Lesson 1 – Walking back to Jerusalem

Lesson 1 – Walking back to Jerusalem

LESSON 1: Walking Back to Jerusalem: Jesus as a Tween

Thesis:  From an early age, Jesus walked with God allowing him to grow in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and people.

Lesson Prep: Read the selection from the Wiersbe Commentary  and Talking Points to prepare for this lesson.

You can download a pdf of the Lesson 1 -Jesus as a Tween here.

Scripture:  Luke 2:39-52
39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first,44 because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.
45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what he meant.
51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart.
52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

Icebreaker sharing: (choose one of these questions to have the group share)

  • Describe a time that you were lost. How did it feel when you were lost? How about when you were found?
  • What is something stupid you did when you were 12 (or close to that age). How did your parents respond?


Opening Discussion: Childs starts Then and Now.

Use the photo gallery (https://www.accesshollywood.com/galleries/former-child-stars-then-now-1574) to discuss if these child actors grew to in in favor or out of favor. (feel free to use a different gallery or create a powerpoint with these pictures)



  • What kind of teenage do you think Jesus was?
  • How do you think he would have handled life in your high school?
  • What are some of the issues Jesus had to deal with as a teenager, that you deal with today?
  • What are some issues Jesus did not have to deal with, that current teens due?
  • How would Jesus have related to the issues you deal with every day?


Video: Jesus as a Teenager (www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfjMjvv7SZk)



Read Luke 2:39-52

ROLE PLAY: Mary and Joseph:

Divide group into pairs and have them be Mary and Joseph.  They will have a fictional conversation based on the following.

  • How would Mary and Joseph respond when Jesus is missing if they were your actual parents
    How would you respond to when Jesus is missing if you were Mary or Joseph.
  • How would Mary and Joseph respond after they found Jesus if they were your actual parents
    How would you respond after they found Jesus if you were Mary or Joseph.


ASK: Select a variety of study questions to guide your conversations. You may also want to use the Talking Points to add more depth.

  • What positive character traits of Jesus as a young man do you find in this passage?
  • How would you describe Jesus’ relationship with his parents from these verses?
  • Jesus was misunderstood by his parents, but obeyed them. On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard would that be for you?
  • What more do you learn about Mary and Joseph?
  • Why is Mary’s reaction in verse 48 at finding Jesus in the temple so understandable?
  • What does Jesus realize about his purpose that Mary does not understand?
  • Do you find Jesus’ response to his parents unexpected? (see quote below by NT Wright)
  • From this passage, what evidence can you gather that Jesus was a special person?
  • What does verse 52 tell us about Jesus? (use Out of Whack worksheet).



WORKSHEET: Out of Whack worksheet.


Hand out Out of Whack worksheet and have group members complete it.  Once they have completed it, discuss how they can grow in “wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and people.”

Here are some discussion questions:

  • If you really had wisdom, would you let any of the other three areas get out of balance?
  • Would God favor anyone who does not have wisdom?
  • Is one of these areas more or less important than the others?
  • How can this group help you grow in all four areas?