“42 When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual.
43 When the days of the feast were over and they set off home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it.
44 They assumed he was somewhere in the party, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances.
45 When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
46 It happened that, three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions;
47 and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies.
48 They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’
49 He replied, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’
50 But they did not understand what he meant.” Luke 2: 42-50 (New Jerusalem Bible)
… and neither did I.
For the longest time I have pondered and wondered at this action that Jesus took. Yes, he would be expected to want to share with others who know much about God, His Father in Heaven. But … why could he not have told his parents that he would be staying behind? Why did he not care enough to let them know so that they would not be worried? How could he be so insensitive? Was he being a typical teenager? Could he have been simply beginning to express his teenage need or desire for independence? Yet, he was expected to be wiser and more considerate than this surely?
Of all the issues surrounding his disappearance, the worry he caused his parents concerned me the most… especially with the knowledge of how they had to run away in the night to a different country in order to save his life when he was born!
… so there has been this missing link in my understanding of this reading until today. Eureka indeed. The Holy Spirit of God spoke and I finally heard.
Luke – 2:49 “ … Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Jesus’ parents Mary and Joseph were worried. Today I learned that the 3 days of searching for him were symbolic of the three days it would take for Jesus to rise from the dead many years later. But more importantly for me, I finally understood that the entire episode culminating in the words in Luke 2: 49 as always was not just a lesson for his parents Mary and Joseph, but for us all. It is a profound message and lesson.
Mary and Joseph had no reason to be worried … because so long as Jesus was in His Father’s house he was safe. Simple… Jesus was safe because he was in his Father’s house, in his Father’s hands, in his Father’s protective care .. in fact, not just while he was in the Temple. It was not yet his time. He knew it, he was confident about it, and he wanted his parents on earth to begin to be confident about it. Nothing would happen to him before the time laid out for him to suffer and die for the sake of mankind. Everything was in God’s hands… there was no need for them to worry. That was his message and lesson for them.
… and that was his message for us… so long as we are in God’s hands, walking in His light, doing His will and obeying Him, nothing will happen that is not allowed by God in God’s time. Challenges will come (not may, but will), but by being close to God, and open to His counsel, guidance, wisdom and grace, every challenge will be understood and may even be an important lesson in the journey of life towards God’s heavenly kingdom. Every challenge will be overcome and be easier to address than we ever thought possible.
It is truly that simple… so long as we too are in our Father’s (God’s) house we are safe. The key is to obey God and do all we do according to His commandments and will… as Jesus was doing… sharing his understanding and knowledge with the well educated in the faith to their astonishment considering his tender age.. he was beginning to show the world who he was, and he was starting early enough to make it clear even to the skeptics that he was different… even as he taught his parents and us all, this profound message of the safety of being in His Father’s house:
That by being in God’s presence in our lives, the struggle, the pain, the challenges, will be easier to bear, easier to address until peace good health in mind, body, spirit and soul come back to us once again. By putting ourselves consciously in God’s hands we actually give Him room to take care of us and keep us safe. It is our choice… to try and do it ourselves and be consumed by worry about all manner of things… or to live in God’s presence and let His Holy Spirit guide us safely through it.
This is my missing link finally found. Do you have a missing link? Do you want to find it? Share it with us… send us a comment in the Garden.
Copyright © 2012. Ophelia Swai. All Rights Reserved.