Crossroads: Jesus as a Boy


Luke 2:41-52

Your Story

Did you ever get lost because you were so engrossed in something that you were left behind? Did you panic? Did those who were with you panic? What happened?

My Story and the Bible Story

I love the Eiffel Tower. I always have. I’m not sure what it is about that Tower, but it has always fascinated me. And when I went to Paris for the first time as a teenager, I was determined to see it. In fact, I told the tour guide that if we didn’t go see it, that I would stay behind until I did! He must’ve known that I was serious because we went to see it the day before we left. I could’ve stayed in that Tower for hours. I might have been left behind if my mother hadn’t been with me. I was so excited to be there and I knew that it was an important place for me. I wanted to stay for a long time.

Jesus knew that the Temple was an important place for him. After all, it was his Father’s house! And because it was an important place, he wanted to stay there for hours. Read Luke 2:41-52 to find out what happened when Jesus went to the Temple with his family. From the NIV: Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Before we judge Mary and Joseph too harshly for not knowing Jesus was missing for a whole day, this wasn’t like any road trip we go on. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t get in the car and they didn’t realize it. They were traveling with a large group of relatives and friends, including other children. Most likely, Mary and Joseph thought that Jesus was playing with someone else in the group and they didn’t worry. They knew that their group would take care of each other, and that Jesus was safe. But then, we can imagine what happened. That evening, as they set up camp, they started looking for Jesus. It was dinner time and getting close to bedtime. It was then that they discovered that he was missing! They set out as quickly as they could back to Jerusalem, where they anxiously searched for Jesus for three days. And when they finally found him, Jesus was surprised that they didn’t immediately look for him in the Temple. The Temple was his Father’s house. It’s where Jesus wanted to be, worshipping God and learning more. Jesus loved the Temple because it was a place for him to meet with God. This story reminds us that as we grow closer to Jesus, we should love being in God’s presence. As we grow closer to Jesus, we should want to spend more time with God, like Jesus did.

Even though we don’t always feel a burning desire to spend time with God (staying in the Temple for three days is a long time!), we should still make time for God in our lives. Jesus knew how important it was to spend time with God. It was so important to him that he lost track of time, and didn’t even care that his parents had left him behind. As we enter a new year, find ways to spend time with God each day. When you do, you will find yourself growing closer to God and to Jesus, and becoming more like Jesus every day.

Discussion and Prayer

As a family talk about ways you can spend time with God (through prayer, reading your Bible, reading the Bible as a family, time at church, singing songs to God, serving God, etc.).

Make a New Year’s Resolution together to spend more time with God. Be specific about when and how you want to spend time with God. Write it down and put it on the refrigerator or another place where it can be easily seen.

Pray, asking God to help you spend more time with God.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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