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Daily Worship


December 30 | Luke 1:41-52





Desperately Seeking

by Mary Alice McGinnis

Are there things in your life that you have questions about? Things you don’t understand? Things for which you wish you had answers?


Most of the details about Jesus’ childhood remains a mystery. From the day He was consecrated in the temple until He was twelve years old, the New Testament writers do not give any information about Him. Then again after age twelve until He begins His ministry at age 30, the Gospels tell us nothing, What was Jesus like when He was 5, 10 or 20? How did He interact with others? Did He do any miracles? Did He have to learn to read and write, or saw and hammer, just like others His age?


Today’s story leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions too. Why did Jesus choose to stay behind in Jerusalem? Why did Mary and Joseph not notice He was not with them for a full day?


From the time of His infancy until He was age twelve, there were no recorded words from the incarnate Jesus.


What were Jesus first recorded words?


“Why were you searching for me?” He asked.


Think about that for a moment. Is there something you have been desperately seeking? Perhaps that search has been going on for a while, and there seems to be no end in sight. 

It may feel like God has abandoned you, been unkind to you, or treated you badly by allowing such distress. Maybe Jesus is asking you that question right now, “Why are you searching for Me?”


The twelve-year-old Jesus continues, “Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?”


Mary and Joseph had desperately searched for Jesus for three full days. Where do you suppose they looked for Him? Yet Jesus tells them that should have known right where He was - in His Father’s house. It says, they found Him “in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions. Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers.”  


He was right where He was supposed to be, tending to His Heavenly Father’s business (as some translations say).


It says that Mary and Joseph did not understand what He was saying to them. Aren’t we just like that? Jesus bids us to seek Him. Where is He working? How is He bringing about His Father’s business right now? Where are we missing Him? He can be plainly seen if we just open our eyes to see Him. But often, in our humanness, we do not understand.


Even though she did not understand yet what Jesus was saying, “Mary treasured all these things in her heart.”   

This had been Mary’s practice since the Angels and the Shepherds came to visit the Child Messiah in His manger bed. Luke 1:19 says: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” It was all too much to take in. She could not fully grasp it all. So, she gathered all these things together keeping them protected and guarded in her heart like a valuable treasure. Mary preserved God’s unmistakable unveiling of His glory, and kept it locked inside her lest these things be forgotten. Many think that Luke gathered the things Mary treasured up and wrote them down in the gospel of Luke.


After finding Jesus in the temple, Mary again treasures these things in her heart. Now she brings back to mind “why” Jesus came—to fulfill the mission His Heavenly Father laid out for Him. And He would do it in ways that would not always make sense. He would be obedient to them as a child. And as God’s Son, He would be obedient to His Heavenly Father—even unto death, death on a cross.


When we are searching, when we are looking for answers, when we are finding it hard to understand it all, perhaps we need simply to turn our hearts back to the One who DOES know all things. May we keep, protect, and guard this treasure inside our hearts - the relentless love that would go so far as to be born a human and die for us. We will find Jesus right there, doing His Father’s business - pouring out His relentless love in ways far above what we can think or imagine.


What questions were stirred up in your heart today? Bring them to Jesus. Lay them at His feet.

Lift your heart in prayer through this song: Magnify - by We are Messengers.

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