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Sermon by The Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "."
Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh again provide helpful comment on why this one and only reference to Jesus' childhood appears in Luke who is writing for an educated Greek-Roman audience:
(Ancient) biographies usually featured one childhood incident that was taken to foreshadow the character of the adult. ... (Such honourific biographies will) comment on education, nurture, and quality of mind.
Page 234, see footnote below.
This passage from Luke provides this testimony about Jesus.
Exodus 12:1-27 and Deuteronomy 16:1-8 command the annual observance of the Passover in Jerusalem. We learn from Luke that Jesus' parents nurtured him properly by observing this ritual as required "every year."
We also learn from Luke that at the age of 12, Jesus separates himself from his blood family. Twelve is the year of preparation for "coming of age" from boyhood to manhood in Jewish tradition. At this age, a boy moves from the private sphere and influence of his mother to the public sphere of men.