JERUSALEM, TUESDAY, APRIL 19, AD 7
Temple teachers were challenged for the second time in as many days by the questions of a youth from Nazareth. Jesus ben Joseph delighted the crowds and confused some of the rabbis for four hours. The discussions were lively and less aggressive than yesterday’s debates, possibly because some rabbis boycotted the session in protest of the age of the youth. He will not be thirteen until August 21. The leader of the discussions permitted Jesus to participate since he had been consecrated during Passover and was a graduate of the proper schools in Nazareth. “The lad asked some of the things we have all wondered about,” said one bystander.
A few of the discussion topics prompted by the inquiries of the young Nazarene were: Why can’t the men and women sit together in the temple? Why do authorities permit gross commerce in a temple dedicated to honoring God? Why can’t people be told what is behind the veil of the Holy of Holies? Will the Messiah restore the Throne of David or establish a spiritual kingdom on earth? How could a loving God be pleased with the slaughter of helpless animals in sacrifice?
“I was surprised this boy got away with these questions,” commented a merchant from Alexandria. “But he has such charm and is so poised and gracious. Never once did he become offensive. He seems to convey his unusual ideas in the way he asks his questions. I was astonished at his deep insight. I hope he returns tomorrow; things are getting interesting.” None of the rabbis who boycotted the discussions could be reached for comment.
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
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