Luke 2: Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.  And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom.  And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,  but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances,  and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.  After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.  And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.”  And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.  And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
Luke 2:49 – Jesus expected His parents to understand what He was doing and why. This is not the only time we see Jesus being surprised at the ignorance of people regarding who He is and what He is about. See John 3:10 and Luke 24:25. It seems that Jesus expected people to know their Bibles better than they did.
In the case of His parents it could possibly relate to what they have been told regarding who He is, the circumstances of His birth, the things they have already seen in the first twelve years of His life, things He has said. All of these and more should have given a little more understanding to His parents.
How culpable does this make us? We have the whole completed canon of Scripture. We have two thousand years of church history. We have the great writings of the world’s greatest theologians at our fingertips. In the west we have almost unlimited resources coupled with the freedom to worship. Our ignorance of Jesus and what He is all about should embarrass us.
Sadly, we have the concept promoted and believed by many that the Bible is a “how-to” manual for handling the calamities of life or for ensuring good marriages, good money management, getting large churches etc. instead of a Book about knowing God.
We have the idea that education is a detriment to sound spirituality. There are those who vaunt ignorance and while promoting direct revelations from God as the norm. They are not. Jesus expects us to know our Bibles. His parents had far better reasons than we do for their lack of understanding.
To whom much is given much is required and we have been given a great, great deal. Let us not be satisfied with a cursory knowledge of the Bible and what it tells us regarding God and man and salvation and life in Christ. We do so at our own peril and it need not be so.
How good and gracious God has been to us in giving us so much that can help us in our quest to know Him. They will all be useless of course if the Holy Spirit does not open our hearts and minds. But if we are truly His, then He will help and guide us. It is an immense privilege to be able to open this Book. Let us do so with great joy and expectation.