Updated: Jul 26, 2021
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INTRODUCTION. The only episode in the Bible regarding the childhood of Jesus is recorded by Luke. When Jesus was twelve years old, He and his parents went to Jerusalem to observe the Passover Feast.
The Passover Feast was celebrated each year by the Jews to commemorate the night the Lord passed over the houses of the Israelites and slew the firstborn of the Egyptians (Ex. 12:1-14). Immediately following the Passover Feast, the Jews observed a seven day festival of unleavened bread. The unleavened bread was a re- minder of the first days of their journey out of Egypt when they ate this unleavened bread of affliction and haste (Ex. 12:15-20; Deut. 16:3).
Every Jewish male was required to go to Jerusalem each year to observe the Passover and two other feasts (Ex. 23:14-17). However, as the Jews became scattered throughout the world, it became almost impossible to make the long pilgrimage three times each year. Devout Jews tried to attend at least the Passover. Although women were not required to attend, many did as an expression of their piety. Friends and relatives generally traveled to and from the feast together for pleasure and safety. As Joseph and Mary were godly people, they journeyed the seventy miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem to observe the Passover Feast.