Luke 2:41-52 12-Year-Old Jesus

Luke 2:41-52 12-Year-Old Jesus

41 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43 After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.

45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 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.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.


Was Jesus lost when he remained in Jerusalem without his parents’ knowledge? His parents thought he was. They searched for him. However, Jesus told them: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Jesus was saying, “But Mom and Dad, I wasn’t lost. Didn’t you know where I had to be?”

When is a person really lost? Is a person lost if he is in the right place? Of course not. Consider a mother who enlisted a large number of friends and relatives to scour the neighborhood for her two-year-old boy. After hours of searching, they found him asleep with his blanket behind a toy box in his playroom. That’s where he had been all the time. So who was lost, the searchers or the child?

Take the example of when somebody frantically searches for his car keys, only to find them in his pocket, or the person who anxiously searches for his glasses, only to find them on top of his head.

Mary and Joseph were searching, but they were the ones who were lost, not Jesus. They loved God’s house and wanted to be there. After all, they had just spent a week celebrating the festival. But they seemed to have had a hard time realizing that Jesus would have naturally gone to the temple while he was waiting for them. There he had the chance to talk to the religious leaders, ask them questions, and listen to their answers.

So when are people lost? By God’s definition, people are lost when they are not where they should be. They are lost when they don’t realize the importance of learning God’s Word, worshiping together, and supporting God’s work.

When are they not lost? When they know Christ, are members of his kingdom, and rest daily in the grace and mercy of his forgiveness.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me follow Jesus’ example and be found where your Word is taught and preached, knowing that I am not lost as long as I place my hope in you. Amen.