When Jesus was twelve years old,
his parents, Joseph and Mary, brought him to Jerusalem
for the feast of the Passover, according to the custom.
When the feast was ended, as they
were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.
His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company, they went
a day’s journey, and they sought him among the kinsfolk and acquaintances; and
when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem,
After three days they found him in
the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his
understanding and his answers.
And when his parents saw him they
were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so?
Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.”
And he said to them, “How is it
that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
And they did not understand the
saying which he spoke to them. (Lk 2:42—50)
Both Joseph and Mary were devout
worshippers of God. Before the birth of Jesus the angel told each of them
clearly on separate occasions that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah of the
nation of Israel and the Savior of the world (Mt 1:18—25; Lk
In the intervening years before
his appearance at the temple their love for the child must have grown very
strong. Perhaps their intense parental affection paled even the angelic
revelation they had received twelve years ago. Understandably, they became very
anxious when they could not find him and they returned to Jerusalem
When they had finally found him,
his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father
and I have been looking for you anxiously.”
Had they actually forgotten who
They loved him as their very own
son. Could they have allowed their emotions to overshadow their realization of
Let’s apply this to a situation
that is altogether common in our day, in our own life.
When our children fall sick or are
otherwise afflicted, have we not questioned “O God, why have you treated us
Have we forgotten the soothing
words of the Bible: That in everything God works for the good with those who
love him, who are called according to his purpose (Rom )?
Emotion is a dangerous guide.
Countless numbers of young men and
women today live to regret the pleasurable moment of weakness when they lost
out to their flaming passions. They have not lived according to the will of
God. The clamour of their emotions have drowned the soft promptings of God
within them. Christians everywhere should therefore pray that they be not
overcome by their emotions and allow the will of God to be trampled underfoot.
If we examine carefully the reply
of Jesus, we can perceive that he was clearly conscious of his status as the
Son of God. Aware of the divine task to accomplish the will of God, he replied,
“How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s
Had they also understood the will
of God, they would have been exceedingly happy to him see sitting among the
teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
They would not have said, “Why
have you treated us so?”
Although Jesus was born of Mary, brought
up by Joseph, he had not forgotten that he was the Son of God and that he must
stay in the house of God and that he had to complete his mission.
In the same way, Moses, who was
adopted and brought up by the Pharoah’s daughter and
received the best education in the royal court, had not forgotten his Hebrew
origin and the commission that God had entrusted to him.
When he was forty, he wanted to
see his brethren. He refused to be called the son of the Pharoah’s
daughter, choosing rather to share ill treatment with the people of God than to
enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin (Acts —23;
Clearly, to live our lives with
purpose and to live victoriously, we must have before us a constant reminder of
our duty: to live according to the will of God.
My Father’s house
We are the children of God. We
should always be concerned with the affairs of God. It is unreasonable for
children not to be concerned for their parents. Similarly, it is not right for
the children of God to have no concern over the house of God.
In the time of Prophet Haggai, the
Israelites only cared for themselves. They had no concern whatsoever for the
house of God. They stayed in panelled houses while
the temple of the Lord was left in ruin.
Prophet Haggai rebuked them and told
them to search themselves. He also told them to bring wood and rebuild the
temple that the Lord might take pleasure in it and that the Lord might appear
in it in glory (Hag 1:3—8).
Are we concerned for the house of
We have been pursuing the betterment
of our physical life and material gains but neglecting our spiritual
advancement. We are so busy with worldly matters that we have no time left to
pray or to attend church services. Much less is our interest to do church work.
In short, we are living in a state of lukewarmness
described in Revelation 3:15—16.
At this juncture, it is pertinent
to remember the words of Jesus: “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know
that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Paul could say, “But I do not
account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may
accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to
testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts )
Therefore let the solemn words of
Jesus be deeply imprinted in our hearts that we may strive forward with one
accord for the faith of the gospel, for the prosperity of God’s true church on
earth and for the exaltation of God’s holy name.