All Scriptures will be from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
Feel free to take your time reading and meditating on the Scriptures and questions. Don't be in a hurry. You can print it out and have it to do at your leisure. Allow The Holy Spirit to minister Truth to you. If you are comfortable, share your thoughts and answers to the questions in the comment section. Don't feel pressured to do so if you don't want. Maybe check back during the day or on Friday to see what others are thinking and feel free to discuss it. And please don't hesitate to ask questions!
So, grab your Bible, notebook, and a cup of coffee/tea and join in the Circle.
Okay, here we go with Lesson Two:
Let's open in prayer:
Father, God, we thank you for another opportunity to come to Your Table to feast on Your Word. Speak to us. Show us things we do not know. Reveal Your Truth to us, in Jesus' Holy Name. Amen.
Not Lost, But Yet Found
As mothers/fathers/grandparents, we can gasp when we hear stories of missing children. Sheer terror and panic can grab us when we lose sight of our children or grandchildren out in public. I had it happen to me when my firstborn was young. I lost sight of him in the clothing department of Sears. Frantically calling his name, he didn’t come out of his hiding place. Finally, I found him sitting under a circular wrack of clothing. Just sitting there. Smiling at me.
But, can you imagine losing THE Son of God?
Turn to Luke 2:39-52 in your Bibles and read through this passage of Scripture.
Now, close your eyes and picture Joseph and Mary in a panic for three days while searching for their Boy. Running from market to market, home to home. Calling His Name, asking anyone and everyone they passed by if they had seen Jesus.
Three days of nightmarish terror, as they head back to Jerusalem, where they just came from. It’s approximately 65 miles from Jerusalem back to their hometown of Nazareth. Remember there were no cars, trains or buses, just feet. Try to imagine their physical and emotional exhaustion.
Try to imagine what their prayers must have been like during those three days. Do you think they prayed religious prayers? Do you think they took time to formulate the perfectly-worded prayer? I’m sure not. I’m sure they cried out to God Almighty with everything in them.
Rants, apologies, vows.
Unless we have experienced such torment we truly cannot imagine what the anguish of their souls must have been like.
Can you picture Joseph and Mary going back and forth with each other, “I thought you were watching him!” “I thought you were!”?
Finally, they get back to Jerusalem and head into the Temple. You wonder were they going there to pray – to beseech God to find their/His Son or did they go to the Temple because someone on the street told them they thought Jesus was in there?
They run into the Temple and spot Jesus sitting in the Temple among the teachers and scholars.
He’s just sitting there. Conversing.
He was well and seemed happy. Unharmed, uninjured. I can imagine the parent’s initial confusion.
Can you imagine Mary’s heart, as she blurts out, "Son, why have You done this to us?” (vs. 48)
Jesus didn’t answer her. He replied with a question to His mother, “Did you not know I’d be about My Father’s business?” (vs. 49)
He wasn’t being disrespectful to Mary. He was under the anointing that would become Jesus’ distinctive signature during His three ministry years. Disciples would ask questions, Pharisee’s would ask questions, but He would reply with a question back to them. Even at this young age, Jesus' teaching style was evident.
Jesus was not lost. He purposefully “lingered behind in Jerusalem” (vs. 43).
JESUS WAS NOT LOST. He knew His potential, His destiny. He knew Who He was. He knew that He was more than capable of sitting with the Jewish teachers and scholars teaching them.
Yet, in verse 51, Jesus, The Christ, submitted himself to his parent’s authority and went home with them. He “was subject to them”.
That word “subject” means to be under the authority of.
He was God incarnate. Physically young but still God, yet He submitted Himself to earthly authority. He honored and respected His human parents and thus He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men”. (verse 52)
These were three days of emotional torture for Joseph and Mary. Years later, Mary would once again go through emotional torture for three days after Jesus was crucified. This time without her Joseph to brace her. But, I'm sure all that she kept in her heart (vs. 51) from this three-day trial came back to her during her next three-day trial. It was His Words that came back to her that strengthened her to believe she would see Him again. She did not forget God's benefits (Psalm 103), therefore she was filled with hope. He was once again about His Father's business: He was not lost/dead, but alive!
There can be much to glean from this portion of Scripture. There are no specific questions to answer - just like “His mother kept all these things in her heart” (vs. 51), let the Scriptures speak to you heart. Meditate on this teaching. What is God showing you?
Thank you, Dear Circle, for coming to our Father's Table this morning. May His Word be a feast unto your hungry soul. I look forward to your sharing. And I look forward to meeting the same time next week at our
God bless you and have a wonderful week!