“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 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 2:41-52
Have you ever had a time when you did not know where your child was? Perhaps they walked in a different direction to a store in the mall or were hiding from you among the racks of clothes? Maybe they were supposed to be home by a certain time and that time came and went with no phone call, no word. Maybe you went to where you thought you were supposed to pick him or her up, and they were not there. White-hot panic begins to grip our hearts when we have no idea of the whereabouts of our children. In today’s lifestyle, with easy access to communication, it happens less frequently. Lots of children have cell phones and parents can call to check on locations. But during Jesus’ time, there were no phones, no means of communication except by word of mouth or some written form.
And Jesus was missing.
At first Mary and Joseph were not that concerned. A crowd of people had made the journey from Nazareth to Jerusalem for the wonderful Feast of the Passover. It was customary to go there for that celebration. Jesus was certainly among the crowd of friends and family.
But He wasn’t. They searched. They asked.
He was not with them. How had they left Him behind? What had happened? Was He still in Jerusalem or had something else happened?
After three days of not knowing His whereabouts, they finally found Him. Relief, joy, tears, questions all must have flooded Mary and Joseph. He was in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening and asking them questions.
This mother’s heart was almost breaking. “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
Can’t you feel her pain and her relief and yet she didn’t understand why this very obedient Child would do such a thing?
No, she didn’t understand, because this was no ordinary Child. This was the Creator, the One who had formed the earth, and hung the sun, moon and stars…the One who had called light and animals and man into existence…the One who had given Moses the very plans for the Tabernacle and the One who had directed the building of the Temple.
The Temple was the place where God’s glory resided. It was home to God’s presence.
It was home to Jesus.
At the age of twelve He was drawn there. There He was, the Word of God in human form, discussing the Word of God with the teachers. Yes, He was home, and surprised that His parents would not know, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Mary and Joseph didn’t understand. There was so much of this that was different because this was such a different Child.
They all returned home, but once again Mary opened the treasure box of her heart and stored this event.
How often did she pull these amazing events from her heart and reflect?
How often can we pull these amazing events from our hearts and reflect?
It was no ordinary birth; it is no ordinary life.