“Failure To Look In The Obvious Place” ( Luke 2: 43, ESV ) by Carley Evans


The longing in His human heart perhaps is enormous; for the boy Jesus leaves His earthly parents and finds His Father’s house at the conclusion of the Feast of the Passover. “The boy Jesus stays behind in Jerusalem. His parents do not know it, but supposing Him to be in the group they go a day’s journey, but then begin to search for Him among their relatives and acquaintances.” (Luke 2:43-44)

Joseph and Mary spend three days searching “in great distress” for their son, Jesus. (Luke 2:48) Oddly enough, they fail to look in the most obvious place — the temple. They look “in the group,” “among their relatives,” and even among their “acquaintances;” but they fail to look “in My Father’s house” as Jesus says when they find Him. (Luke 2:49) Of course, Jesus is there “in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (Luke 2:46) Logically, if not “in the group” or “among relatives and acquaintances” where else would He be? Joseph and Mary ought to know better.

Yet, Jesus — despite being twelve and about His Father’s business  — “goes down with [His parents] and comes to Nazareth and is submissive to them.” (Luke 2:51) And His mother Mary, with her firsthand knowledge of God, the Holy Spirit, “treasures all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51)

God’s Purpose ( Isaiah 14: 24, ESV ) by Carley Evans


“The Lord of Hosts swears, ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand… This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord of Hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:24,26-27)

God has a plan. He has a purpose concerning the whole earth. No one is able to annul God’s plan. No one is able to turn God back from His intention.

What is God’s purpose?

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul says God’s purpose is to bless us — that is, Christians — “in the heavenly places. even as He chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless in His sight.” (Ephesians 1:3,4) God’s purpose is also to “put all things under [Christ’s] feet” and to make Christ “head over all things” to the benefit of His church, “which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:22,23)

God’s purpose is to “bring many sons to glory” through Christ “for whom and by whom all things exist.” (Hebrews 2:10) God’s purpose is for us — the sons of glory — to “enter His rest.” (Hebrews 4:1) “For we who believe enter that rest.” (Hebrews 4:3)

Now God “desires to show convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His purpose, [so] He guarantees it with an oath.” (Hebrews 6:17) He swears by Himself in that “it is impossible for God to lie.” (Hebrews 6:18) Therefore, “we have this sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.” (Hebrews 6:19,20)

Who can annul God’s purpose; who can turn Him back?