How can you lose Jesus?
Not another like him, number seven.
We were shopping for hardware for doors, walking up and back the vast aisles at Home Depot. I suddenly realized I did not see three-year-old Dylan anywhere. We frantically searched up and down the aisles, enlisting the help of others, employees locking down the exit door. After what seemed like an eternity, someone opened a door display and found him tightly tucked into the doorframe completely out of sight. [Big sigh]. Most parents remember similar frightening moments of losing a child, but can you imagine if that child was Jesus? Can you imagine losing Jesus?
Faith-filled Jewish parents, Mary and Joseph, had traveled in a caravan from Nazareth to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, the remembrance of how God had passed over the firstborn Israeli sons, while they were slaves in Egypt. The Jewish people have annually remembered the miraculous ways God redeemed them over their long history--Passover chief among such holy days.
As the large caravan started home to Nazareth, Joseph and Mary realized Jesus was not anywhere to be found among the children, so they turned around and went back to Jerusalem. [Can you imagine what they were saying to each other? They knew they were raising the Messiah in their home . . . what must God be thinking of them?!] It is easy to see how it happened though - the women and children tended to travel together in these caravans, the men taking up the rear. Undoubtedly, Mary thought Jesus was with Joseph, while Joseph thought Jesus was with Mary and the other children.
Luke writes “After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2.46-52
First, what we learn - this is the only biblical account of Jesus as a child, and it captures the first words of Jesus.
Second, this is the last we see or hear of his earthly father Joseph.
Third, we recognize the humanity of Jesus as well as what was surely the faithfulness of his parents to train him up in the scriptures, but perhaps Jesus longed for deeper things than the pair could teach him.
Jesus was fully God, fully man … yet a boy, at this point, though he would soon be the age of maturity as a Jewish male. There is a mystery about Jesus’ knowledge of the things of God--what he knew when-- but clearly there was a desire to know more and a desire to discuss and learn from those who were steeped in the scriptures.
The scene must have been unusual and sure would have been cool to be an onlooker; Luke describes that everyone who heard Jesus was amazed at his understanding and his answers. Even his parents were amazed, though Jesus explained ‘he had to be in his Father’s house.’
Couple things - young people today have a desire to know about God, and at 12, they have the aptitude to grasp so much. Huh, last week my neighbor Julie asked me to mend something for her on my sewing machine. When I dropped it off, she gestured to her 17-year-old son and said, ‘hey Jordan went to church with a couple friends last week.’ So I turned and asked him a little about it; might have been incentivized by a pretty young filly who attends a Catholic church, so they went with her. ‘But this next week, I’m going to the Mormon church,’ he volunteered. Huh, no filly involved, so he is clearly curious.
That was my experience leading Fellowship of Christian Athletes at a large Southern California high school; young people want to know about God. Parents think ‘I will let them choose their own path to God;’ I know, I heard many say it. But how can they choose when they cannot drive themselves and by the way, what if they choose something false? I saw so many 15 and 16 year olds come to FCA because they were hungry to know about Jesus.
As I read these few short verses about Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem, I sense an urgency in him. Seems like you and I ought have a similar urgency to be in the Father’s house today, doesn’t it?
To be in the presence of God
with the people of God
learning from the Word of God
and lifting up our worship to God …
there is nothing else like it in our culture, Friends.
Nothing ought keep us away!
Going to church is a privilege I never take for granted~