Have you ever misplaced one of your kids? Ever lose track of one or leave one behind? Have you ever had to go and search for one of your children?
WHEN THE KIDS WERE SMALL
On Sundays we took separate cars to church. I usually left early and the family came later. It was a good system and worked fine. But it wasn’t fine one Sunday when my wife drove home after church thinking our son was staying to ride with me. He didn’t. When I walked in without our twelve year old she looked at me, and said,
“Where is Derek, did you leave him behind?”
Fortunately, I knew where he was and wasn’t frantically searching for him. I drove back to the church and found him there in the Father’s house, eating lunch with a Life Group. He knew we would come back to get him.
Culturally, when a Jewish boy had learned the Torah, he was rewarded with his first trip to Jerusalem for Passover. That typically happened at age twelve. Jesus was twelve years old when he traveled south with his parents to the Temple.
Afterwards, while returning home, his parents realized at the end of the day that their son was missing, that he wasn’t with the caravan returning to Galilee. They left him behind. So, Mary and Joseph went to look for him, probably walking all night to reach Jerusalem by morning. Imagine the worry and fear they must have felt with every step.
THEY FOUND HIM
After searching for three days they found him in the temple courts, exchanging questions and answers with the Rabbis, who were amazed with the boy. But Mary and Joseph were less amazed and more exasperated. They were not happy with their first born child.
“Why have you treated us like this? We have been anxiously searching for you.”
“Why were you searching, didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
But they didn’t understand. They didn’t understand that for Jesus, to be in the temple was to be in his Father’s house, and to be about his Father’s business.
HIS FATHER’S BUSINESS
Before Jesus ascended back to God, there was a resurrection, an empty tomb, a cross. There were Bethlehem, Egypt and Nazareth. There were shepherds, wise men from the East and a violent, ruthless King. There was a virgin birth. All of which were his Father’s business.
His being left behind was upsetting to his parents. But Jesus was never lost and didn’t need anyone to seek or save him. He was only moving towards the day when he would be the one to seek and save the lost.
Day One of Twelve Days of Christmas