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Home In Jerusalem
"2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary [in Hebrew pronounced Miriam], and Joseph [in Hebrew pronounced Yoe-sef], and the babe lying in a manger. 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:16-19 KJV)
Bethlehem is just a short distance south of Jerusalem. According to custom and God's Law, the Child was taken to Jerusalem, not long after His birth, and then returned to Bethlehem where they lived safely for up to two years, before fleeing to Egypt. That was the reason that Herod's (see The Herods) death sentence stated "from two years old and under" i.e. "2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men" (Matthew 2:16 KJV).
"2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child [see also Circumcision], his name was called Jesus [Yeshua in the actual Hebrew], which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
"After three days they found Him in the Temple"
Jesus had a lifetime connection to Jerusalem (long before His human birth as well - see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and Melchizedek: A Portrayal Of Christ). One of the most famous recorded incidents was at the time that He was twelve years old (a significant symbolic transition time from boy to man for Jews) at Passover.
"2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover [see the Calendar of Christ's Holy Days]. 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast." (Luke 2:41-42 KJV)
When the Passover observance was completed, the family group returned home - the reason that Joseph and Mary did not realize that Jesus wasn't among them.
"2:43 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.
It doesn't take three days to return from "a day's journey" (verse 44, above) that they had travelled before realizing that Jesus was not there - particularly in that they would have frantically rushed on the return. Joseph and Mary searched through Jerusalem for nearly three days before seeking Him at the Temple - where He had safely been the whole time. Ironically, many of the men who would years later reject and crucify the Christ, fed and looked after Him during those three days.
"2:45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
Although some read the English translation of Jesus' answer to Mary as being somewhat sarcastic, the sinless Saviour would not have dishonored His parents by speaking to them in such a way. Secondly, although He was without doubt just as relieved as they were that they found Him, He honestly asked why, after three days of searching through Jerusalem, the Temple was the last place that they looked for Him.
"2:48 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. 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 2:50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 2:51 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." (Luke 2:48-51 KJV)
Fact Finder: When the Messiah entered Jerusalem before His Sacrifice, where did He go first? Upon His return, where will the Messiah fulfill His "triumphal entry"?