41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, 44 because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.
45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions.47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what he meant.
51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart.
52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
This is the familiar story of the 12 year-old Jesus confounding the religious teachers in the Temple. Being God himself, he was the perfect child, so when he realized how his staying behind had affected his parents, he was “obedient to them.”
Since he was without sin, his behavior in staying behind in Jerusalem was not meant to be an act of rebellion, or to assert his individuality. In fact, Jesus was as surprised by his parents concern over his, as they were by his conversation with the religious