The Finding in the Temple

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Oil and Tempera, the Mische Technique, 2005
Collection of Christ the King's Priory, Tororo, Uganda

And the child grew and waxed strong, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. And his parents were wont to go every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to the practise of the feast; and when they had fulfilled the days and were returning the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and his parents knew it not. Thinking that he was in the caravan they came a day’s journey, and sought for him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances, and since they found him not, they returned to Jerulsalem in search of him. And it came to pass that after three days they found him in the temple, seated in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions. And all that heard him were amazed at his intelligence and his answers. And upon seeing him they were struck with wonder: and his mother said to him, “My child, why hast thou done so to us? Behold, thy father and I seek thee sorrowing?”
And he said unto them, “How is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must needs be in my Father’s house?” And they understood not the word which he spoke to them.

— Luke 2:40-50

The painting shows a symbolic encounter between Jesus and the teachers in the temple. He is trying to reveal a higher universe to them, and they are not yet ready to receive it. In the distance his parents are seeking him.