Read Luke 2.41-52
Then [Jesus] went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. (Luke 2.51)
Though I grew up in Indiana, my roots are firmly planted in Eastern Kentucky. Coming home meant taking the pilgrimage south to visit with relatives caring for the land of our ancestors. We shared good food, fun fellowship, and a faith passed on for generations. Growing up, I came to appreciate that family meant more than the three or four folks who shared the same mailbox and watched the same TV.
This kind of family would have been of great importance to this child Jesus. The pilgrimage to Jerusalem is a journey home, a family reunion. Within the temple, he embraces not only the religious lifestyle of his parents, but finds his place in a relationship with God’s people. This story is not the story of a child rebelling against his identity and the identity of his family. The child Jesus has not gone off to some foreign land, tried out a new lifestyle and a new religion in order “to find himself.” Instead, the child finds himself in the temple among his brothers and sisters in faith.