The Family Business

Luke 2:41 – 52 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days 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. 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.

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 men.

At age 12, Jesus was teetering on the border of childhood and manhood. When traveling, the women and children would have stayed together, and the men would have stayed together. Since Jesus could have legitimately traveled with either group, I can understand why Mary and Joseph each thought their son was with the other. When they realized he was missing, they had traveled for about one day.

Frantic, they turned around and headed back to Jerusalem. I can imagine their panic; after all, Nazareth was a small town. Jerusalem was a big, bustling city. Can you imagine your child being lost in the streets of Houston or London or Beijing? I would have been a nervous wreck!

They traveled on foot, and I’ll bet they asked each person they saw on the way, “Have you seen our son? He’s twelve years old. He’s about this tall, dark hair, gentle brown eyes . . . ” It took them one day to get back to Jerusalem. Then, on the next day of searching, they found him at the temple. He was talking with the teachers as if he were their equal! Mary and Joseph were astonished, for they didn’t see him this way. Yes, they knew he had a special calling on his life. But to them, he was just their little boy. And he was in a heap of trouble.

“Jesus, how could you do this to us?” Mary scolded. “Do you have any idea how worried we have been?”

To which Jesus replied, “I don’t understand why you had to look for me. Didn’t you know I’d be right here, about my Father’s business?”

Jesus was not being a smart-alec. He was simply a boy on the brink of manhood. And as most boys ready to become men, He was anxious to go ahead and make the leap. The fact that he went with them, and was obedient to them after that, shows that he was willing to play the part perfectly. He may have been on the brink of manhood, but he wasn’t a man yet. So he bid his time.

I wonder how much of my life I have spent going about my Father’s business. I’m afraid that far too much of my time is spent going about my own business, and has little to do with what God wants for me. Yet, just as Jesus made the choices to honor and serve God in all things – right down to being obedient to his parents – I can make those choices, too.

In my job – am I honoring God? In the clothes I wear, and the television shows I watch – am I honoring God? Does my daily “business” coincide with God’s desires for me, or not? Jesus was about His Father’s business every day of His life. And I want my life to be the same – every day, about my Father’s business.

Dear Father, Thank You for the example that Jesus set, even at such a young age. I want to be about Your business in my life.


For a second cup, see: Exodus 23:15, 17 & 34:23; Deuteronomy 16:1, 16; Matthew 7:28; Mark 1:22 & 4:22, 32; John 2:16, 9:45 & 18:34; Luke 3:19, 40; Daniel 7:28; 1 Samuel 2:26

12 Responses to The Family Business

  1. August 18, 2008 #

    Such insight from my child! Thank you. I pray that I, too, will be so much more diligent in going about my Father’s business.

  2. August 18, 2008 #

    Me too! 🙂

  3. August 18, 2008 #

    Jesus is always right where we leave Him. I often have to go back and find Him, too.

    I feel Mary’s sorrow, here, her panic and pain at her realizing her son is missing. Then, when she does find Him, He reminds her that He doesn’t belong just to her. Very cool.

    Great posts (as always)!!

  4. August 18, 2008 #

    Hi Sarah! I love that – “Jesus is always right where we leave Him.” Isn’t it great that He waits for us? Also, I’ve found HE looks for ME, chasing me when I leave Him. Isn’t that great!

    Great to see you again! You’ve been missed! 🙂

  5. August 18, 2008 #

    Renae and Sarah,
    I love this: “Jesus is always right where we leave Him. I often have to go back and find Him, too. ”

    I just wish it weren’t so true of me!

  6. August 18, 2008 #

    Hi Lillie! I felt the same way about that line. (Thanks, Sarah!)

    I’m right there with you, my friends! Constantly having to retrace my steps, trying to figure out where I got off the path . . .

  7. August 18, 2008 #

    Say, do I need to copyright that???? Just kidding. The Holy Spirit gives some clever one-liners every now and again. So, don’t thank me. We’re here to learn and share what we know, yes? God blessed us with each other – and I’m grateful for this blog and the many who come here to witness to His love and mercy.

  8. August 18, 2008 #

    Ditto, Sarah! It feels like we’re all sitting around my living room, having coffee and studying God’s Word. I love all my Morning Coffee friends! 🙂

  9. August 19, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,

    I’m learning to be about my Father’s business, too. At this particular time in my life. In this very place in my life. Under these circumstances of my life.

    Tomorrow isn’t a better time than today to serve my Savior.


  10. August 19, 2008 #

    You are so right, Jean. There is no better time to serve Him than right now. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your wisdom!

  11. August 20, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    You hit the nail on the head again.
    I have to let God be my business 24/7.
    If not I go astray.
    I often do.
    From Felisol

  12. August 21, 2008 #

    I think we all do, Felisol. But like Sarah said, when we go astray, we just need to go back and find Him. He will always be there.

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