Missing In Action

In Luke 2:41-50, Jesus, as a 12 year old, was missing in action. During the annual Passover trip to Jerusalem in full obedience to God’s requirements, an event occurred which foreshadows the unfolding of Christ’s full person and work.

Once the feast had concluded, the pilgrims began their journey home. Amazingly, Joseph and Mary, perhaps with several younger children, began their return trip to Nazareth. In a faith community, they trusted he was probably among relatives and friends.

Discovering his absence and no clue to his whereabouts, they returned to the city. Three more days passed before they located him! You can imagine the worry, the strain and concern which filled the heart of his mother and Joseph. On the third day they found him, sitting among the religious teachers, listening and questioning them on matters of the law. Can you wonder with me what questions he may have asked? Knowing who He was, did He probe their minds with questions about the Christ-centredness of the Old Covenant? Did He press them on their understanding of the Passover pondering if and when God would make a final end to sacrifice and sin? We just don’t know the content. The Spirit of God felt that detail was not required for sufficient faith.

When Jesus was found, his parents were astonished! His mother, as any caring mom would, pressed her son about his lack of concern for their well being. Had she forgotten the visit of the Angel (Luke 1)? Had she forgotten her own song of praise to the LORD (the Magnificat)? Had she pondered the remarkable predictions made by Simeon and Anna? Her anxiety had reached the distress point – “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

The response of Jesus presses their faith. Why were you searching for me? (Isn’t this where I should be?) Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?

Their silence was deafening. His questions appear to go unanswered and they are left mystified at their encounter with the God-Man.

Are we not the same? Have you “figured” God out? I haven’t. “God moves in a MYSTERIOUS WAY, His wonders to perform,” one hymnwriter declares. Another affirms, “I AM NOT SKILLED to understand what God hath willed, what God hath planned…..” We are left in silence, driven to a deeper contemplation of Jesus who is called the CHRIST, and that is exactly the Holy Spirit’s plan. We are called to FIX OUR EYES on JESUS!

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