by: Staci Stallings
There are certain stories in the Bible that I’ve heard all of my life, and for some unknown reason I don’t “get it” for a long time. Then suddenly new insight breaks through, and WOW! I’ll never read or hear that story the same way again.
One of those stories is the finding of Jesus in the Temple, found in Luke 2:41-50.
I don’t know if you remember that one, so let me set the scene for you. Mary and Joseph have traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. They traveled with friends and relatives. When the Feast was over, they packed up to go home. Then a day’s worth of travel later, they realized something–they forgot Jesus!
Being a mom, I can imagine the panic as they ran from relative to relative, trying to find their son. But he was not among the caravan.
Of course, they made haste back to Jerusalem to find him. The Bible says that it took them three days to find Him, and when they did, He was in the Temple sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions. Mary was frantic and asked why He had done this to which Jesus responded: “Why were you searching for Me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Now before you jump to judging Mary and Joseph, I want to ask you a simple question:
How many times have you left Jesus “in the Temple”? Have you ever walked out of the church doors and “forgotten to take Him with you”? Have you ever been struggling and struggling, traveling and trudging and suddenly wondered why God feels so very far away?
Have you ever gone days or even months without talking to Him and verifying that He’s right there with you? Have you missed His presence, or worse, missed His absence in your life?
I think we’ve all been there. Even the very Christian among us have gone to church on Sunday and shown up at work on Monday with criticisms and hurts heavy in our hearts. And oh, how lonely the journey can be when you “forget” to bring Jesus along!
But there is good news in this story. You see, Mary and Joseph didn’t shrug and press on. No, they went back to get Jesus!
At first, they clearly didn’t know where to find Him as it took them three days to located Him, but Jesus gave us all the answer of where to find Him… in the Temple!
Does Jesus feel far away from you? Go back and get Him, in the Temple! Does life feel panicky and worrisome? I guarantee it’s because you’re missing His presence. Seek Him out. Don’t press on, figuring you don’t have time to go back. You do. In fact, going back is the only way you will ever learn to go forward again.
Take those three days if you must. But if you don’t have three days, then take three minutes. Breathe, and go back “to the Temple.”
In the next part, I’ll show you how to do just that.