Did You Not Know?

Written by Kacie Drake | ChattHOP Staff

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Have you ever noticed what the first documented words of Jesus are?

 

Check it. Luke 2. Jesus is twelve years old, and we get a whopping two sentences from him until he starts his ministry nearly two decades later.

 

The family (Joseph & Mary & Jesus & siblings, alongside all the extendeds and countless others) have caravanned to Jerusalem for the annual Feast of the Passover. When the feast ends, they begin their trek back to Nazareth, only this time, “supposing him to be in the group,” they venture a full day’s distance only to realize Jesus isn’t there.

 

Parental note: it’s usually a good idea to actually see with your own two eyes that your child is present, rather than “supposing” he is present.

 

So Joseph and Mary return to Jerusalem, tracing their footsteps, and search for Jesus for three days. THREE DAYS. Worst scavenger hunt ever. Can you imagine the distress of Mary and Joseph? You’ve successfully gone a full decade parenting THE SON OF GOD and then, twelve years in, you LOSE HIM.

 

So, after the stress of searching for the Son of God, they finally find Jesus on the third day (because God is all about those third days.)

He is, oh so casually, in the temple, “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.”

 

When Mary and Joseph find him, Luke makes sure we know they were astonished.

 

And then Mary speaks, exasperated, sleepless, and hysterical, “Son, why have you treated us so? Your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.”

 

I imagine the temple went silent as Mary and Joseph burst in, relieved and angry and tired as they beheld their son, who was still alive and in one piece. I imagine some awkward silence ensued as all the temple teachers watched this episode of parents-versus-prodigy. How would Jesus respond? How would this boy, full of revelation and understanding, respond as a young son to his anxious parents?

 

And Jesus, at 12 years old, calmly (?) answers: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?

 

Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?

 

Shouldn’t this woman — who has known Jesus more than any other, who was given a word from a glorious angel that she would carry the Son of God, who as a virgin birthed the promised Messiah, this miracle baby, favored by God and filled with wisdom — shouldn’t she have know that her divine son would be in the place nearest to God?

 

And I just wonder, when all is said and done, do we not also search frantically to and fro for Jesus’ presence? Do we not also “suppose” he is among our life’s procession, assuming he will join us as we move forward, instead of stopping to check where he is? How often do we go a full day (or two or three or twenty) without realizing we’ve walked away from where he is?

 

When I stop and think about it, I wonder if this is one of the most relatable moments we have with Mary – this moment where she, the human MOTHER OF GOD, is forced to realize that Jesus isn’t just following her and Joseph around, but actually is already walking in mission, that even as a twelve-year-old boy was choosing to walk with the Father, approaching the Cross nearer and nearer. She has to realize that even as his mother, she still has to stop and search for HIM.  

 

How much more do we have to seek him out?

 

Jesus is not absent. He wasn’t off “doing his own thing.” This wasn’t the warning sign for pending teenage rebellion. Not even a little bit. He was filled with wisdom. The favor of God was upon him. He is intentionally walking in the way of his Heavenly Father, communicating to his family (communicating to US) that he is about his Father's business, that he is only doing what he sees the Father doing.

 

This is the inaugural message we hear in the gospels from the One Who Saves Us:

“Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?”

 

Did you not know that this is why I’m here: to do everything I see the Father doing “to be about my Father’s business?” Did you not know that I must BE with him? Did you not know that I am not separate from my Father? We are one, and I must abide with him?

 

“And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.”

 

But Jesus doesn’t try to prove his point.  He doesn’t give his parents a preaching-to. He doesn’t make them understand. He, full of humility, gets up and goes "down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them.”

 

But somehow, those two sentences he spoke were recorded in a book that has endured two millenniums, and we are given access to know that at age 12, Jesus was with his Father. His childhood years were not spent in ignorant perfection and holiness. Even as a child, He chose to be about his Father’s business.

 

Are you searching for Jesus? Are you frantically trying to find him?

 

Even now, he is about his Father’s business. And from the beginning, the Father’s business has been about drawing near to you. Jesus has not walked away from you, although you may have walked away from him. He is not missing, although you may be missing him.

 

Mary and Joseph found him after three days. They were astonished.

 

And after he died, his people found him after three days. ALIVE. 

 

“Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?”

 

“…and Mary treasured up all these things in her heart.”

 

Will you?