Read Luke 2:41-52. Verses 46 and following: "After three days they
found him in the temple courts, siting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking
them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his
answers. [ . . .] 'Why were you searching for me,' he asked. 'Didn't you know I had to be
in my Father's house?' But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother
treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and
in favor with God and men."
Jesus amazed the temple teachers. He understood matters in a
fresh way that caught them off-guard. Here was one who wasn't just mimicking
standard answers. Instead, even at a young age, he understood more than they were
accustomed to hearing. And he knew what questions to ask. The depth of Jesus'
insight teaches us two important truths about communication. First, as Luke
indicates, Jesus is the Son of God, and this means he is about his Father's business --
learning and telling the truth. And he is especially good at it. Christ the
Word sees clearly where we see obscurely.
Second, we should remember that Jesus is still a human child, who
"grew in wisdom and stature." His insight did not arise from out of a
vacuum. His understanding had to be formed by the study of the scriptures. He
was able to draw together ideas and open up new insights in part because he had been
prepared. Insights are made when we have a base of information to work from.
You can't make surprising connections or offer vivid examples unless you have something to
build on. Christ astonished the temple elders because he was thoroughly grounded in
A deep immersion in the Bible need not limit us, hem us in, or make
us close-minded; instead, it can open us up to new insights, awaken us to new
possibilities, and help us to see more clearly. God's message can give a structure
to our thinking. It can broaden the possibilities. It can unsettle our typical
assumptions, and it can amaze us as everything falls into place.