It is amazing what people will accept as fact simply because someone wrote a book and included their beliefs on any particular subject.  This is true, even of the life of Christ.  Not much is recorded about the youth of Jesus, outside the apocryphal books, and if one wants information on the childhood of Jesus, most of what is needed can be found in chapter two of Luke’s gospel.  In our Sunday school days, we have all studied this text on a number of occasions and while the amount of information is limited, the lessons we can take from it are many.

In the latter part of this text we are made aware of Jesus sense of mission in that we see Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of teachers “both listening to them, and asking them questions.”  What I would like to share with you now is what happened that led up to this moment.  Joseph, Mary and Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Passover and after the full number of days their caravan began to journey back to their homes.  Sometime during the first day of travel it became known to Joseph and Mary that Jesus was not with them in the caravan.  The text tells us “the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.” 

The question that begs to be answered is just who left who, and who went searching?  Jesus was where He was left, with His Father, in His Father’s house.  Joseph and Mary on the other hand were elsewhere, away from Jesus, going their own way, until they realized their situation and began to search for Him.  Many, today are under the misconception that God has abandoned them, while He is right where He should be, waiting for us to return to Him.  Joseph and Mary searched for three days before they found Jesus and I believe if necessary they would have continued as long as they needed to.  God spoke to His people through Jeremiah the prophet that if they would seek Him with all their heart, they would find Him (29:12ff.).  There are times when we find ourselves on life’s path without God and we feel lost without Him.  All we need do is to seek after Him Who is waiting and we will find Him.  I hope and pray your search is fruitful and a short one. 

Copyright © 2005, Nolan P. Rutter

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