Sunday, December 30, 2018


It does appear that Jesus was just a wee bit disobedient in staying behind in Jerusalem, not telling His parents that He would and the insolent manner in which He addresses His blessed mother when she and Joseph find Jesus in the temple. And can we also recall the arrogant way in which Jesus spoke to His Mother when she told her Son "they have no more wine?"

Of course  2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us this:

God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

So, tell me about the homily you heard this morning. Was Jesus portrayed as a disobedient smart Alec or not?

Of course my post is to provoke thought because as the Church teaches, I believe that Jesus remained sinless throughout His life beginning with the age of reason. 

But I must admit as a child and teenager, it appeared to me that Jesus had a disobedient streak, which of course the Church teaches is a mortal sin. 

So how do you explain these passages from the Scriptures and just when did Jesus become sin so that we might become the righteousness of God? Could this becoming sin have been a gradual process (graduality) beginning with Jesus' escapade of absenting Himself from His Holy Family?


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

What seems to us today to be "insolence" is not.

First, we understand that the Scriptures give us, not a stenographer's exact recounting of what was said, but what the Gospel writers were inspired to write in order that we might know what God wants us to understand. Surely, God did not want us to think that Jesus was a sassy brat.

Second, addressing Mary as "Woman" at Cana - "Woman, what is it to me and to you?" or "Woman, what have I to do with you?" - was not unusual, though it sounds a little odd to us today. Jesus spoke this way also from the cross - "Woman, behold you son." It appears that this was not an inappropriate way of speaking.

Jesus, though He never sinned, took on our sinful nature and became the sacrificial lamb, the acceptable offering that was made to the Father on our behalf. To say that He "became sin" is a sort of Biblical short hand for "became a sin offering" as the sacrificial animals had been prior to His coming.

George said...

Jesus "took on" sin. He didn't become sin. As Father Kavanaugh says He "became a sin offering".

Christ, being the "unblemished lamb" and the perfect sacrifice, through His Passion and Death on the Cross, conquered both sin and death and rose again in glorious triumph on the morning of the New Day of Salvation. Jesus “gave Himself for us to redeem us” (Rom. 5:8) “the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (Titus 2:14).

One example that might help to understand this is an incident I read about where a soldier in combat fell on a grenade that had been tossed by an enemy soldier and which had landed among the men of the unit he was with. In doing this, he took on the force of the explosion, and by doing so, sacrificed his own life and spared or saved those around him.
While it is true that we are saved by the death of one man, that man being God, the merits of Christ's Perfect and Salvific Act accomplishes what no merely human sacrifice can.

rcg said...

Our Lord was remarkably consistent.

“And another said: I will follow thee, Lord; but let me first take my leave of them that are at my house. Jesus said to him: No man putting his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

John Nolan said...

I seem to recall that PF put his foot in it a few years back when he cast Our Lord as a rebellious teenager and even suggested that he apologized to Mary and Joseph. However, according to his crony Rosica PF is 'free from disordered attractions' and not bound by Scripture and Tradition.

Surely the point is that Jesus was obeying his Father in heaven. According to St Luke neither Joseph nor Mary understood this at the time, but Mary pondered his words in her heart and eventually came to understand.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that with all the number of people who were in Jerusalem at the time for the feast of Passover, Jesus got lost among the crowd. I know that one time, back when I was a teenager, one of my younger brothers got lost among the crowds at the State fair. Thankfully, someone noticed that he was wandering unattended and subsequently he was reunited with us. The same thing could have easily happened in the case of Jesus. Except that the caravan back to Nazareth had long left the station. Making the decision to go to the Temple was a smart move on His part, figuring that His parents would eventually look there.
Of course, Mary's reaction in finding Jesus, "Son, why have you done this to us? your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." tells us there is more to this story.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous, that is a truly original take on Luke's account. You no doubt subscribe to the Bergoglio school of exegesis. Any more pearls of wisdom? You could have great fun with the Nativity story.