From Heaven With Love


Chapter 8—The Passover Visit

This chapter is based on Luke 2:41-51.

Among the Jews the twelfth year was the dividing line between childhood and youth. In accordance with this custom, Jesus made the Passover visit to Jerusalem with Joseph and Mary when He reached the required age. HLv 45.1

The journey from Galilee occupied several days, and travelers united in large companies for companionship and protection. The women and aged men rode on oxen or asses over the steep, rocky roads. The stronger men and youth journeyed on foot. The whole land was bright with flowers, and glad with the song of birds. Along the way, fathers and mothers recounted to their children the wonders that God had wrought for His people in ages past, and beguiled their journey with song and music. HLv 45.2

Observance of the Passover began with the birth of the Hebrew nation. On the last night of their bondage in Egypt, God directed the Hebrews to gather their families within their own dwellings. Having sprinkled the doorposts with the blood of the slain lamb, they were to eat the lamb, roasted, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. “It is the Lord's passover.” Exodus 12:11. At midnight all the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain. Then the Hebrews went out from Egypt an independent nation. From generation to generation the story of this wonderful deliverance was to be repeated. HLv 45.3

The Passover was followed by the seven days’ feast of unleavened bread. All the ceremonies of the feast were types of the work of Christ. The slain lamb, the unleavened bread, the sheaf of first fruits, represented the Saviour. But with most of the people in the days of Christ, this feast had degenerated into formalism. But what was its significance to the Son of God! HLv 45.4

For the first time the child Jesus looked upon the temple. He saw the white-robed priests performing their solemn ministry, the bleeding victim on the altar of sacrifice. He witnessed the impressive rites of the paschal service. Day by day He saw their meaning more clearly. Every act seemed bound up with His own life. New impulses were awakening within Him. Silent and absorbed, He seemed to be studying out a great problem. The mystery of His mission was opening to the Saviour. HLv 46.1

Rapt in contemplation of these scenes, when the paschal services ended, He lingered in the temple courts, and when the worshipers departed from Jerusalem, He was left behind. HLv 46.2

In this visit the parents of Jesus wished to bring Him in connection with the great teachers in Israel. They hoped He might be led to reverence the learned rabbis, and give more heed to their requirements. But Jesus in the temple had been taught by God. That which He had received, He began at once to impart. HLv 46.3

An apartment connected with the temple was devoted to a sacred school. Here the child Jesus came, seating Himself at the feet of the learned rabbis. As one seeking for wisdom, He questioned these teachers in regard to the prophecies and to events then taking place that pointed to the advent of the Messiah. HLv 46.4

His questions suggested deep truths, long obscured, which were vital to salvation. While showing how narrow and superficial was the wisdom of the wise men, every question placed truth in a new aspect. The rabbis spoke of the wonderful elevation which the Messiah's coming would bring to the Jews; but Jesus presented the prophecy of Isaiah and asked the meaning of those scriptures that point to the suffering and death of the Lamb of God. See Isaiah 53. HLv 46.5

The doctors turned on Him with questions and were amazed at His answers. With the humility of a child He gave the words of Scripture 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; and when Jesus began His ministry, many would have been prepared to receive Him. HLv 47.1

In this thoughtful Galilean boy the rabbis discerned great promise. They wanted to have charge of His education; a mind so original must be brought under their molding. HLv 47.2

The words of Jesus moved their hearts as they had never before been moved by words from human lips. God was seeking to give light to those leaders. If Jesus had appeared to be trying to teach them, they would have disdained to listen. But they flattered themselves that they were teaching Him—or at least testing His knowledge of the Scriptures. The youthful modesty and grace of Jesus disarmed their prejudices. Their minds opened to the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit spoke to their hearts. HLv 47.3

They could see that their expectation of the Messiah was not sustained by prophecy, but they would not admit that they had misapprehended the Scriptures they claimed to teach. HLv 47.4