He was with His friends and relatives in the caravan! Q: Were you ever lost or separated from your parents? How long were you separated? Parents, how did you feel?

3) Q: How did Mary feel? A: She had “great anxiety”. Q: What did Mary do when they found Jesus in the temple debating with the teachers? A: Mary scolded Jesus: “Son, why have you done this…”

4) Q: What is Jesus’ reply to Mary’s scolding? A: He replies with two questions: “Why were you looking for me?” and “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Q: What does this tell us? A: Our Lord Jesus, by age 12, knew who He was and that His mission from the Father was to teach, to bring “light to the nations”.

5) Q: Did Mary and Joseph understand this? A: No. The Gospel of Luke says, “They did not understand what He said to them.” Q: What does Mary do when she is perplexed, amazed, or doesn’t understand what God is doing in her life? A: In this instance, she kept or treasured all these things in her heart. Q: In the Annunciation story, what did Mary do when she didn’t understand the angel Gabriel’s greeting, “Hail highly favored one. The Lord is with you”? A: She “pondered” what this might mean. Q: What does “pondering” mean? A: It means holding something in your heart and mind without dismissing it, waiting for further enlightenment. Mary teaches us to ponder and to treasure, especially moments when God has revealed something to us or when we may not understand what is happening. It is a form of waiting on God’s time, or trusting God.


Courtesy of The Bible Project