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Has Anyone Seen Our Son?

It may well be every parent's worst nightmare - having a child go missing. It can happen to the worst, or the best, of parents. Joseph and Mary certainly were among the best, but it happened to them. When it did, they were as frantic and grief-stricken as any parent would be.

"Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing"

The family had traveled down in a group from Nazareth to Jerusalem for the Passover. Upon the return trip, they assumed that Jesus was among "their kinsfolk and acquaintance." Jesus was only twelve, but was "strong in spirit, filled with wisdom." He was still a child, but not childish, so it was not irresponsible for Joseph and Mary to assume that He was not among them. He may have ridden down with cousins or uncles and His parents may have simply assumed that He did the same for the return. For His part, Jesus was not disobedient to them; He was simply doing what He obviously by then knew what He was born to do. He was both the Son of God and the son of man; He was as much at home in Jerusalem (see the Fact Finder question below) as He was in Nazareth.

Caravan Nevertheless, for five days (they had traveled a day's journey from Jerusalem before they realized that Jesus was not among them, then a day to return to Jerusalem, and then 3 more days before He was found in the Temple where He apparently was the whole time) Joseph and Mary were no doubt stricken with grief and panic.

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him."

"Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the Feast. And when they had fulfilled the 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 acquaintance. 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 doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. And when they saw Him, they were amazed: 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? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business? And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them."

"And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart."

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." (Luke 2:40-52 KJV)

Ironically, about 20 years later, the by then widowed Mary would again lose her son in Jerusalem at Passover - when He was crucified.

Fact Finder: Why did Jesus Christ call that physical Jewish Temple "My Father's house" (John 2:16 KJV)?
See "My Father's House"

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