I have a confession to make…there are times when I get too busy. However, I take heart from the Gospel of Luke 2:41-52. Would you please take a couple of minutes to read this passage about the boy Jesus at the temple?
Let’s talk about Luke 2:41-44a. The road to restoration has a sign marked “Distracted”.
After Jesus’ birth, his flight to Egypt and his eventual return to Nazareth, the years of the Messiah’s upbringing are passed over in silence—except for one brief episode. When Jesus was twelve years old, he journeyed to Jerusalem with Joseph and Mary for the Passover. At the age of twelve a boy was prepared to enter the religious community as an adult.
His parents would not return home until they had stayed for all seven days of the feast. Mary and Joseph again reveal how they loved and honoured the Lord. They had hearts fixed on knowing God and worshipping Him. Of the three great festivals which Jewish men were required to keep in Jerusalem, the Passover was observed most strictly. As a result, the number of people in and around the city swelled dramatically.
Large caravans of people travelled together for companionship and security, so it’s not surprising that Mary and Joseph didn’t notice Jesus missing on their first day’s journey. Let’s not be quick to throw stones at this godly couple, for we often are as guilty in setting out on our own course without being conscious of Christ with us.
How is your pace of life? What pursuits truly capture your time, energy and money? Do they point you to Jesus, or do they distract you from enjoying intimacy with Him?
Let’s talk about Luke 2:44b-45. The road to restoration has a sign marked “Desiring”.
“One day’s journey” is a very ancient mode of estimating distances that is still in use today. This does not necessarily mean that Mary and Joseph travelled an entire day before they missed the boy. When a party started on a journey, the first day’s travel was invariably shorter than the usual distance. This is a very ancient custom that is still practiced.
This turning point back to Jesus has taken many forms as people, individually and corporately, realize how far they have gone without Him. The nation of Israel has a checkered history of how they wandered off without the Lord, then repented and turned back to Him.
How tired are you of pursuits that hinder your walk with Christ? Are you ready to drop whatever you are doing to run and seek Him out? If you are, He is in the temple waiting for you.
Let’s talk about Luke 2:46-50. The road to restoration has a sign marked “Discovering”.
Within the temple area, doctors of the law had several places where they admitted any who wanted to discuss the law with them. Mary and Joseph found the boy Jesus in a part of the temple where these doctors kept their schools. He was sitting and listening to their instructions, posing questions and answering inquiries with such wisdom that those who heard were delighted with Him.
Jesus’ reply to His parents was basically, “You ought to have known where to find me—in my Father’s house.” From an early age Jesus was aware of an intimate Father-Son relationship with God, a relationship that went beyond the normal religious consciousness of a devout Jew.
This kind of relationship with the Father is not intended to be exclusive to Jesus. The Father calls us also.
Are you dissatisfied with your life? Where are you searching to fill that void? Are you looking to anything or anyone other than Christ to satisfy your longings? If you are, you are looking down an empty well. Run to the source of living waters. His supply is rich and never-ending.
Let’s talk about Luke 2:51-52. The road to restoration has a sign marked “Dwelling”.
Mary and Joseph spent a lot of time with their boy after finding Jesus in the temple. They no doubt experienced a lot of ups and downs together as a family. After this incident, which provided one more thing for Mary to ponder in her heart, Jesus went home with Joseph and Mary and remained obedient to them. It would appear Joseph died sometime after this. In the account of Jesus’ ministry, he is never mentioned along with Jesus’ mother and brothers. As the oldest son, Jesus probably assumed the responsibility for supporting his mother and his younger brothers and sisters until the brothers were grown. His neighbours knew him as a carpenter.
This experience described in Luke chapter 2 made an impression upon Joseph and Mary. I doubt they ever again left Jesus behind in their travels. The next time they set out on a journey they probably checked twice to ensure their son was with them.
How about you? Have you been too busy to spend time with Jesus?
The godliest people occasionally lose sight of their priorities…it happened to Mary and Joseph. We can easily lose our focus on Jesus, but there is a way back.