"(Jesus) said to them, 'Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?'"
There's only one story in the Bible about Jesus as a teenager. Only one. It's found in the gospel of Luke. (Note: Only Matthew & Luke even tell of Jesus' birth. Mark & John just jump right into his adult ministry. So obviously the gospel writers weren't too concerned with his "early years.") But we do have this one story.
The gist of the story is this: Jesus' family goes to Jerusalem for Passover when he's 12 years old. On their way home, Mary & Joseph realized that Jesus wasn't with the other kids in their group procession. He's lost!!! Frantic, it takes them 3 days to rush back & find him in the city. They discover him in the Temple in Jerusalem... sitting with the teachers & elders!
Jesus' response to his parents is classic. His folks are worried sick, and practically scold him in front of everyone about the thoughtlessness of his actions. He responds by wondering WHY they didn't know that he'd be "in my Father's house"? Another way of translating this passage would be "to be about my Father's interests"! It was a natural fit for Jesus. He thought it was obvious.
How frequently can we say this? Not simply that we spend a lot of time at church... but are we being about God's business in our lives? Or are we focusing on our interests & pursuits? Are we working to bring about God's realm & reign in our lives and the world? Or are we doing whatever WE want?
It looks like even 12-year-old Jesus has a lot to teach us.