Luke 2. 41-51
This familiar story, as told in Luke, struck very close to me when our son Kenneth was just about the age Jesus was when this story was told. His mother and I took the family out to The Canfield Fair for a night mostly of looking at things. But, they did have some rides for the added excitement, especially for children. Kenneth had come across his cousins, my sister’s boys, and he wanted to run off with them. It was agreed that come a certain hour we would meet up together by the horse barn. When Ken didn’t show up until almost an hour later, you can be sure dad and mother were more than concerned.
So, this story in Luke telling of Jesus staying in the temple while his parents thought he was in the group of travelers hits close to home for me. After traveling by foot most of the day, Luke states that Joseph and Mary started looking for him. It is of course thought that Luke was using the “after three days” in this story as sort of a precursor of Jesus lying in the tomb three days after the crucifixion.
To give Luke his due, in Jesus’ day, when a child reached the age of twelve they were thought of as almost grown up. So the major purpose of Luke including this episode may very well be to set the stage for Jesus leaving his earthy parents and preparing himself to adhere to his Heavenly Father. The circle of Jesus awareness and the sense of a larger duty begin to widen and deepen beyond the home of Nazareth. When as good parents, Mary and Joseph questioned Jesus why he treated them as he did, Luke’s response says it all, Jesus said to his parents, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
As for you and I, where best should we be then always in our Father’s house going about doing our faithful business, and always giving thanks and praise to God our Maker!
Heavenly Father, our hearts are warmed when reading your Holy Word as recorded in the Gospels, may we always be faithful and obedient in service to Your kingdom here on earth. In Christ our Lord we pray, amen.