"Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was 12 years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled their days, as they returned, the child, Jesus, tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it.
"But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances. And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him.
"And it came to pass that, after three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were amazed at His understanding and answers.
"And when they saw Him, they were astonished and His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.
"And He said unto them, how is it that ye sought Me? Knew ye not that I must be about My Father's business? And they understood not the saying, which He spoke unto them". Luke 2:41-50
This scripture is quite familiar to several people as it tells us the story of how Jesus followed His earthly parents to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. But our concern here is not just the story. We want to examine what happened to Joseph and Mary that Jesus was missing from their midst and they never knew it.
"Since it happened to people like Joseph and Mary, it could happen to anyone. As a matter of fact, there are several people, churches, and fellowship groups in whose lives Jesus is presently missing and they do not know it. This then calls for a careful study of this incident in order to learn wisdom for our lives and our walk with God.
It will be a very costly assumption to think that you are a child of God, that God is with you and that Jesus is in your heart, only to get to the gate of heaven and discover that you never knew Him or that you missed Him along the way. At that time, it will be too late and eternity will open up to you on the other side, which is hellfire. There is therefore an urgent need to pay close attention to this matter.
The Bible said, "Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover ..." Vs. 41. This is one thing you should note as we prayerfully go on in this study. Mary and Joseph were not careless, ungodly people. They were quite religious. They went every year to the feast of Passover. They were not people who absconded from church; they were not even people who went to the temple occasionally. They went regularly.
Maybe you are such a person who has never missed any of your church meetings and programs, Joseph and Mary were people like you. The Bible records that when Jesus was 12 years old, they went with Him up to Jerusalem as they had-always done.
Think a little more about the background of Mary and Joseph. Mary was a woman that set herself aside for God. She consecrated her heart to God. Mary, though in courtship relationship with Joseph, with the consent of their two families and the wedding day already fixed, still maintained her virginity! Not many young people in this age care so much about being chaste. Not many eventually get married as virgins. They "spoil" themselves with premarital sex or fornication. Many even go as far as aborting pregnancies. But not Mary, she kept herself in the midst of such pressures and temptations. Now if such a person that has been working in the service of God (proper consecration), walking with a heart turned towards God, and in holiness, missed Jesus, then I would again like to remind you to consider this very closely. It could happen to you also!
The pointers to missing Jesus
What could have happened to Mary and Joseph that they missed Jesus from their lives? Remember, that Mary carried Jesus for nine months in her womb. She stayed with Jesus for 12 years. How could they have missed Him and not know it? Think...have you also missed Him? Examine yourself now...
Akanni who lives in Gboko, Benue State is a teacher of the Word. He holds an inter-denominational fellowship which attracts Christians of all backgrounds.