… the Boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it (Luke 2:43b).
If you were a 12-year-old, left alone in a huge capital city, where would you go?
Mary and Joseph spent three frantic days trying to answer that question, as they searched for 12- year-old Jesus. Would they find Him roaming though the market place, staring up at one of Herod the Great’s three spectacular towers, or would He be gazing at his opulent palace in the north end of town? Was He watching the Roman soldiers practicing their military formations and running their drills in the Antonia Fortress? Would He be cheering along with the chariot races in the Jerusalem hippodrome-that same horse track featured in the movie Ben Hur?
The truth is none of these places held the biggest attraction for Jesus. He was in the last place most of us would ever expect a pre-teen to be. On the third day they found Him in the temple courts, asking questions of the religious leaders. His greatest thrill was to be at His Father’s house fulfilling His great mission.
When His mother asked why He had treated them that way, Jesus’ answer confused both Mary and Joseph, “Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” Jesus had important work to do, and He knew it. Everything was riding on it: His great mission and our eternal future. To open heaven to us He had to live a perfect life, with absolute obedience and perfection. He had to learn, understand and memorize God’s Word; He had to know it inside and out. He was a single-minded Savior on a single-minded mission.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your single-minded dedication to our salvation. Give me a similar hunger for Your Word too. Amen.
*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.