Among the Israelites, the twelfth year was the dividing line between childhood and youth. A boy is called a son of the law, and also a son of God. He was given special opportunities for religious instruction and was expected to participate in the feasts and observances. It was because of this custom that Jesus in His boyhood made this visit to Jerusalem. When He reached twelve years old His parents took Him with them to the feast.
For the first time Jesus looked upon the great temple and saw the white robed priests officiating, saw the slain lamb upon the altar of sacrifice. With the worshipers He bowed in prayer while the cloud of incense ascended before God. He witnessed the impressive rites of the Paschal Service. Day by day He saw the meaning more clearly. Every act seemed to be bound up in His own life New impulses were awakening within Him. Silent and absorbed He seemed to be working out a great problem. The mystery of His mission was opening to the Savior.
While Jesus was obedient in every way to the word of God, His parents hoped that He would learn from the great teachers in Israel. He did not conform rabbinical rites and usages. Mary and Joseph hoped that He might be led to reverence the learned rabbis and give more diligent heed to their requirements. But Jesus had been taught by God and that which He had received He began at once to impart. In His contemplation of all these things, He had not remained with His parents and when it came time to go home, He was not with them and they thought He was with friends in the group that was traveling together. They didn't miss Him until evening when they went to set up camp, He wasn't with them and they couldn't find Him.
In the meantime He was back at the temple and in the temple there was a a sacred room set apart for students to learn. Jesus had gone with the other pupils into this room. As one seeking for wisdom He questioned these learned teachers concerning the prophecies and to the event that pertained to the advent of the coming Messiah.
The rabbis spoke of the wonderful elevation which the Messiah's coming would bring to the Jewish nation; but Jesus presented the prophecy of Isaiah, and asked them the meaning of those scriptures that point to the suffering and death of the Lamb of God. The doctors turned upon Him with questions and were amazed at His answers. With the humility of a child, He repeated the words of Scripture, giving them a depth of meaning that the wise men had not conceived of. If followed, the lines of truth He pointed out would have worked a reformation in the religion of the day but many were not prepared to receive Him. The rabbis knew that Jesus had not been instructed in their schools, yet His understanding of the prophecies far exceeded theirs. In this thoughtful Galilean boy they discerned great promise and wanted to have charge of His education, feeling that a mind so original must be brought under their training.
They could not but see that their expectations in regard to the Messiah was not sustained y prophecy; but they would not renounce the theories that flattered their ambition. They would not admit that they had misapprehended the Scriptures they claimed to teach. They asked each other the question, "How hath this youth knowledge, having never learned? The light was shining in darkness but the darkness apprehended it not." John 1:5. RV.
(Isn't that the way it is today, light is shining full and bright from the Scriptures, but people do not comprehend the light. Let's study the word and we will learn another great lesson tomorrow that is vital to our salvation. Grandma Joan) Thoughts from Desire of Ages Chapter 8.