When Jesus was 12 years old, He stayed behind in Jerusalem without His parents’ knowledge while they traveled back to Nazareth after the Passover celebration (Luke 2:41-52). When Mary & Joseph realized Jesus was not travelling with them, their relatives, or their friends, they went back to Jerusalem searching for Him. Three days later, they found Him in the Temple sitting with the religious teachers, listening, asking questions, and amazing people with his understanding and answers.
Three. Days. Later.
They could have filed a police report. Contrary to TV shows, nowadays, there is no waiting period to file a missing persons report in most states in the US. If Jesus went missing today, I like to think they would’ve found Him sooner, being a missing child and all. And then He would have gotten in trouble.
He might have gotten in trouble back then, but His whole defense was, “But why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” or “Didn’t you realize that I should be involved in my Father’s affairs?”
Can anyone really fault Him for being who He is? For doing what He’s supposed to be doing?
But Jesus went home and obeyed Mary & Joseph anyway. And He grew in stature and in favor with God and all people. Which makes me wonder what He did in His teens and 20’s. How else did He amaze people?
When I looked up the definition of the passion, some websites actually included the Passion of Christ as part of the definition. But the passion of Jesus isn’t contained in His suffering and death. It’s not even just in the time of His ministry outlined in the Gospel books. When He was 12, He displayed His passion.
I wonder where He slept during those 3 days. What did He eat? Where did He do his hygiene business? But when telling stories, we take out mundane details that doesn’t help drive our point home. Even though the welfare of a child is far from mundane, this story isn’t about that. It’s a glimpse into the passion of Jesus. How, even at 12 years old, He knew who He was and knew His purpose.
Age didn’t stop Jesus from doing amazing things. Being away from family didn’t stop Him. Physical needs probably need stop Him either. So what’s stopping us from our passion? And since I’m talking about passion in faith, what’s stopping us from taking our faith into the next level? Age? Time? Space? Needs? Well of course, because we’re only human. But I believe we’re capable of more.
At 12 years old, it didn’t matter where Jesus slept or what He ate when He was away from His family because those things didn’t stop Him from amazing people. And I think we can amaze people too, especially ourselves, if we act with a little bit more passion instead of letting things (people, situations, worries) stop us.