“After three days,
They found him
In the Temple.
Listening to them
And asking them questions.”
καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ ἡμέρας τρεῖς εὗρον αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ καθεζόμενον ἐν μέσῳ τῶν διδασκάλων καὶ ἀκούοντα αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπερωτῶντα αὐτούς·
Good news! Luke said that Joseph and Mary found Jesus after 3 days (καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ ἡμέρας τρεῖς). That probably means that he was found on the 3rd day since they traveled one day out and one day back on their journey. These 3 days will play an important role in the resurrection story, because Jesus will rise from the dead after 3 days. Thus, the distress of these parents will be like the distress of the disciples of Jesus after his death. The parents of Jesus found him in the Temple (εὗρον αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ), just like the women who found the empty tomb on the 3rd day. Jesus, the 12-year-old was sitting in the middle or among the Temple masters or teachers (καθεζόμενον ἐν μέσῳ τῶν διδασκάλων), experts in the Jewish religion and traditions. He was both listening to them (καὶ ἀκούοντα αὐτῶν) and asking them questions (καὶ ἐπερωτῶντα αὐτούς). Nothing had been mentioned about his prior schooling in Nazareth, if there was any. Had he been trained at the local synagogue in Nazareth?
“Jesus said to them.
Who has been trained
For the kingdom of heaven is
Like the master of a household.
He brings out of his treasure
What is new
And what is old.’”
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Διὰ τοῦτο πᾶς γραμματεὺς μαθητευθεὶς τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ ὅστις ἐκβάλλει ἐκ τοῦ θησαυροῦ αὐτοῦ καινὰ καὶ παλαιά.
Only Matthew has this parable about the trained scribe with his new and old treasures. Jesus said to his disciples (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that all the scribes are trained disciples for the kingdom of heaven (Διὰ τοῦτο πᾶς γραμματεὺς μαθητευθεὶς τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν). Matthew seems to be more positive to the Jewish scribes than to the Jewish Pharisees. This implies that a trained scribe in the Old Testament law had become a disciple of Jesus. Thus, like the master of a household (ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ), he brought some things that were new and others that were old from his treasure (ὅστις ἐκβάλλει ἐκ τοῦ θησαυροῦ αὐτοῦ καινὰ καὶ παλαιά). The reference to old and new indicates that Matthew thought that the old covenant was still in effect, but that there would be new things for the early Christians on top of the old Torah.
“They do not cry to me
From the heart.
But they wail
Upon their beds.
They gash themselves
They rebel against me.
I trained them.
Yet they devise evil
They turn to Baal,
A useless unprofitable god.
They have become
Like a defective bow.
By the sword,
Because of the rage
Of their tongues.
So much for babbling
In the land of Egypt.”
The Israelites were not crying out to Yahweh from their hearts. Instead they were weeping and wailing in their own beds. They gashed themselves that had been forbidden by the law of Moses, hoping for grain and wine. They had rebelled against Yahweh. Yet it was Yahweh who had trained them and strengthened their arms. However, they continually devised evil against Yahweh, turning to the useless Baal gods. They had become defective bows that could not shoot arrows. Thus, their officials would fall by the sword. Their raging tongues sent them babbling to the Egyptians.
The daughter of Hilkiah,
A very beautiful woman,
Who feared the Lord.
Her parents were righteous.
They had trained
According to the law of Moses.”
This Joakim married a woman named Susanna. Thus, this story is more about the wife of Joakim, Susanna, than about him. Susanna, the lily, was very beautiful. But more important, she was one who feared the Lord. She was also the daughter of Hilkiah, whose name meant that the Lord was my portion. Both of Susanna’s parents were righteous people. They had trained her and brought her up according to the Law of Moses. In other words, she was a faithful Israelite from strong Israelite parents.
A psalm of David
“Blessed be Yahweh!
He trains my hands for war.
He trains my fingers for battle.
I take refuge in him.
He subdues the peoples under me.”
Psalm 144 is a psalm of David as he prepared for a battle in a war. Yahweh was to be blessed because he was the rock of David. He trained his hands and fingers for war and its battles. Yahweh was his fortress, his stronghold, his deliverer, his shield, and his refuge. Yahweh would subdue the various people for David.
“What Judas Maccabeus saw was this. Onias, who had been high priest, was a noble and good man of modest bearing and gentle manner. He spoke fittingly. He had been trained from childhood in all that belongs to excellence. He was praying with outstretched hands for the whole body of the Jews. Then in the same fashion another appeared, distinguished by his gray hair and dignity. He had a marvelous majesty and authority. Onias spoke, saying.
‘This is a man who loves the family of Israel.
He prays much for the people and the holy city.
He is Jeremiah, the prophet of God.’
Jeremiah stretched out his right hand. He gave to Judas Maccabeus a golden sword. As he gave it he addressed him thus.
‘Take this holy sword,
As a gift from God,
With which you will strike down your adversaries.’”
Judas Maccabeus revealed his dream about the noble and good Onias who had been the Jerusalem high priest in the 3rd century BCE. In fact, there were other high priests with the same name related to him. This high priest Onias was a modest and a gentle person, who had been trained since childhood in excellence. He prayed with outstretched hands for the Jews. However, right beside Onias was a distinguished dignified gray haired man. In fact, Onias introduced him as Jeremiah the great prophet of God who loved Israel and prayed for its people and its holy city. Then Jeremiah, this great prophet, extended his hand to Judas Maccabeus to give him a holy golden sword so that he could strike down his adversaries. This was taken as a sign that Judas would be successful.
“At daybreak, Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men. However, they did not have armor and swords as much as they desired. They saw the camp of the gentiles, strong and fortified, with cavalry all around it. These men were trained in war. But Judas said to those who were with him.
‘Do not fear their numbers!
Do not be afraid when they charge!
Remember how our ancestors were saved at the Red Sea.
When Pharaoh with his forces pursued them?
Now let us cry to heaven,
To see whether he will favor us
Whether he will remember his covenant with our ancestors?
Will he crush this army before us today?
Then all the gentiles will know
That there is one who redeems and saves Israel.’”
Judas appeared on the plain with 3,000 of his men that did not have armor or swords. They saw the camp of Gorgias with the cavalry surrounding it. Judas then encouraged his troops. He told them not to fear the numbers of the enemy. He told them to remember what happened at the Red Sea when Pharaoh was pursuing their ancestors. He wanted them to cry to heaven to seek the favor of God. Notice he always speaks about heaven and not the God of their ancestors. God would remember his covenant with them and thus redeem and save Israel from the gentiles.