Today’s Gospel in Art – They found it in the Temple, sitting among the doctors


Christ among the Doctors by Master of the Catholic Monarchs © National Gallery of Art, Washington

Source: Christian art

Gospel of June 12, 2021 – Luke 2: 41-51

Every year, Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve, they went up to the feast as usual. As they returned home after the feast, the baby Jesus remained in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day of traveling that they went to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances. Having failed to find him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him everywhere.

Three days later, they found him in the temple, sitting among the doctors, listen to them and ask them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. They were shocked when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I were about you.

“Why were you looking for me?” ” he has answered. “Did you not know that I have to take care of my Father’s business? But they didn’t understand what he meant.

He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. Her mother stores all these things in her heart.

Reflection on painting

The artist in the painting we are looking at today is simply called “The Master of the Catholic Monarchs”. Since artists did not really sign their works in the Middle Ages, it is sometimes not known exactly who executed the paintings. Scholars then assign and group together paintings that are by the same anonymous hand and come up with a virtual “artist name”. Eight paintings are known to be painted by “The Master of the Catholic Monarchs”. Artist signatures did not appear until the early Renaissance, when artistic production shifted from a cooperative guild system to an emphasis on individual creativity. What better way to tell the world who made the work than to put your signature on the work.

Our painting is a beautiful representation of our Gospel passage where Saint Luke describes how Mary and Joseph ‘found Jesus in the Temple, sitting among the doctors’. Look at the fingers of Jesus: one finger of each hand pointing towards each other and touching: fully divine and fully human natures are one in Christ. The colorful marble columns and the tiled floor are particularly nicely rendered.

In this Gospel passage we also have the first recorded words of Jesus: ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I have to take care of my Father’s business?‘Luke then said that Mary and Joseph did not quite understand their Son’s answer… In a way, it could be like nowadays parents of teenagers do not quite understand what their sons are. or girls say. The Gospel continues to describe how much they loved their Son and continued to uplift him… preparing him for what was to come…


Today’s story –
Christian art –

Keywords: Christian art, Patrick van der Vorst

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