Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. Luke 2. 47
When the disciples jostled for position, Jesus did not stifle their ambition but he redirected it. Inviting a child to stand before them he said, in effect, "So you want to be great? Good! Channel that aspiration into becoming like this child - humble, trusting and full of wonder..."
Yet we should not assume that Jesus was inviting the disciples to become naive or ignorant. Earlier in his life Jesus had been that child. On his first visit to Jerusalem with his parents Jesus went missing. After three days of anxious searching Mary and Joseph found him at the temple wowing the authorities with his wisdom and knowledge. Perhaps the underlying message is: Do not underestimate anybody but be prepared to appreciate their gifts.
What a pity those same authorities did not appreciate the mature Jesus. Maybe they felt threatened and were more secure dealing with a child than a man? That too may instruct us: appreciating truth must not depend on our ability to control it but on our willingness to be shaped and directed by it.
Latha math dhuibh...