Day 97: Encounters with Jesus – Luke 2:41-50, by Nicole Snead


I am always intrigued by this passage of Scripture. Jewish law required that males attend the feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. At the age of 12, a Jewish boy becomes a ‘Son of the Law’ and begins to observe the requirements of the Law. I appreciate that this was part of the tradition in which Jesus was raised, and as a family they were clearly present at this significant occasion.

However, verse 47 compels me to search and grasp this encounter with Jesus. It states that, “All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.” Those who encountered the boy Jesus, who was on the cusp of manhood, were overwhelmed by His discerning nature. You see, He had been sitting and listening to the teachers for three days. Jesus was able to put together answers, ask questions and also use developed reasoning and critical thinking skills.

So today, all these years later, what does God have to say to His people through this passage? For me, it gives me assurance that it is okay to ask questions. It is okay to explore and listen to others in our individual journey of faith, as long as Jesus is in the midst of the dialogue. It is the outcome of our dialogue, our shared learning, listening and searching, that we are stronger and more grounded in our faith because Jesus has been there as our teacher the whole time. This is how I want to encounter Jesus – someone who listens, someone who teaches me, and asks me questions but also has the answers I need as well. As a result, I continue to be astounded and amazed by what I see, and His ability to discern and clearly see into the situation brings me great comfort.

“Three days later they found Him in the house of God. He was sitting among the teachers. He was hearing what they said and asking questions. All those who heard Him were surprised and wondered about His understanding and at what He said.”

Luke 2:46-47 (NLV)


  • Are you able to sit with others, both listening and asking questions?
  • Can you point to situations in your life, or others, where Jesus has demonstrated complete understanding? Does it amaze you?
  • What can The Salvation Army learn by listening and asking questions?



Father, we thank You that by Your example, You encourage us to sit with others and explore this life of faith and what it means to live it out every day. Help us to continue to learn from, as well as listen to, those we trust around us. Continue to reveal Your knowledge and grace to us, so that we can do the same with others. Amen.

Captain Nicole Snead is serving with her husband Johnmark as the Divisional Youth, Children and Candidates Secretary in the Tasmania Division. She is also Chaplain at McCombe House, a Salvation Army crisis accommodation centre for women and children. Nicole and Johnmark have two fabulous children, and Nicole enjoys cooking, reading, running, shopping, and spending time with her family and friends.

  • David Woodbury
    Posted at 06:47h, 28 December Reply

    Life in the kingdom of God is a shared and participatory experience. Not only was Jesus a recipient of God’s grace but he was also the channel through which grace would flow to all humanity. The whole of his ministry was a giving ministry, sharing this grace with all who would receive it. Herein is a valuable lesson to all who follow the kingdom lifestyle. Grace is never a static or inert thing; it is given to be given away, and this is evident in the life of Jesus. We can never be reservoirs simply storing grace for our own personal use; rather we are a channel through which the grace of God needs to flow to others.

    Paul recognises that the grace bestowed upon him was not just for him but to be shared with others in his ministry (Ephesians 3:1-7 – NKJV); “the grace of God which was given to me for you”. He realises that he is to be a channel of grace for non-Jewish Christians. So committed is Paul to being this channel of grace that he sees himself as the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, knowing God has chosen him as the pipeline.

    Living a Christian life requires a supernatural energy – the attributes necessary for Christian living do not and cannot come from human resources – they can only be accessed by those who have an energy and resource beyond themselves – grace, God’s grace. Through grace, we are not only brought to penitence and surrender, and find forgiveness, but we are also daily empowered by the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. When God, through is Holy Spirit, imparts his grace into our lives we need to not only experience and use it for our own journey, we must also become channels of God’s grace, receiving his grace, living by his grace and ministering his grace to others.

  • Kevin HOlland (Major)
    Posted at 17:14h, 28 December Reply

    One Hundred Days of Shared Scripture

    DAY 097: Encounters with Jesus — Luke 2:41-50

    “Three days later they found Him in the house of God. He was sitting among the teachers. He was hearing what they said and asking questions. All those who heard Him were surprised and wondered about His understanding and at what He said.” Luke 2:46-47 (NLV)

    An encounter with Jesus has power to change the future.

    Some of the men who were so impressed with him at his first Passover would most likely have been in the crowd that later turn against him to demand his death.

    We must ask ourselves, “Is this an encounter that leads to eternal life or eternal death?”

    The determining factor depends on the choices we make.

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