Tagged: infancy narratives

Luke 2:41-52

This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on December 27, 2015.

Brian Jekel
Brian Jekel

Luke offers some of the most interesting material about Jesus that is unique to his gospel.  The Good Samaritan and Lost Son come to mind immediately, but this text from the infancy narrative is equally intriguing if not as important.  We can’t be sure that the other synoptic writers were aware of this story, but it’s reasonable to guess that they may have been.   We have evidence for its prolific presence.  It turns out Luke’s version is tame when compared to a version of the story that appears in The Infancy Gospel of Thomas in which Jesus makes fools of the elders and teachers with his budding rabbinical “A game.”  For this reason, I think it’s interesting to look at this story in its redacted form.  Why did Luke include this version of the story?

During these twelve days of Christmas the lectionary has gifted us with a window into Jesus’ twelve-year-old life.  Just a year shy of the deepened sense of responsibility that comes with turning thirteen in the Jewish world that he grew up in, Jesus is likely using this opportunity to prepare for adulthood. This is an exclusive look preparing for divine adolescence.  We are well aware of the fact that Jesus wore diapers and was wrapped in swaddling clothes like the rest of us, but Luke heightens our sense of Jesus’ own development with this story.  Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.  It’s sometimes difficult to think of Jesus having to increase in anything.  The early church solved the anthropological problem for us, Jesus is God and man, but Luke reminds us that he grew into those divine and human roles.

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