Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study one of the only stories in the Bible about Jesus as a child, since the Bible is mostly about his adult life and work.

And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:39-52 ESV)

The story starts out in remarkably familiar ways.  Jesus’ family was a religious Jewish one – they observed the laws about having their son circumcised, and observed the religious feasts according to tradition.

Otherwise, they lived in a backwater town called Nazareth.  The town was ordinary, in fact maybe worse, since it had a pretty bad reputation.

Then, something else happens, that has happened to many parents.  They took their eyes of their child for a moment, and he disappeared!  In the hordes of pilgrims who would have been travelling home from Jerusalem after a major festival, you can imagine them thinking he was with friends, family or playing nearby, when in fact he was missing.

He’d gone back to Jerusalem, and was at the Temple debating with religious experts. That part may not be as familiar to parents today – this is where Jesus’ story starts to show signs of exceptionality.

Question: Do you think it’s important that Jesus was a real human, and not just appearing like one?  Why?