Fast-forward twelve years. Jesus and his whole family made the annual excursion to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. When their group began the journey home, Jesus stayed behind without his parents knowing it, and spent His time with the teachers at the Temple. After three days of frantically searching for Jesus, Mary and Joseph found Him. If you have ever experienced the panic attack that comes when a child in your care is lost, you have more than likely felt the emotional rollercoaster of terrifying fear then relief and great joy when the child is found. We can almost hear that extreme emotion in Mary’s voice when she and Joseph find Jesus.
Meanwhile, all who had heard Jesus at the Temple were amazed with Him. When his parents arrived he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people. Jesus lived a blessed life; blessed does not always equate to easy. Often, blessings flow freely when we practice obedience but choosing obedience can be hard for us. Think of Jesus in His life, tempted beyond what we will ever face, yet He chose to obey. Even up to death on a cross.
Lord Jesus, You lived the life of love and obedience that we should live, but we don’t. You died the death that we should have died because of our sins. Your goodness in exchange for mankind’s badness is news too good to be true. Yet You are true, blessed by Your Father to bless the world with perfect love. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Amen. It is good though to remember that at this point in God’s Story, Jesus is still a boy. Although we do not have a picture of Jesus climbing a tree, building His first birdhouse, or winning a soccer game, Jesus grew. He went through all the ages and stages, from infancy to manhood as He matured. Jesus, keep growing us, I pray.