Christmas 1 - Year C
Note the change between verse 46 and 47.
In verse 46 Jesus is listening and asking questions. In verse 47 he evidences some understanding and is answering questions.
There is a sense in which every question contains and idea, an answer, and so there isn't much difference here. We could be looking at an example of parallelism.
We may also be looking at teaching to the test - all that matters is getting a certain percentage of currently correct answers. One way around this is to focus on responses, not answers. Responses help set a context and keep an openness to new information.
However, this is more likely to be the beginning of Jesus' loyal opposition to the state of affairs within the religious community of his time and space. As such, the questions of verse 46 have a definite priority over the answers of verse 47.
Those questions of Jesus are not restricted to a religious sphere. They expand to his parents and by extension will go to the political rulers as well. They even extend to your life and mine. "Why would you search for me?", asks Jesus. "Where have you looked and to what avail?"
More and more folks are searching for G*D stuff anywhere but in church. This is probably attributable to the church's reliance upon verse 47 and the giving of answers that no longer meet up with the questions being put to it by its loyal opposition or outsiders. May we get back to Jesus and ask questions of today's religious bodies. If they can't take it, they will fade while the questioners will increase in wisdom and in years.
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Speaking of loyal opposition, a book by that title is still a valuable read.