bible story

The Boy Jesus In The Temple

Spoken By The Supreme Master Ching Hai,
Hsihu Center, Formosa

July 8, 1990 (Originally In Chinese)

Do you know why Jesus Christ was so famous? Because He was an enlightened Master! An enlightened master is a great person who has wisdom. Jesus was born in heaven, and then helped people when He grew up -- with respect to their souls, not money. Jesus Christ didn't have money, but He had great virtues and wisdom. Therefore, He was loved by many.

As He was growing up; His parents loved Him deeply. He was good at learning anything and was benevolent, so many people loved Him. God also loved Him. He looked very dignified and was very clever.

Every year His so-called parents, Joseph and Mary, went to Jerusalem for the Jewish holy festival (Passover). During this festival, they would say prayers of gratitude to God to thank Hirm for helping the Jews, life after life, since ancient times; especially for delivering them from slavery in Egypt. Therefore, once a year they would hold a celebration to thank the inner God and the inner Master. They must have had an enlightened master then. Jesus was twelve years old and was more than happy to accompany His parents. There they would celebrate an exciting, delightful and boisterous festive day.

When it was time to go home, His parents, Joseph and Mary, prepared to return. Assuming their child was either in front of or behind the group of travellers, they didn't notice that Jesus was not with them. Usually children seldom stay close to their parents; they either walk in the front or behind. In the evening, they discovered that Jesus was missing. They started to search among their friends and others for Jesus, only twelve years old, where could He have gone? Joseph and Mary were so worried that they couldn't sleep the whole night.

Early the next morning, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Jesus. After a whole day of searching, they finally found Him. Guess where He was found? (A: The temple.) Right! In the temple! They eventually found Him in the temple, sitting among the spiritual practitioners asking the teachers and priests about spiritual practice, about God's law and about morality, which were things adults discussed. Everyone there was so amazed and delighted to see a twelve-year-old child having such intense interest in spirituality, so respectful toward God and with the ability to ask so many intelligent questions.

As you know, if we are not intelligent enough, we may not be able to ask a question even if we have one. Just like when you are in the school, the teacher may ask you: "Do you understand? Any questions? Then, some ask very clever questions, but some ask stupid questions. Jesus Christ was not stupid; He asked very clever questions, so everyone was amazed and delighted.

I Must Be In My Father's House

When His parents found Him, His mother, Mary, asked Him, "Child, why have you done this to us? Why did you leave without saying a word? We have been so worried that we couldn't sleep. She reproached Him just like your parents would if you were not behaving well, or when they found you after you had been missing. Usually the mother has more to say. As His mother began to chide Him, Jesus seemed surprised at what she was saying. He thought His mother shouldn't question Him like that, so instead of answering her, He asked, "Why didn't you know that I would be here? You should have known that I would be in my Father's house! He meant the temple. He was amazed and asked His mother, "Did you not know that I would be in my Father's house? Mary and Joseph didn't know how to answer His questions. Perhaps they were not as enlightened as Jesus was.

Parents are not necessarily more clever than their children. Very often this is the case. Some children are geniuses; they are already great when they are only ten, seven or four years old. They can ask many questions that their parents could never answer. At that time, they had forgotten that Jesus was not an ordinary child and that His father is God. God only borrowed their bodies to give birth to Jesus, and to bring Him up for a certain time; they were not really Jesus' true parents. Nevertheless, Jesus went home with them, and was obedient and nice to them just like He used to be.

Why was Jesus Christ so interested in the temple and God's teachings? Do you children know the answer? (A: I know.) What do you know? (A: It was because He is the son of God!) The son of God, right! It was because He is the son of God! He had this enlightenment when He was born. He had practiced spirituality for many lifetimes, and He is the son of God.

I would like to ask you another question. If He is the son of God, then who are you? (A: Human beings!) So you are human beings! Who do you think you are? (A: We are spiritual practitioners.) You are spiritual practitioners, at least you are slightly better than him. You are initiated and he is not. Correct! We are spiritual practitioners, not bad!

Is there anyone who has any different ideas? Who are we? (A: Sons of God!) Sons of God? Who is that? Who dared to say this? Show your face and let me see you. So you are the son of God. When did Hes tell you? (A: We are all God's children. As human beings were created by God, so we are God's children. That was what Master told us.)

So it was my words. (Master and everyone laugh.) There is no point in quoting my words. I thought you realized it yourself. All right, if we are all God's children, then why are we different from Jesus Christ? (A: It was a different time and we are of a different race.) You are too enlightened. Since we are from a different race, should we reincarnate as Jews to become God's children. What do you mean by different races? Didn't you just say that we are all God's children? (A: They were from a race different from the Chinese.)

We Are All God's Children

We are all God's children, sons of God. However, some of us are obedient and some are not. There may be three or four children in a family born of the same parents, but some are obedient and some are naughty, some are clever and some are not. Some are pretty, but some are ugly. Some are disabled, and some are even mentally retarded. They are born of the same parents, who did not discriminate when they gave birth to the children. They would not make the decision of wanting one child to be born wiser than the other. And, when they have another baby, they could not say, "Wow! I dislike this baby even before he is born. I want him to look ugly. "No parents would have such thoughts. Parents give birth to children and love them wholeheartedly. Nonetheless, some children are ugly, some are pretty; some are obedient, some are naughty; some are stupid, some are clever. All the same, we are God's children, not only Jesus Christ. It was only because He had already recognized His Father, so He could say with confidence, "I know who my Father is."

We are separated from our parents, severed from our Father. So we don't recognize Hirm. The truth is, we are all the same. We have the same status as Jesus Christ, no difference at all. He was very diligent because He deeply missed His Father -- the real Father, the God in the Heavenly Kingdom -- so He persistently pleaded with God, His real Father, to show Him where Hes is and reveal to Him Their true relationship. However, we don't miss our Father. All the time, we only miss our worldly friends and relatives. Since we don't long for our true parents, they cannot force us to think about them, nor could they appear to us. We are too busy to think about them. Why are we so busy? Because we are engaged in worldly matters, fame and wealth, all kinds of things, and in taking care of our so-called friends and relatives in this world.

In this story, Jesus Christ didn't say: "You are my parents." He really knew that He is the son of God, so He told His parents: "How could you not know that I would be in my Father's home working for Him?" He had this realization when He was only twelve. He knew who He was. He knew the power of the Creator, but He didn't understand the ephemeral human relations and emotions. He didn't recognize the ephemeral human feelings. Well! Jesus Christ realized this when He was twelve, and He admitted that His true relationship is with God. However, He was still filial to His parents and continued to be an obedient child.

So, our children who pursue spiritual practice should do the same. We know that the world is ephemeral, and that we are related to our friends and relatives by karma only. We know our true parent is the Creator. However, while in this world, we still have to be obedient and respect the elderly, our parents and teachers, and love all our friends and relatives, just like what Jesus Christ did." If Jesus Christ respected His parents, we should do the same, and even more so! He knew that His father is God, the Most High, yet He still fulfilled His obligations to the world. We should do the same, and even more so, since we have yet to attain this realization!

 


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