If you’ve ever spent time watching children before, you can immediately relate to that question.
As a parent, I always thought that was beyond me. I mean, how do you lose a child, right?
Well, with an extremely active six and three year old I’ve learned that, in fact, it actually is pretty easy to lose a child.
I remember one morning when we were in Clarksville visiting family; we had all stopped at America’s favorite donut place. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t America’s favorite donut place, but it was a place with donuts.)
As we finished breakfast and were standing around getting ready to leave we looked to grab our kids’ hands and head out the door. We turned, and our six-year-old Micah wasn’t there. Since there was a crew of us, at first we just thought he was hiding or standing behind someone. It was a small restaurant so it wouldn’t be beyond him to wander.
Within a few very brief moments we realized Micah was no longer in the restaurant.
Panic set in.
We quickly began to look around and darted out the door to look for him. That is when we spotted him.
Micah was wandering across the parking lot tagging a foot or two behind a group of people walking to their car. We did as any normal person would do, we shouted like maniacs and went running to him.
The people he was following turned and looked at us like we were lunatics, as they had no idea Micah was tagging along behind him.
As we were all standing by the door getting ready to leave, the group he was following had walked out the door. Micah assumed it was us and just tagged along.
Stuff like this just happens with kids though.
That is why the one story we have in scripture about Jesus’ childhood strikes me so much.
We find Mary and Joseph making their annual trek to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. Twelve-year-old Jesus was in tow, along with a decent sized group of family and friends.
Once the feast was over and the group was traveling home Mary and Joseph began to look for Jesus. They were already a day into the trip and they realized Jesus wasn’t with them and their group.
I can picture Mary and Joseph looking at each other and coming to the realization:
We lost Jesus!
Can you imagine what they must of felt? They lost Jesus. The Son of God. The Messiah!
That is pretty heavy stuff.
When they couldn’t find him they immediately turned back around and headed back for Jerusalem; it was another day trek back.
Three days after they discovered he was missing they found him. They found him still in Jerusalem, in the temple, listening to the teachers and asking questions.
Mary immediately responded like a mom would. Child, why have you done this to us? We’ve been searching for you!
It was an expected, and a passionate response.
Yet it was Jesus’ reply that takes us by surprise.
“Why were you searching for me?”
Think about that, why were you searching for me?
Because you were missing!
But Jesus goes on; “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?“
Remember, by now it had been 13 years since the angel appeared to Mary. A lot of ordinary life had passed. But deep down what Jesus was saying was, don’t you remember Mary, I’m the Son of God. Didn’t you know I’d be in my Father’s house?
The more appropriate translation from Greek may have read, “Didn’t you know I’d be about my Father’s business.”
So it wasn’t that Jesus was lost, it was just that Mary and Joseph were looking in the wrong places. Jesus was found in the middle of His Father’s business.
But here’s the hook, the same was true for Jesus’ disciples. They were to be about the Father’s business. That is for us too.
Everything Jesus did, thus everything we do should find its direction from our Father’s business.
Yet sometimes we lose Jesus too, don’t we? Our circumstances turn and we can’t find Jesus in them.
Our priorities change and we feel like we can’t find Jesus in anything we do.
As a result, we begin to look for Jesus in all the wrong places. We look for Him amidst this world and its trappings. We look for Him in relationships, in materialism, in politics, in money and in careers.
In that distance, in our lives, we find ourselves saying Jesus, where are you?
And Jesus responds, why are you looking for me? Didn’t you know I’d be about my Father’s business?
When we begin to align ourselves again with our Father’s business we begin to see Him in all of our situations, the good and the bad. When we commit what we do to Him, and His Kingdom we then see Him at work in our situations too.
It is in the middle of our Father’s business that we come alongside Jesus, finding fullness and content.
So when when in the middle of our circumstances we question, ‘Jesus where’d you go?’ We can rest assured that He is doing the will of the Father, and is calling us to come alongside.