Did Jesus do something wrong in Luke 2.41-52? This text has always puzzled me just as much as Mary and Joseph seem to be puzzled themselves. In his new commentary on Luke, James Edwards gives us a picture of Jesus as “a boy of unusual wisdom and nearness to God, whose spiritual endowments and understanding are similar to those of Simeon (v. 25) and Anna (vv. 36-37)” (91).

Luke 2.41-52

Jesus and his family go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Garland says that, The age of twelve was regarded as the age of discernment. In the Jewish tradition a boy became a man at age thirteen and was fully responsible for keeping the law (ZECNT). After the family completed the festal week, they returned home, but the “boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem” (2.43). We see the growth of Jesus throughout Luke 2. In v16, Jesus is…

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