Jesus’ first recorded words are revealing— and maybe a clue to all that follows. When his mother asked her 12 year old why he had caused her and his father so much anxiety, he answered with his own question. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house” (or “Didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business.”) (Luke 2:49).
But if, by hindsight, those words increase our appreciation for Jesus’ relationship with his Father, they were confusing to his parents. Luke doesn’t tell us whether they asked for an explanation, only that their 12 year old compliantly returned to Nazareth with them, and that it was a moment that made a lasting impression on his mother.
Luke also tells us that while his parents were desperately looking for him— he was listening and asking questions of the rabbis of Israel, and that all who listened to him were astonished by his understanding and answers.
Were “the answers” that showed Jesus’ understanding—and what a good listener he was— “the questions” he asked Israel’s wise men?
Are the questions Jesus’ Spirit is asking us— more revealing of Our Father’s business in and with us—than the answers we are looking for?