“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
How embarrassing and worrisome it must have been for Joseph and Mary to lose their son, even for a brief time. When they finally found him in the temple, Mary asked, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Then Jesus answered in a surprising way: “Why were you searching for me? … Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Is this the kind of response children should use when talking to their parents? Was Jesus a rude, undisciplined child?
Luke has an important reason for including this story about Jesus’ first Passover visit. His coming of age meant a realization of his true identity: “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” When Jesus was born, angels proclaimed him as the Son of God (Luke 2:11). Now Jesus was claiming that identity for himself!
But being the Son of the Father meant being sent on the Father’s mission. Jesus had come to fulfill God’s will. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” can also mean “Didn’t you know I need to do my Father’s work?”
How must we live as those whom God identifies as his children? As those who have a place in the Father’s house through faith in Christ, what is important for our lives? If we rely on God’s strength in all we do, in good times or bad, we will see God working in our lives.
Holy Father, help us to be more like Jesus, knowing your will, certain of why he came. In his name, Amen.
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