Although the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus the Messiah, seems important (and it was!), at the end of the day, she was a mother. Yes, Jesus, the Christ, was the Son of God and she was given the honor of bearing and birthing the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), God incarnate (John 1:13), but really, Jesus was her son – the baby she had nursed, the toddler who had put everything into His mouth, and the curious boy who had learned his dad’s trade as a carpenter. So, when Jesus was twelve years old and went missing in Jerusalem, his mother did was a mother would do!
Mary and Joseph searched for three days through that massive city, talking to everyone, knocking on doors, wracking their brains, praying and exhausting themselves to find Jesus. And where was He? “…in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (Luke 2:46) His parents were, understandably, frustrated and exasperated. “And His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You dealt with us like this? Look, Your father and I have anxiously searched for You.” (Luke 2:48) Mary was upset because she had departed only to find Jesus wasn’t with her. When she asked Him “why??”, He gave her an answer that showed the mistake wasn’t His, but hers.
You don’t seek Jesus after you’ve made your choice and departed for the next place. You search for Him before you go.
How many times in life do we look around and realize Jesus is no longer with us? Have you ever have that experience where, at some point, you realized you somehow you drifted away from Jesus or lost sight of Him? How many times have you wondered where Jesus went? How many times have you asked other people to point you to Him? How many times have you sought help, wracked your brain, prayed desperately and exhausted yourself to find where Jesus is in what you’re going through in your life? And yet, “How is it that you searched for Me?” Jesus said. “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) Here’s the thing: Jesus never went anywhere – He was left behind.
Mary asked Jesus the exact same question we all ask Jesus: “Why have you dealt with us like this?” We blame Jesus for leaving. We accuse Him of disappearing during the times when we need Him the most. We assume He was the one who didn’t come with us, when it was we who moved on without making sure He was there. We all make choices in life and go down various paths that lie before us, but is Jesus with you? Jesus was just as surprised that His parents didn’t know where He would be as his parents were that He wasn’t with them. “I must be about my Father’s business,” Jesus said. Remember, Jesus being “in you” and “with you” are two different things. Jesus will always, always, always be as close as the mention of His name, but His primary concern is the Kingdom of God. If the Kingdom of God is not your primary concern as you make choices for your life, you will eventually look around at your life and you won’t be able to see Him there. Not because He left, but because you left without Him. Before you move in any direction, ask Jesus if that’s the way He wants to go because He will be about the “Father’s business” – the Kingdom – and His plan includes you, so make sure your plans include Him!
Thought for today
Two things Jesus said we need to seek after: 1) the Kingdom of God and 2) the righteousness of God. (Matthew 6:33) Instead of saying to Jesus, “Why have You dealt with us like this? We have anxiously searched for You!!!” we must instead determine that we will not depart for the next chapter or season of our lives, or make any important decisions in our lives without making sure Jesus is with us. Don’t seek Jesus after you’ve made your choice and departed for the next place. Search for Him before you go. “How is it that you have searched for me?” Jesus said. Above all else, your life should be centered around the “Father’s business” because that’s what Jesus is concerned with – reaching the lost, expanding the Kingdom of God, taking back territory the enemy has stolen, laying hands on the sick, the lame, the poor, teaching, discipling, loving – whatever direction or choices you have to make in this life, go when He goes and stay when He stays.