Monday, April 16, 2018

Jesus Lost and Found

Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
(Luke 2:49).

Every year many Jews went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Luke tells us about something that happened when Jesus was 12 years old. After the feast of Passover was over, “Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem,” but Mary and Joseph did not realize it (Luke 2:43).

Mary and Joseph were traveling in a caravan with friends and relatives. In these caravans, it was customary for the women and small children to travel in the front, and the men and older children to travel in the rear. Jesus was in between these two age groups, so perhaps Mary thought He was with Joseph, while Joseph thought He was with Mary. When the caravan stopped for the night, however, they realized that Jesus was not with them.

When they returned to Jerusalem, they found Jesus “in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). After the feasts, it was the custom of the theologians in Israel to stay a few days and have theological disputations. Some of the students would remain and sit at the feet of the rabbis, asking questions and being asked questions in turn. This is what Jesus was doing, though He was far younger than the other students. “Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers” (v. 47).

When Mary asked why He had done this, He replied, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Surely it is significant that Jesus’ first recorded words go to the heart of His calling as the Messiah. Here Jesus is identifying Himself as the Son of God, though “they did not understand what He was saying to them” (v. 50).

Having identified His mission, Jesus “went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.” Out of His obedience to God and to His earthly parents, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:51–52).

It delighted Jesus at an early age to pursue intellectual matters of the faith. What He learned would 20 years later become the foundation for His proclamation of the Gospel. If Jesus found it so necessary to study, ask yourself today what you are doing to train yourself in righteousness and in the understanding of God’s Word.