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Big Business

In Luke 2:42-52, scripture records the story of twelve-year old Jesus attending Passover in Jerusalem with his parents, then being left behind as they returned to Nazareth. There are several important lessons we can learn from this text.

First, they went “a day’s journey” (2:44) before they discovered him missing. Upon returning to Jerusalem, they spent “three days” (2:46) searching before finding him in the temple. These time markers teach us that as we travel through life as a believer, a SINGLE day without the company (fellowship) of Jesus may take us THREE TIMES LONGER to recover. 

Secondly, in 2:48, Mary and Joseph essentially told Jesus he made them nervous wrecks over his absence, and accused him of ‘dealing with them’ in a manner unbecoming to a son. The problem was they ASSUMED his presence rather than ASCERTAINING it by personal contact. We sometimes make the same mistake. Jesus was in no way deceptive or disobedient. He was simply preoccupied with “his Father’s business,” which is exactly why they were in Jerusalem in the first place.  

Thirdly, Jesus, who had been asking questions of “the doctors [scholars]” (2:46), directed a few questions toward his parents: “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” (2:49). The first question was focused on their METHOD, not the fact that they searched. Joseph and Mary were well within their rights and responsibility to ascertain his whereabouts. 

After twelve years of exposure to his personal growth, aptitude for things spiritual, the FIRST thought that should have crossed their minds was Jerusalem’s center for things spiritual—the temple. Instead of making a beeline for the temple upon arriving back in town, it seems they looked everywhere BUT the temple, finding him there as almost a last resort. 

So when Jesus asked them about the HOW of their search, he was asking how it was the temple was so far down on their checklist of places to look. It should have been their first stop, a no-brainer. 

Consider for a moment the magnitude of the occasion and who it was was in the Temple interacting with doctors of the Law--the Lawgiver himself! Twenty-one years later, on a mountain with Peter, James and John, Jesus was "transfigured" before them, unveiling the same Shekinah glory he embodied as a twelve-year old boy. Can you imagine the reaction from the doctors if he had been transfigured before them?

The question for us: “When we realize we’ve lost touch with Jesus, for whatever reason, where is the FIRST place we should look to reestablish contact?” Answer: The scriptures! The number one place to find fellowship with the LIVING Word is in the WRITTEN Word. 

The twelve-year old Jesus who was about his Father’s business INSIDE the temple kept about his Father’s business for the next twenty-one years and finally FINISHED that business OUTSIDE the city gates on an old rugged cross. It was there Jesus became sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21) That, my friend, was the big business Jesus transacted on our behalf!


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