Mystery youth returns home
JERUSALEM, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, AD 7
Some rabbis here expressed relief when the parents of Jesus ben Joseph arrived at the temple and took him back to their Nazareth home. The leader of the temple discussions had just invited Jesus to sit beside him and give his own ideas on worship and prayer when the concerned parents interrupted the proceedings. The mother admonished him, saying: “My child, why have you treated us like this? It is now more than three days that your father and I have searched for you sorrowing.”
The youth surprised everyone with his strange answer: “Why is it that you have so long sought me? Would you not expect to find me in my Father’s house since the time has come when I should be about my Father’s business?” The crowd broke up at that juncture, and the family left the temple. Rabbis are divided as to the exact meaning of the youth’s remarks to his parents. One commented: “Jesus is insistent upon referring to God as a ‘Father.’ It came up over and over again in the temple debates. Of course, I believe he meant that God is the Father of all Israel.” Another rabbi disagreed. “He implied several times that God is the Father of all humankind, even including gentiles and women. This is too liberal a viewpoint for me to embrace.”
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
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