Why wasn't it a sin when Jesus

…stayed behind at the temple without telling his mother and Joseph? I would think that if an ordinary child did this, it would be at least venially sinful, if only because it was an inconsiderate thing to do.

Many people have come up with some very strong theories and musings on this. The one that caught my attention the most is that Jesus was 12. By Jewish law he could not have committed a sin, his age of culpability was 13.

Interesting theory, but it sounds pretty Jesuitical to me.

  • we have no evidence that he lied to his parents.
  • we have no evidence he disobeyed his parents.

A better question in my opinion would be. Why did the author of the gospel include this story? What point was the author trying to make? From the answers to those questions you might get some light shed on the situation.

You would probably do better with this thread in the Sacred Scripture section.

Interesting! Good thing he wasn’t Catholic! :slight_smile:

Sorry, if I misplaced it, the mods can move it.

Yes, but even if he didn’t lie or disobey his parents, he HAD to know that they would be worried sick, unless he honestly thought that they would know where he was.

Yet one of his parents did know where he was, he was doing his ‘Father’s will.’ He also seems to think when Mary shows up that she should have known that.

“And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business?”

He seemed to be saying, Why on earth where you worried? You should have known exactly where I was.

Doesn’t it say that after Jesus tells Mary and Joseph this, he left with them and then was obedient to them from then on? So, perhaps it does sort of imply he was not being obedient Interesting!

I’ll answer your question with a question: Why is it not a sin for you even to ponder this question, since both Holy Scripture and Catholic doctrine say clearly that Jesus was sinless and is sinless?

Why worry about the hypothetical sins of Jesus the Christ? Are you looking to find him less than perfect?

Why not look for your own sins. You probably have some, right?

Its a moral question as well, I just thought you might find a better answer to your question there :smiley:

I just look at it in the sense that God can not sin … therefore it wasn’t. He was being obedient to His true Father!

You have to remember also that Jesus retained an entirely human nature during his life on Earth, so unless you would consider it a sin for any other 12-y.o. to do this (which I wouldn’t), it wouldn’t be a sin for Jesus either. We also don’t know the specific circumstances.

I think it is a sin to question the authority of the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit and the Holy Son of the Living God. If Jesus had sin then we are all lost. A sinner cannot die and shed His Blood for the forgivness of sin. To question weather Jesus therefore is to question the Father who gave up His one and only Son for our sakes!

Shame on you. Saying a prayer for you.

I don’t think it’s a sin to ponder anything. I think you are looking for us trying to prove that God sinned. We are not. We are saying we know God didn’t sin, so let’s understand why this wasn’t a sin. We aren’t looking for how it could be a sin, but for why it isn’t, trusting that it isn’t and that there is an answer that we just aren’t seeing.

You can disagree with something, not because you don’t believe the church teaching on it, but because you just don’t understand. We aren’t saying the church is wrong. We are saying we don’t understand and WANT to understand.

Are you kidding me? I am in no way implying that Jesus was a sinner, nor am I questioning holy scripture. I am looking for an honest answer as to WHY this was not a sin! For Catholics, the age of reason is 7, the point at which you should know the difference. Etween right and wrong. For any NORMAL 12 year old child, disappearing for 3 days without telling your parents where you were going would clearly be wrong, and most 12 year olds would know better.

So the question remains: since we know that Jesus was sinless, WHY was this not a sin?


This is what I was thinking. Maybe he honestly thought they should know where He was? Also, I think this incident is foreshadowing of the 3 days Jesus would spend in the tomb, and a foreshadowing of the apostles and the Marys being unable to find Him there. Then too, He was “about His Father’s business” completing the work of the redemption of all mankind.

I’m reading the book THE LIFE OF CHRIST by Bishop Sheen, and just finished the section on Jesus’ childhood; this is what he writes on this topic:

But the Boy Jesus, unknown to His parents, stayed behind in Jerusalem. They, thinking that He was among their traveling companions, had gone a day’s journey before they missed Him. It was thus that Jesus was “lost” for three days. All through His infancy there was talk of “contradiction,” “swords,” “no room,” “exile,” “slaughter,” and now there was “loss.” in those three days, Mary came to know one of the effects of sin, namely, the loss of God. Though she was without sin, nevertheless she knew the fears and the loneliness, the darkness and the isolation which every sinner experiences when he loses God. It was kind of glorified hide-and-seek. He was hers; that was why she sought Him. He was on the business of redemption; that was why He left her and went to the temple. She had her dark night of the body in Egypt; she would now have her dark night of the soul in Jerusalem. Mothers must be trained to bear crosses. Not only her body, but also her soul would pay dearly for the privilege of behing His mother. She would later suffer another three-day loss from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. This first loss was part of her preparation.

That’s pretty intense.

Sheen goes on to explain that Jesus says, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). He was first and foremost tied to his Divine Father, rather either of his earthly parents.

And it’s a phenomenal book, for anyone interested. :thumbsup:

God, I love Bishop Sheen. He is always so eloquent.

I think Bishop Sheen explains it nicely. I was also thinking that it’s supposed to be a message to us as well to follow Him…we are supposed to follow Christ’s example and do our Father’s work (God’s work that He has made for us) even if it carries us apart from our earthly parents. Christ even says later that leaving [our earthly families] for His sake will be rewarded.

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