... the Boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His
parents did not know it (Luke 2:43b).
Read Luke 2:41-52
If you were a 12-year-old, left alone in a huge capital
city, where would you go?
Mary and Joseph spent three frantic days trying to
answer that question, as they searched for 12- year-
old Jesus. Would they find Him roaming though the
market place, staring up at one of Herod the Great's
three spectacular towers, or would He be gazing at
his opulent palace in the north end of town? Was He
watching the Roman soldiers practicing their military
formations and running their drills in the Antonia
Fortress? Would He be cheering along with the
chariot races in the Jerusalem hippodrome-that same
horse track featured in the movie Ben Hur?
The truth is none of these places held the biggest
attraction for Jesus. He was in the last place most of
us would ever expect a pre-teen to be. On the third
day they found Him in the temple courts, asking
questions of the religious leaders. His greatest thrill
was to be at His Father's house fulfilling His great
When His mother asked why He had treated them
that way, Jesus' answer confused both Mary and
Joseph, "Did you not know that I must be in My
Father's house?" Jesus had important work to do,
and He knew it. Everything was riding on it: His
great mission and our eternal future. To open
heaven to us He had to live a perfect life, with
absolute obedience and perfection. He had to learn,
understand and memorize God's Word; He had to
know it inside and out. He was a single-minded
Savior on a single-minded mission.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your single-minded
dedication to our salvation. Give me a similar hunger
for Your Word too. Amen.
Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries