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Losing Jesus
Photo: Krista Davis
When He was twelve years old, Jesus went with His parents to the temple in Jerusalem. It was the time of the yearly Feast of the Passover. The trip from their home in Nazareth took several days, and Joseph and Mary went every year. This was the first time they had taken Jesus, who showed a great devotion to religious things. He looked with intense interest on the temple services. He was especially attracted to the sacrificial lamb, which symbolized the sacrifice that He, as the Messiah, was to make for the sins of the world.

About a week later, Joseph and Mary, in company with a caravan of their friends and neighbors, left Jerusalem and started for their home in Nazareth. After a day’s travel, they realized that Jesus was not in the caravan, as they had supposed. After checking with all the other families in the caravan without finding Jesus, they turned back with heavy and anxious hearts toward Jerusalem.

On the third day after leaving Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the temple, right where they had left Him. He was sitting at the feet of the doctors and professors of religion. He had assumed the position of a learner. Actually, in a very tactful way, Jesus was teaching them. And they were amazed at His wisdom. So were Joseph and Mary.

Where Have You Been?

With a great sigh of relief, Mary rushed over to Jesus, exclaiming, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you” (Luke 2:48, Message). In a kind way, Jesus explained that He had not been lost at all. Rather, He had been in the very place where He was supposed to be, taking care of His heavenly Father’s business.

Jesus had not gone anywhere. Joseph and Mary were the ones who had left Jesus. It was not His fault they had lost Him. Ten years earlier, a jealous King Herod had killed every child in Bethlehem two years old and under, trying to destroy Jesus. Joseph and Mary should have been more careful with the boy Jesus, whom heaven had entrusted to their care.

I once saw this sign on the wall of my dentist’s waiting room: “If God seems far away, guess who moved!” Sometimes we separate ourselves from Jesus for a few days. And it seems to take many days to find Him again. We need to stay close to Him. Just read His Word. Talk to Him in prayer. He longs to be your Friend. He says, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, NKJV).

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By Bob DuBose. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE ® and NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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