-3

In [Luke 2:48-49], we notice Jesus as a child not properly fulfilling the mitsvah of [Exodus 20:12] since his mother Mary verbalized her frustration & anxiety about Jesus’ secret return to the temple. Then instead of noticing Mary’s frustration, the 12-year-old only recognizes his honoring of Torah studies not the state of his mother.

[48] When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” [49] “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

  • Did 12-year-old Jesus not consider himself Korban for Israel?

  • By not using his divinity to let Mary know (in the future) she may leave him behind, was this decision honoring his mother's mental & emotional state?

Contrast [Luke 2:48-49] with [Mark 7:11-13], the older & wiser 30-year-old Jesus remembers how his korban to Torah studies disregarded his empathy & consideration for his mother earlier in life.

“if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— [12] then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. [13] Thus you nullify the word of God”

Does 30-year-old Jesus learn from his younger 12-year-old application of [Exodus 20:12] stating כַּבֵּ֥ד אֶת־אָבִ֖יךָ וְאֶת־אִמֶּ֑ךָ “Honor your-Father And-your-Mother” to properly fulfill the mitsvah?

שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם

10
  • 1
    Christ's stay in the Temple took (far) longer than anticipated; He was not told to be back at a certain hour, at least not according to the text. And the Corban seems to have been a financial scheme (instead of using large parts of one's personal income to support one's elderly parents and/or younger siblings, one officially lists it as allegedly being donated to the Temple, pays some small or relatively reasonable bribe to the Priests, and it's business as usual; how this actually honors or expresses love for God and neighbor is beyond me).
    – Lucian
    Jul 16 at 12:41
  • @Lucian - you state : "instead of using large parts of one's personal income to support one's elderly parents" which supports the perspective of 30-yr-old Jesus in [Mark 7], but would not support the philosophy of 12-yr-old Jesus in [Luke 2]. Jul 16 at 12:52
  • 3
    I don't see twelve year old Jesus as supporting the Corban, nor do I see thirty year old Jesus as telling people to spend shorter amounts of time in the Temple, or studying the Law. For some mysteriously incomprehensible reason, you seem to think that might be the case, but why you'd even think that in the first place is deeply puzzling.
    – Lucian
    Jul 16 at 12:57
  • @Lucian - Did young Jesus not know he was Korban for Israel? Jul 16 at 13:29
  • 1
    @Dave There is no evidence that Bar mitzvahs existed during the time of Christ. Rabbinical judaism wasn't born until after the Temple was destroyed.
    – Robert
    Jul 17 at 2:30
3

The commandment given to Israel was:

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12, emphasis mine)

Jesus was honoring His Father.

Because Jesus' literal Father was not Joseph but God, He would have to be a special case as far as Korban was concerned. Sacrificing worldly pursuits to serve God was what Jesus' Father had sent Him to do.

But did Jesus learn from His experiences? He surely did:

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52)

But this doesn't mean His actions at 12 were a mistake.


P.S. from further discussion

The OP suggests Mark 7:11-13 indicates that Jesus believed people were abusing the concept of Korban. I agree that this is an accurate interpretation. The wedding at Cana, John 19:26-27, and other passages indicate that Jesus did not neglect the needs of His mother.

My take is that Jesus did not seek to cause His mother any more anxiety than necessary. However, fulfilling His Father's will certainly did cause Mary anguish at times (watching her Son be crucified?). Why He didn't tell His mother what He was up to, I can only speculate. Luke does let us know, though, that Mary willingly accepted this immense and unique calling in life (Luke 1:38)

3
  • By recognizing his life was metaphorically Korban at age 12, the need to honor Mary (not causing her fear, anxiety, frustration) was nullified? Jul 16 at 16:28
  • By stating "Jesus did not neglect the needs of His mother." - can we understand that Mary did not need to know where her 12-year-old was, when leaving Jerusalem? Jul 16 at 16:34
  • 1
    @חִידָה my take is that Jesus did not seek to cause His mother any more anxiety than necessary. However, fulfilling His Father's will certainly did cause Mary anguish at times (watching her Son be crucified?). Why He didn't tell His mother what He was up to, I can only speculate. Luke does let us know, though, that Mary willingly accepted this immense and unique calling in life (Luke 1:38) Jul 16 at 16:42
4

Several assumptions are incorrectly made in the question.

  1. Jesus did not secretly return to the temple. His parents had taken him there, then failed to make sure he was with them when they left. They had just assumed he would be "with" them somewhere in the great crowd of people with whom they were traveling. In actual fact, it was Jesus' parents who had been guilty of neglect.

  2. The translation of "my Father's house" is incorrect. That word "house" is not in the Greek text and has been supplied.

  3. The question presupposes a fault exists with Jesus' own interpretation at some point in his lifetime. But this is neither true nor sustainable.

At the core of the question, however, is correctly understanding what "Corban" means. The significance of this word, to the culture of that day, goes beyond its actual word root.

The scribes and Pharisees downplayed the fifth commandment as if it were not so important, but they were very careful to follow the traditions of the elders. They taught the people that the donation of their property to the temple was a more sacred duty than even the support of their parents; and that, no matter how much it might be needed, it was sacrilege to give to one's parents any part of what had been thus consecrated. An irresponsible child had only to pronounce the word "Corban" over his property, thus dedicating it to God, and he could keep it for his own use during his lifetime, and after his death it was to be given to the temple service. Thus he was free to cheat and dishonor his parents, both in life and in death, under the guise of devotion to God.

The whole system of "Corban" was at odds with honoring one's father and mother, which is why Jesus spoke against it. He was upholding the fifth commandment.

9
  • You state : "Jesus did not secretly return to the temple." - Why did his guardians not know where he had gone? | If a child is to stay with a parent for a journey - then the child is not obligated to honor their parents by revealing when they are leaving them & where they are going? Jul 16 at 12:46
  • @חִידָה Read again the first point I made in my response above. How was a 12-year-old to arrive at the temple during Passover? It was because his parents had taken him there. They all went, as a family, together. It was the custom of the time to travel in groups, like a big annual reunion in their journey to Jerusalem. Great crowds would come to the city at that time, and Jesus' parents, who took him with them to the temple, incorrectly assumed that he was still with them when they left--but in fact, they left him behind. It was their fault, not his.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 16 at 12:53
  • you state : "Jesus' parents, who took him with them to the temple, incorrectly assumed that he was still with them when they left". | With all his wisdom, he could not recognize his mother was leaving to go home, find her & tell her I would like to stay longer to discuss Torah with priests? - Does that inability to know his mother was beginning to leave to return home seem uncharacteristic? - If he did know she was leaving, decided to stay & did not tell her (Since he would know she was leaving to return home) - then Jesus chose not to tell Mary he was not with her causing her to worry. Jul 16 at 13:03
  • @חִידָה Do you know of parents who have ever left a child behind--perhaps at the store, at church, at home, etc.? As a child, I was once left behind: My parents had two cars, and each thought I was in the other car. Should I have just known that they were leaving and told them I was still there and didn't wish to be left behind? Jesus was but a child. His parents had been entrusted by God to be his guardians. Their neglectfulness was a serious thing--yet Jesus did not rebuke them directly, but respectfully asked them: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?"
    – Polyhat
    Jul 16 at 13:08
  • By stating : "As a child, I was once left behind", young Jesus is limited to a normal human experience others can relate to. * Not recognizing his ability to know the future actions of his parents. Since we are not Jesus, our left behind experiences could not have been avoided. - Yet Jesus could have avoided being "left behind" by not keeping the future a secret from Mary. | Instead the lesson he teaches her at age 12 contradicts the lesson he teaches at age 30. Jul 16 at 13:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.