Musée des Beaux-Arts, Arras, France/Giraudon/Art Resource, NY

Jesus’ precocious wisdom shines forth in “Christ Among the Doctors,” by French artist Auguste Theodule Ribot (1823–1891). The historical event behind the first test of Jesus—the challenge to turn stone into bread—may have involved circumstances in which Jesus was compelled to make a choice, not between good and evil, but between lesser and greater goods. In the account of the finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41–51a), the bonds of filial piety are outweighed by Jesus’ need to “be about my father’s business.” That is why the 12-year-old Jesus abandons his parents, remaining in Jerusalem to engage the doctors in the Temple. Jesus thus proved that his heart was undivided, entirely devoted to following the will of God. In the accompanying article, Murphy-O’Connor suggests incidents from the life of Jesus that underlay the tests he faced from the devil.