Summary: A message encouraging all of us that we do not allow Jesus to be missing from our lives.
When Jesus Is Missing
Introduction: Some times while doing something which is right, and good, we forget the most important thing. That can be said of Joseph, and Mary and what occurs in our text today. Joseph, Mary and Jesus had left their home in Nazareth and traveled approx 70 miles to Jerusalem. They came to Jerusalem and observed the feast of the passover. Jews were expected to travel to Jerusalem from wherever they lived three times a year to celebrate three different feasts. The feasts included the feast of pentecost, the feast of tabernacles, and the feast of the passover. Joseph, and Mary were faithful in their observance of the passover feast. They evidently stayed for the length of the feast which was for eight days. Having fulfilled their responsibility in keeping the feast, they departed from Jerusalem to return home with a host of family and friends accompanying them. However, they made one crucial mistake.
We are closing in on a very special observance of our own. We are now less than a week away from the most exciting day of the year. Christmas is of course the day that has been set aside on our calendar to remember the birth of Jesus. It is a good thing. It’s purpose, and intentions are good. Yet, we must be careful that in the process we do not make the same mistake as did Joseph, Mary, and there family and friends. Look at the crucial mistake they made, and let’s be careful that we don’t repeat it !
I. They Left Jesus. V43
As the caravan left Jerusalem, Jesus stayed behind. Joseph and Mary were unaware that they were leaving town without Jesus. It was not something that was done intentionally. Yet, it happened.
Illust. Looking for Corey
How is it possible that something like this could happen ? How could they have forgotten Jesus, and traveled a day’s journey without him ? There were several problems which may have contributed to their mistake.
a. The Problem Of Assumption.
V. 44 "...they, supposing him to have been in the company,.."
The word "supposing" means "assumed". They assumed that he was with them. Oh what a dangerous assumption to make.
Assumption is a dangerous thing, but it is never so dangerous as it is when we make assumptions about our relationship with Jesus.
There must be effort on our part during this time of year, and throughout the year, and our lives that we are not forgetting Jesus. We must not assume that he is with us, but we must make certain that he is with us, in us !
b. The Problem of Activity.
They were traveling in a caravan of family and friends, and I am certain that there was much talking, reminiscing, and the such. The children were probably running, and playing as they traveled. There was much commotion and activity. They were preoccupied.
I am afraid that the same can happen to us. It may be especially true during this time of year. There is so much activity. So many things to get done, and so many places to go, and people to see. If your calendar is like ours, then it has been full this month. And so if we are not careful, Christ is forgotten !
c. The Problem of Accountability.
Can’t you just hear the conversation between Joseph, and Mary..........I thought he was with you.........I thought he was with you..........I assumed you knew where he was ! I thought maybe you gave him permission to travel with his friends, and so it was a problem of accountability.
We are each accountable for our relationship with Jesus. We as moms, and dads must be accountable, and make certain that we do forget Jesus........we must not leave him out of our family.......out of our activities, and celebrations. This season is all about him ! It is has become far too much about other things. We must make certain that we make it about him !
Let’s take a look at our own lives........our homes.........our observance and celebration of Christmas ! Isn’t it possible that with everything going on that we are forgetting Jesus ? If we have, then we must do the same thing that Joseph, and Mary did.
II. They Looked For Jesus.
Once Joseph and Mary discovered that Jesus was not with them, and that somehow or another he had been left behind they focused all their attention on finding him.
Joke: Little girl talking to the saleman on the phone.
a. They searched expediently.
The parents of Jesus did what every loving mom and dad would do. Once they had discoved that Christ was not among them. They turned their attention away from everything else...dropped off that was doing, and began to look for him.