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The Lost Child

Author: Josué Mora Peña

The Bible speaks of the lost sheep (Matthew 15:24); the lost coin (Luke 15:8) and the prodigal son (Luke 15:32), but it also speaks of the lost Child: Jesus. His Mother Mary and Joseph lost the adolescent Jesus. The Bible tells us that Mary and Joseph went every year to Jerusalem every year (Luke 2:41). We assume that the Child Jesus and his brothers and sisters, found in Mark 6:3, ["Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Judah, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended of him."] went also with them to Jerusalem every year. Halley’s Bible Handbook says that it was the first time for the Child Jesus took part of the Passover feast. On this particular occasion, Jesus was about 13 years old.

The Passover began in Egypt, with the deliverance of the people of Israel from the bondage from the Pharaoh. It is an interesting story, please read it in Exodus chapter 12.

When the feast was over in Jerusalem, Mary, Joseph, friends and relatives returned to their homes. Men traveled together and the women by themselves. Joseph thought that Mary’s Son, Jesus, was traveling with her. Mary thought that He was with Joseph in their group. As we said before, Jesus was about 13 years of age. During the ceremony at Passover, Jesus became a member of manhood. Probably that’s why Mary thought that Jesus was traveling with Joseph, now that He had reached that state of religious responsibility. Before, Jesus traveled with His Mother and/or some friends.

The part of the ceremony Jesus went through during the Passover is called Bar Mitzva, or Mizvah. Mar Mitzva is the religious ceremony by which it is affirmed that a Jewish boy has reached the age of religious responsibility, normally his thirteenth birthday. According to the Hebrew tradition, it was equivalent to going to college, once past it, the boy not only entered upon man’s estate but, there was no return.

When Mary and Joseph found out that Jesus was not with them, they returned to Jerusalem, another day’s journey and on the third day they found Him in the Temple. What an agony must have been for Joseph and Mary, but especially hers.

What was Jesus doing in the temple? Verse 46 says, "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions." No, Jesus was not a prodigious Boy, He was the Son of God, God Himself, the Incarnate God. He knew what He was doing in the temple. He was doing His Father’s will, He was not lost. Let’s change the sermon’s title from "The Lost Child" to "The God-Child", "The God-Man."

Probably Jesus already knew what His mission would be on earth. There were many more boys who went every year for the Passover feast. "Boys of tender years were required to make their appearance in the temple at festivals", according to The Talmud (which literary means instruction). The Talmud is the authoritative body of Jewish tradition comprising and Mishna and the Gemara). By the way, the Mishnah, or Mishna is the oral law: the collection of mostly halakic Jewish traditions complied about AD 200 and made the basic part of the Talmud. The Gemara is a commentary on the Mishna forming the second part of the Talmud. Halakah, literally means, way: It is the body of Jewish law supplementing the scriptural law and forming especially the legal part of the Talmud (The Interpreter’s Bible).

When Mary rebuked Jesus, He told her that "How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business"? (v. 49). Please note the difference in the word father in verse 48 and 49. In 48 "father" is with lower case, referring to Joseph. In 49 it refers to God, Jesus’ "Father". Both Mary and Joseph did not understand what Jesus meant. The last verse says that "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

Both Mary and Joseph are not the only ones who have lost the Child Jesus. Many people today have lost Him also. Even Christians, especially during the holy days. Jesus’ parents found Him after three days. Let’s hope that those who have lost the Son of God may find Him soon. There’s not much time left. Unfortunately, others have lost Him forever and will never find Him, those who have gone back to the world and its pleasures.

May sure you have not lost Him.

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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32
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