“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)

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