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lost and found…

A couple of years ago, we embarked on a trip to the self-declared  “happiest place on earth“.  No, ladies, not Nordstrom, but almost as magical;  Disneyland!

All the fam got together and we headed out to the crazy, expensive theme park.  Who doesn’t love forking over $100 to walk around a crowded area just to be reminded of the obesity statistics?  Nevertheless,  we were here for a good time and a good time we were going to have!

Until…

Until we lost sight of our grandaughter, and had a heart-stopping experience for what seemed like a lifetime.  It’s a take your breath away moment that is still hard for this Nani to talk about.  And it’s happened before…

Luke 2:41-47 “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.  When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.  After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.  His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travelers.  But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.  When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for Him there.  Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions.”  (NLT)

Ok, let that sink in for a moment.  Joseph and Mary have their party shoes on and are going to a Festival!  They head out with their neighbors, friends and family and begin their journey.  Once they reached Jerusalem the party started.  Not like a fraternity party, but more of a remembering party … remembering their bondage in Egypt and how God brought them out of that bondage.  Once the festival was over, they started back home to Nazareth, which was about 68 miles or roughly a 4 day journey.

Here’s the kicker.  Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem while Mary, Joseph and the neighborhood started home!  And even more surprising is that they didn’t even miss Him until the day was over and Jesus was no where to be found!  Yikes!

Oh, mom’s and dad’s, can you imagine what they were going through?  Hoping that He was with the neighbors or back at the end of the pack, yet not to be found?  If you listen closely you can hear Mary desperately calling out, “Jesus!  Jesus!  Jesus!”  As they frantically run in and out of the caravan, calling out His name,  no one can remember seeing Jesus join the group for the trek home.   Mary and Joseph must have felt such confusion and unbelievable fear.

The scriptures say that three days later they found him in the temple” (vs. 46)  THREE DAYS LATER!  Our little angel was missing for maybe 3 minutes!  Three days must have been heart wrenching!

Once we all split up in the theme park, I was the fortunate one to find her, standing in the middle of a crowd, crying and so very frightened.  I rushed to her and picked her up and we both just stood there weak and crying.  I was whispering in her ear, “Nani will always find you” and it took us a moment before the rest of the family found us and we all kept a much closer eye on her after that!

However, Jesus had been missing for three days and was eventually found by his parents in the temple.  He was sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions.  The group of men sitting and listening to him were mesmerized  at his questions and his answers.  I can picture his parents flinging open the door (if there was a door to fling) and having every emotion available to them, expel at once!

Luke 2:48-50 “His parents didn’t know what to think.  “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us?  Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”  “But why did you search?” he asked.  “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 

Ok.  So not only was he safe and not running around willy-nilly, but he was in CHURCH….ASKING QUESTIONS AND GIVING ANSWERS ABOUT GOD.

This might have upset me a bit because you want to be mad.  You need to be mad, to get your point across.  It was as if Jesus had the power….he had hand“…. (sorry in advance for the example of ‘hand’ but it was all I could think of at the time).  And Jesus says, “Didn’t you know that I had to be here, in my Father’s house?” 

Wow.  Jesus had hand.  The child was teaching the parents. I think we can figure out the tone that Mary used when she confronted her son after not finding him for three days.   And it was uncommon for  jewish women in that day to confront the son, that was the job of the jewish father.  But his answer was interesting.  Jesus stated that he must be in his father’s house!  Jesus is compelled as the Son of God to be in His Father’s house and gives the title Father (quite appropriately) to His heavenly Father, and not his human father.

Mary and Joseph did not have the luxury of reading about their lives in the Bible.  They couldn’t look forward in the next few chapters and know the reality of who Jesus was and what was about to take place.  They reacted as human parents would act.  Fear, frustration, anger and relief.

I am sure that this was not the only lesson Jesus taught his parents.  The next verse says that Jesus went home with his parents and was obedient to them.  I’m glad that was told to us.  It might have seemed that Jesus was being disobedient, but Jesus was going about His Father’s business…..and HE is the Master Teacher because He perfectly embodies the truth He taught.

Jesus has the power.  He has hand.

I am thankful for His power and His hands  in my life.

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