Luke and The Lost
“Let’s take our grandson to the mall”, I said one day many years ago. It was a beautiful day. Randy and I had an unexpected day off together. So we packed up Joey who was a vivacious, energetic, and very verbal toddler to a very large mall in Toledo. We learned very quickly that our grandson was very mobile for a toddler. We also learned that this toddler thought it was great fun to play hide and seek. It’s all fun and games until you can’t find your precious child in a large bustling place. Within seconds, he was gone and panic set in. We quickly retraced our steps, saying his name over and over. We did quickly find him, but we will never forget that feeling of panic.
Joey will be 23 this month. We can laugh about his incident now. But then, it was no laughing matter. We scolded him, just like any parent or grandparent would do, to remind him of the dangers of wandering off in a crowded place.
Mary and Joseph knew that panic feeling I am describing. How they must have felt when they noticed that they had lost Jesus in the crowd of travelers returning home from Jerusalem from the busy, crowded Feast of Passover event. They searched for him everywhere, retracing their steps, taking a whole day. The longer you cannot find your child, the greater the panic becomes making you physically ill inside. The know what they have to do. They must go against the flow of pilgrims returning home, and walk back to Jerusalem, asking everyone if they have seen him. They finally find him at the Temple, where they probably went to seek help in the search. He is talking with the scholars who are impressed as they listen to him. His parents are not impressed.
He is scolded. As parents, we understand this human reaction.
Jesus is found. He explains why he must be at the Temple. But they are too upset to understand and do not know what lies ahead for their son who is the Son of God. They do not realize that the boy in their care will later save them. Jesus, the boy becoming a man, understands what his parents have gone through and is obedient to his earthly parents who have vowed to care for him. He “lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly , deep within herself.” The search was over. Jesus is found. All is calm, all is bright…for now.
“And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.”
They Found Him in the Temple
41-45 Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it. Thinking he was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors. When they didn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him.
46-48 The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers. But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.
His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.”
49-50 He said, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?” But they had no idea what he was talking about.
51-52 So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.
Dear Heavenly Father, When life throws us a curve and panic sets in, You search for us and find us. Thank you, dear Lord, for seeking us out and saving us. Thank for this small glimpse into your earthly childhood. Deeper thinking reminds us that You came down and lived among your created humans to remind us of Who You are, what You have done, are doing and will do for us. You are God and we are not. Your love for us is amazing, too great for us to imagine. The search is over. You are found for my life. I pray others will find and follow you, too.
In Jesus Name, Amen