Why were you searching for me? ”he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Luke 2:49-50 (NIV)

I know God has a sense of humor. Otherwise, no one would have a sense of humor. Yesterday He brought to my attention the idea that sometimes the things that happen in our lives happen for ordinary natural reasons. Today, He brought it to my attention that Jesus’ parents didn’t understand that He needed to be about His Father’s business as a twelve-year-old child. I’ve gone over these verses dozens of times and never thought to ask, “Why?” Why didn’t Joseph and Mary understand what Jesus was saying to them? Could it be that they didn’t understand that Jesus was the Messiah?

I delight in watching visual adaptations of the Bible. I’ve watched the word-for-word adaptations of the Gospels and Acts. I think these are great tools in bringing more people to the Word of God. Whenever I see that there’s almost anything Biblical the world is taking on I’ll usually have a look at it. Even though I know I need to take these productions with a block of salt and be thankful that the world is interested in Jesus, I usually find myself pointing out every scriptural inaccuracy and usually stop watching whatever it is. There’s nothing like the word of God and the word-for-word productions I’ve seen. These have had such a great impact on me that I long to see the day when there’s a complete word-for-word adaptation of the entire Bible.

When I think about all of the Biblical productions that have failed to hold onto my attention I realize they fail because the spirit is wrong. I don’t believe the goal of these productions is to tell the world about Jesus. Perhaps someone might have had that sort of an idea but I think it gets lost in the pursuit of money. However, there is one production about Jesus that has attracted my attention and I think it’s worth your time. It’s a show called, The Chosen. This is a crowd-funded project aimed at telling the world about the life of Jesus Christ through the episodes around Him and the people who knew Him.

The Chosen is not a substitute for the Gospels nor reading the Bible. I have watched broadcasts and read enough about the show and those who produce it to believe their intention is to deliver a product that wants to honor God and tell the world about Jesus. I wouldn’t be funding the show myself if I thought otherwise. I’m thinking about this show today because of these verses here from Luke and what occurred to me today when I wondered if Joseph and Mary didn’t know their son was the Messiah.

Please allow me to take a moment and go over the verses here in the second chapter of Luke that might support the idea that Joseph and Mary didn’t realize or perhaps believe who Jesus was. Before I begin I think it would be a good idea to read Luke 2 for yourself.

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 NIV). When I read this verse several thoughts come to mind. What mother doesn’t want to hear good things said about her baby? I’ve always thought of her pondering as though she were thinking of the things to come for the Messiah. Perhaps she was thinking about these things. However, she might have been considering what they meant. What did it mean that these shepherds would show up and tell them about a heavenly host, etc.?

“The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him” (Luke 2:33 NIV). I think Joseph and Mary understood that their son was special. However, I’m not certain they knew how special He was. First, the shepherds were worshipping Him, and now Simeon and Anna are worshipping God because of their son.

These earlier passages in Luke were from events that happened within eight days of Jesus’ birth and I believe Joseph and Mary had an idea about their son. However, I think they might not have believed who He was. By the time Jesus is twelve years old, His parents have had twelve years of dealing with a little boy and all of the commonplace things a little boy would have done. Therefore, when they leave Jerusalem and find Jesus missing, go back to Jerusalem, discover Him there, and then hear Him tell them that He needed to be in His Father’s house, they didn’t get it. However, we are told that Mary, as she did twelve years earlier, “treasured all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51 NIV).

The Gospel of Luke is the only Gospel that tells us of these events in Jesus’ life. Therefore, we have no other accounts to examine. However, we know how Jesus viewed His mother and brothers.

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 12:48-50 (NIV)

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:33-35 (NIV)

He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

Luke 8:21 (NIV)

Furthermore, we know from Mark the reason why Jesus’ family had come to Him. “When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “’He is out of his mind’” (Mark 3:21 NIV). Therefore, Jesus’ statement that those who do the will of God are His brothers and mother is made because they didn’t believe that He was the Messiah. John also tells us “his brothers did not believe in him” (John 7:5 NIV).

When we consider all of this it makes more sense to me why Jesus said “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home” (Mark 6:4 NIV). My take on this has always been that people who knew you before you were saved might not be so ready to accept who you are in Christ because they knew who you used to be. All of the people who saw Jesus growing up just saw him as a person like them. It seems so obvious to me now though that Mary is one of those people.

This leads me back to The Chosen. In the show, Mary talks about what Jesus was like as a boy and what she thought about Him as the Messiah. She mostly talks about seeing Him like any other boy and I agree with how they’ve done this. I do wonder though, how it might have looked if she admitted to not believing that Jesus was the Messiah when He was growing up.

My takeaway in all of this is that Mary and Joseph knew that their son was the Son of God given to them by the Holy Spirit. While Jesus was a child who was “filled with wisdom” (Luke 2:40 NIV) He was still commonplace to His parents. They loved Him and thought Him special, just like most parents. However, they didn’t continue to believe and understand, who He was as He grew up. The Gospel of John lets us know that Mary understood who Jesus was by the time His public ministry started. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have asked Him to do something about the wine (John 2:5).

I wrote yesterday that God is also the God of the ordinary. However, we need to be careful to not allow ourselves to ever see God as ordinary. Yes, He does commonplace things all the time but He never changes. He was holy the day He called you and He will always be holy. Therefore, we always need to regard Him for who He is. The Holy of Holies.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.