Reading the stories of Jesus, I like to think about what life was like in his family. I’m afraid that the little pieces offered in the bible are not very flattering examples of his family relations.
Take for example the story of the time Jesus went with his parents to visit Jerusalem for the annual Passover Festival. As the story goes, 12 year old Jesus was left behind, a poor testimony to the communication habits of Joseph and Mary. I realize that Jesus wasn’t exactly a toddler. His parents may have just expected him to act like the adult he was now, at 12, supposed to be and do what he should without being checked on. Fair enough. No blaming the parents here.
After a long and worrisome search, mother and dad find their son in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers. When Mary tells him how worried they had been, he doesn’t even apologize, which is what I would expect if it were my son. Instead, he says that they should have known where he was. Really? And why is that? There is something missing here. Even they didn’t know what he was talking about.
The story ends with Jesus going home with his folks “where he was obedient to them.” I should think so! It also says that his mother “treasured” these stories in her heart. I am not so sure that “treasure” would have been my reaction. But I sure wouldn’t forget it. Next time there’d be a dandy consequence.