Joseph, Mary and Jesus – who was 12 years old at the time – were in Jerusalem for the big Passover feast. On their way back home, Joseph and Mary suddenly realize they’ve lost Jesus.
Think about that for a second: they … lost … Jesus. The Savior of the World. The promised Messiah. The King of Kings. The Lord of Lords. The Light of the World.
And they lost him. Yikes.
They frantically returned to Jerusalem, where they searched for three days. Imagine that. When our kids were young and I lost sight of ’em for three seconds, I’d start to panic.
So, after an exhaustive search they finally found him. Where?
In the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. (Luke 2:46)
Basically, Jesus was freaking everyone out. Here’s what it says next:
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.” (Luke 2:47-48)
And here was Jesus’ reply, his very first recorded words:
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
Why on earth would Jesus choose those as his first words for all of history to read? He provided a clue later in his life, in one of the most beautiful passages in all of Scripture:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. (John 14:1-3)
Thomas, one of the disciples, asked the obvious question (and I for one am glad he asked it):
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my father as well. (John 14:5-7)
We should all long deeeeeply to be in the house of our Heavenly Father. Come to Jesus and he’ll take you there.
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com)