“Where’s Jesus?” Mary asked.
“What do you mean, where’s Jesus? I thought he was with you.” Joseph said.
“Joseph, go and see if he’s with his brother’s.” Mary said somewhat concerned.
The brothers were setting up their tents when Joseph approached them. “Have you seen Jesus?” “No, we haven’t seen him Joe, when’s the last time you saw him?”
Joseph, scratching his head, thought for a moment, “I’m not sure. It was, it was yesterday or was it the day before. I thought he was here.”
“No we haven’t seen him Joe.” Expressions of questions passed between them.
“I have to go and tell Mary.” Joseph ran back to his camp. “Mary, don’t panic, Jesus is not with the caravan. I’ve looked everywhere and no one has seen him.”
Mary dropped the bowl she was holding and grabbed Joseph by the arm and said, “Joseph we have to go back to Jerusalem. We have to find Jesus.”
There, perfectly content, sitting in the middle of his contemporaries, not standing, he’s accepted as one of them. Jesus is teaching the teachers. Twelve years old, Jesus is in his father’s house. Completely comfortable, totally natural, doing what he’s compelled to do. He’s in Jerusalem city of God. Most boys his age would be playing with other young people. Jesus is not most boys. He is conversing with the holy men of God, telling them things they’d never even thought of before.
“We’ve not heard such words since, well never. What authority! What wisdom, comes from one so young.” The teachers and professors reply to one another.
Then in the background they hear rumblings, a woman’s voice. “Where’s Jesus? Where’s my son?”
Mary makes her way to Jesus. Joseph is right behind her.
Mary sees Jesus in the temple and pulls him aside to talk to him.
“Son why have you done this to us, why did you not tell us you were staying behind? We’ve been searching for you for three days.” Mary said searching Jesus’ face for answers. Joseph looked on at him with hurt but relief that he was safe.
“Why did you look for me, didn’t you know I’d be in my father’s house?” Jesus said like nothing was amiss.
Joseph and Mary just stared at him; they didn’t know what he was talking about.
They realized he was the Messiah and that he should have been taken to the palace not the temple. They didn’t understand the prophetic call that was on his life. That he was to teach and bring good news to all who would learn and listen to him.
But in honor and obedience to his parents, Jesus followed the fifth commandment, honor your father and your mother, he went back to Nazareth with them. Setting an example to young people that they should adhere to their parents and that they should grow in wisdom and become children of obedience. He was their son, but he was also God but it wasn’t his time yet.
Are you searching for Jesus? Do you know where he is? Will you search for him?
He’s in the temple with His Father. He’s sitting and praying and doing all that the Father asks.
You can find him if you seek for him, call out, “Jesus where are you?”
“I’m here, don’t you know I’m doing what my father has asked me to do. I’m waiting for you to come and find me. Then I will go with you to the home of your heart, and there we will abide forever.”
–Marla Shaw O’Neill April 13, 2017
They Found Him in the Temple
Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it. Thinking he was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors. When they didn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him.
The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers. But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.
His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.”
He said, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?” But they had no idea what he was talking about.
So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.