When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
Every year, Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. When he was young, they carried him in their arms. As he got older, he likely ran ahead with the other children in their group of relatives and friends, but his parents kept a close eye on him. Outwardly he was like every other Jewish boy, playing with others on the way to the Passover Feast, where they would remember how God saved them from slavery and called them to be his people.
On this trip, however, everything changed as they were heading home. Mary and Joseph lost Jesus. Maybe they had to lose him in order to find out they were not in control.
“‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’” Those words marked a shift in Jesus’ relationship with Mary and Joseph. They had lost a son but gained a Messiah. They had to recognize they were not in control of Jesus’ mission.
Salvation will always be bigger than our dreams. It was never under Joseph and Mary’s control. They had to make room in their life for Jesus to fulfill the dream of his Father—to save us all. The trip back to Nazareth that day changed everything. But losing Jesus was the best thing that could have happened to them. Is there anything you have to lose in order to gain Jesus?
Jesus, I’m afraid of losing things I love—such as my dreams, family, friends, or job. But in you I gain the Savior I really need. Thank you for always being there for me. Amen.
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