PASSAGE: "And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart" (Luke 2:51).
COMMENT: This verse is a part of the story of Jesus' presentation at the temple in Jerusalem at age 12. It is the only story in the Bible about the childhood of Jesus. The story tells that Jesus stayed behind in the temple, talking with "the teachers," and causing his parents—who could not find him—much concern. Verse 51 tells us that, notwithstanding his obvious spiritual thirst and awareness, he realized the necessity of living within the limits of his human life, obedient to his parents, until he had grown in both physical expression and spiritual awareness. So, too, for us. Knowing ourselves to be spiritual beings, expressive of the Christ, does not free us from the limitations of life as a physical and spiritual process. We must be patient, and alert, so that we, too, like Jesus, can "increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man" (v. 52).