Thursday, May 7, 2009

Parallels Between Luke 2 & 24

N. T. Wright, in his book The Resurrection of the Son of God, points out some interesting parallels (pp. 650-651) between the account of Jesus' appearance to the Emmaus disciples (Luke 24:13-35) and the story of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-51).
Another Passover, another Jerusalem visit: a couple beginning their journey away from Jerusalem, discovering (in chapter 2) that Jesus was not with them, or (in chapter 24) that he was, but unrecognized. Mary and Joseph hurry back to the city, like Cleopas and his companion but with a very different mood. They search in vain for three days (2:46), the parallel to which hardly needs pointing out. When they find the boy Jesus, his quizzical reply echoes down through the gospel story to the response of the unrecognized Jesus to the two on the road. "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that it was necessary for me to be among my father's affairs?" (2:49); and then, at last, "Foolish ones, slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?" (24:25-26). The tired, anxious couple in the Temple are matched by the sad, disappointed couple on the road. Mary and Joseph discover Jesus, only to be confronted with a strange word about divine necessity; Cleopas and his companion, hearing the strange word about divine necessity, sit down to eat and discover that it was Jesus all along.