TWELVE YEARS OLDfrom Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
When twelve years old — At this age every Jewish boy was styled “a son of the law,” being put under a course of instruction and trained to fasting and attendance on public worship, besides being set to learn a trade. At this age accordingly our Lord is taken up for the first time to Jerusalem, at the passover season, the chief of the three annual festivals. But oh, with what thoughts and feelings must this Youth have gone up! Long ere He beheld it, He had doubtless “loved the habitation of God’s house and the place where His honor dwelt” (Psa_26:8), a love nourished, we may be sure, by that “word hid in His heart,” with which in afterlife He showed so perfect a familiarity. As the time for His first visit approached, could one’s ear have caught the breathings of His young soul, he might have heard Him whispering, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem!” (Psa_42:1; Psa_87:2; Psa_122:1, Psa_122:2). On catching the first view of “the city of their solemnities,” and high above all in it, “the place of God’s rest,” we hear Him saying to Himself, “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King: Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God doth shine” (Psa_48:2; Psa_50:2). Of His feelings or actions during all the eight days of the feast not a word is said. As a devout child, in company with its parents, He would go through the services, keeping His thoughts to Himself. But methinks I hear Him, after the sublime services of that feast, saying to Himself, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (Son_2:3, Son_2:4).