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Ever lost a child in a mall, store, or park? Maybe the child innocently broke-away from you and became separated. I remember being lost as a child and feeling frightened. “We have a young boy in the manager’s office, whose parents are lost.” (Usually my fault.) I also remember keeping close tabs on my own children, so they couldn’t get lost.

This story in Luke 2 is interesting because Jesus is the one who becomes separated from His parents…on purpose!


41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. Luke 2:41-45


Jesus was now twelve. According to Jewish custom…He was a man. I don’t know if Jesus had a bar mitzvah ceremony or not. But, it was obvious from the story His parents considered him a boy and set out to search for Him. For Jesus it was all about “business“…. His Father’s business. Listen to Jesus’ explanation of why He did what He did.

48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s House?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.   Luke 2:46-50

Jesus was never “lost.” He was checking out His Father’s House. How can you be angry and punish Jesus for going and staying in His Father’s House.
We all want Jesus to be somewhere in our life where we know we can locate Him. It is difficult, if not impossible to “box” the Lord into these types of parameters. The Gospels are full of stories about people having certain “expectations” of Jesus.  Just like Jesus’ parents, these individuals were shocked when they learned Jesus never had any intention of fulfilling their expectations. The Lord’s response was always the same, “If you knew My Father’s will, then you would know why I do what I do.”

Jesus’ response to His parent’s inquiry was, “Didn’t you know?” Obviously, His parents didn’t know or they wouldn’t have spent three days searching the streets of Jerusalem for their Son. Can you imagine the guilt of losing God’s only Son?

If we struggle to secure the presence of the Lord, most assuredly we are not “in-tune” with the Father’s will. Jesus can always be found. We needn’t search. If the presence of the Lord is absent from our church, home, and life, then it is a sure bet we have abandoned doing the Father’s business. Jesus can always be found doing the Father’s business. We need to stop advertising the presence of God when it is not true. The world is on to us.