The Jewish Boy

A devout Jewish couple named Joseph and Mary, living in the poor town of Nazareth, had in the family a remarkable boy named Jesus. They went each year to keep the great feast of the Passover in Jerusalem, and the year the boy was twelve, they took him along.
Being a remarkable lad, he took a deep interest in the religious observance, and a still deeper interest in what might be it’s true meaning. Working in Joseph’s carpenter shop, living in the home, and going about the town and countryside, he had been accustomed to doing a great deal of thinking about life, it’s origin, it’s meaning, it’s destiny. Not having much else to distract his mind, he had gone very deeply into these questions, and despite his youth had already reached some significant conclusions of his own.
So while most other boys of his age may have had wandering minds or have been interested only in the pomp and pageantry side of the great feast, his mind was digging away at the secret of what had led and kept his people in their long stubble from slavery to the nationality they had now lost but always hoped to get back. His mind followed many paths, having many starting points, and running through many fields of thought and experience. But whatever road it took in it’s contemplations soon or late it always found itself confronted with one name – God, who Jesus even then preferred to call “My Father”. He realized that the Supreme Being was the perimeter of human possibility, the alpha and the omega of experience and hope, the beginning and end of all roads. That is the basic premise of all good thinking.
The observance and control of the great feast seemed to center in the temple and there the boy of Nazareth went to see what was going on and to think it over. He was always thinking things over. That was his way. He figured that everything had a meaning, and he meant to find that meaning.
In the temple he found plenty to interest him. There were some remarkable men there-bright-eyed, scholarly old men they called the priests and the rabbis. He asked some of them questions, and the questions were so good that they did not brush him aside or order him away. Instead they fell into a discussion. Others noticed it and gathered around. Soon a great discussion was going on, with the amazing boy entering into it with strangely mature knowledge and judgment.
Meanwhile, Joseph and Mary had started home. Supposing the boy was in the party, looking after himself as usual, they got under way without paying any attention. After going so distance they noticed that he was not with them and returned to Jerusalem to search for him. They were surprised to find him in the temple holding his own in discussion with the leaders of thought amoung his people. Not realizing that what had happened would be long remembered as one of the world’s great events, they scolded him for being where he was when he was supposed to be in their party on the way home, as indeed he soon was. After chiding him, however, Mary found that she could not forget some of the things she had heard him say.
Some eighteen years later this boy broke upon the world’s attention as a great teacher. In the three short years following, he made himself a person much of the world worships as the Son of God, and nearly all the rest of it honors and admires for his wisdom and goodness. What was going on during those eighteen years, often called the silent years at Nazareth? Supposedly he was still working by a man who inquired very deeply into that great life and reported things very carefully. That man, a physician named Luke, says that he was advancing or growing. In other words, he was building the kingdom within and without himself, a self that was to challenge the world and impress the centuries. He was advancing, Luke says, in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and men. In other words, he was developing along four lines, understanding, physical strength, religious life, and social relationships. What better can we do than to take these as four lines along which we should advance in Wisdom?
Be blessed ~ Rev. Essie Scott ~

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