For more help use this Bible Study method
The Journey Begins
by Judy Webb
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.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. (Verses 49 and 50)
This is every parent’s worst nightmare, losing a child in a crowd. And most assuredly it was crowded in Jerusalem during this festival. All the activity and excitement as folks arrive and the same as they prepare to return home leaves no question that this could happen to any of us.
So many people, animals, wagons, noise, and confusion. I can’t really imagine what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to be journeying home, perhaps discussing the friends and family they just spent time with. There were probably good conversations and reminiscing, as well as laughter, when suddenly they realized they hadn’t seen Jesus in a while. They begin the search.
One can’t help but wonder if this was only the beginning of their fear for Jesus’ safety and wellbeing. Mary and Joseph could be thinking this all along. They were well versed in the Scriptures and understood how special their son was; maybe this was the beginning of their parenting heartaches.
As parents we sometimes find it difficult to share our children with the grandparents, we want to witness all those special moments ourselves. Imagine having to share our children with the world; and be okay with how the world treats them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. (Verses 51 and 52)
Some versions of the Bible say, “Mary pondered these things in her heart.” Don’t you love the word ponder? It gives such a deep and wrenching feel to the things we keep hashing over in our minds and hearts. What do you ponder about? What fills your spirit with angst and concern? What memories do you carry with you that cause you to want to hold tight to everything precious?
Prayer Journal – Today, identify that which fills you with concern and ask God to give you peace about it. Each day this week, let us examine those things we can't seem to turn over to God in prayer, and be deliberate about doing so. Ponder, but then release.