Summary: Our first question is this, what kind of parents are they—they are raising the Son of God and they left to make the journey home and he is nowhere to be found.
“What do you do when you lose the Son of God?”
Mary and Joseph had a wonderful celebration of their first Christmas. The Bible says that when Mary received the news that she began to ponder the words that Gabriel had spoken to her. Now she has given birth and she and Joseph would now take on the incredible job of raising the Son of God. So here’s the question…how exactly do you do that? How do you raise God’s Son? The Bible teaches clearly that Jesus was born without sin. How do you raise a child like that…a child that you will perhaps learn more from than they will learn from you. Let’s look at what they do.
Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple when he was 8 days old. We then do not have any record of anything in his life until he was 12 years of age. I wish we did. I would really like to know more about his childhood. But we don’t have those records.
We then move to a familiar story of when Jesus was 12. The setting is that every year Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover. That was the custom and Mary and Joseph followed it. Jesus was 12 years of age at the time. When the feast was over his parents left and were returning home—what they didn’t know was that Jesus wasn’t with them.
Our first question is this, what kind of parents are they—they are raising the Son of God and they left to make the journey home and he is nowhere to be found. The Bible tells us in v. 44 “thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day.” Now as hard as that is to imagine it is actually easily explained. Men walk faster usually than women. So it was a tradition that when families were traveling together the women would leave earlier than the men. The men would then start the journey later but would eventually catch up and they would all arrive home at the same time. That is apparently what happened in this case. Also I think that Mary thought Jesus was with Joseph and Joseph thought Jesus was with her. You know, it happens. When they realized it the Bible tells us they did what every good parent would do at this point---they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. Seems like the best place to start looking. When they didn’t find him they went back to Jerusalem to look.
They looked for 3 days. That’s a long time. Just two weeks ago a young boy came walking past our house---we were working in the garage---he looked panic stricken and he said he was looking for his 4 year old brother. He had apparently gone outside and no one could locate him. So my wife and I immediately joined in the search. There are several lakes in our neighborhood. We went right away to look at two of those. Others got involved in the neighborhood. Driving around. 15-20 minutes later I talked to the parents—they had just found him in his BR. They had looked there but had missed him. He was sound asleep. Everyone was relieved. A child was missing for nearly 30 minutes. But 3 days. That’s a long time. No one wants a child to be lost for any length of time but certainly not overnight. Then it happens.