Over the past year at Tents of
Mercy we have seen a lovely new crop of youngsters ripening and coming of
age with bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies. Yeshua also went through this
At age 12 He got "lost" - separated from His parents at the end of their
yearly Passover pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Mom and Joseph left
for home in the Galilee. He did not. It might have looked like a sign of
rebellion from a pre-teen, but this was not the case. The boy Yeshua stayed
in the Temple fathoming the deep things of God, asking the rabbis many
questions while they were astonished at His wisdom. Then His frustrated
parents came to find him saying, "Don't you care? We have been looking
everywhere for You!" He replied, "Did you not know that I must be about My
Father's business" (Luke 2:49)?
This incident was not about rebellion. Yeshua was being set apart and
appointed by His heavenly Father in the direction of His life's
purpose and calling, realizing God's direct personal involvement in
His own life. The result and next stage of this "bar mitzvah" experience
was: "And Yeshua increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God
and men" (Luke 2:52).
I believe there is a challenge here for us as "earthly" parents and
communities, to view our preteens and teens in a similar light, to have
grace for awkward incidents and to believe for their callings and destiny
as they grow in wisdom and stature.