“After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.”
Luke 2:43 NIV
Mary felt a gentle tug on her tunic.
She stooped and looked into the large brown eyes of the young boy clinging to his mother’s hand and brushed his tousled hair from his forehead. “I’m sure he’s with Joseph.”
As she lifted her gaze to his mother, tears left tracks on her dust-covered skin. “Jesus continues to remind me that he’s twelve now—’almost a man.’” She stood, brushed her wet cheeks with the back of her hand, and forced a smile. “I suppose I must grow accustomed to him not wanting to tag along with his mother on our trips to and from Jerusalem. He’d rather join in with the banter of the men at the rear of the caravan.”
She reached down and clasped the boy’s hand then continued on the way with her friend.
Joseph kicked a stone along the dusty desert road and chuckled at his friend’s question. “I’m sure he’s with Mary. As much as he likes to be with the men, he worries about his mother. He knows it’s difficult for her to accept the fact that he’s no longer her ‘little boy.’” He shook his head and sighed. “She’ll adjust.”
Mary’s almond-shaped eyes bulged as she stared into Joseph’s anxious face. “Isn’t he
He swallowed hard. “No. I thought he was with you.”
Her eyes darted through the crowd as she pushed her way past the weary travelers
then pointed in the opposite direction. “Joseph, go that way. We’ve got to find Jesus. I
can’t believe he’s missing!”
What’s your reply?
Stop and look around you. Is Jesus missing from your days? How long has it taken you to notice he’s slipped into the background of your activities? Can you even remember the last time you heard his voice?
If not, don’t fret. God’s not abandoned you. Although you’ve drifted, he’s never taken his eyes from you. There’s no place he’d rather be than in the center of your activity. He promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Panic-stricken, Mary and Joseph returned to the place they’d last seen Jesus. Perhaps we should too. They found him in the temple sitting among the teachers discussing the things of the Spirit. Perhaps, we will too. When Mary asked Jesus why he had stayed behind, he replied, “Didn’t you know, I must be about my Father’s business?” Perhaps, we should be too.
Are you missing Jesus? When was the last time you opened God’s word, darkened the door of his house, or surrounded yourself with his family? Take time to be still and focus on his Word. Ask him to meet you there. You’ll find him—I promise.