Joe, Where Did Jesus Go?!
Admit it! You’ve lost a child or two at some point in your life, whether it be in the department store (you were staring at those skinny jeans EXTRA hard), the park (would you stop running after squirrels, Timmy?!), or in a restaurant (we’re not playing freeze tag in Applebee’s!). When we realize that our children have gone missing (look at me saying “we,” as if I actually have children. I’m such a poser. Haha), we immediately look for them, usually find them in the Hot Wheels or ice cream aisle (looking like the ice cream machine just exploded in their faces), give them a big hug and kiss (no backhanding kids on this site. Haha), and explain to them why they should not run off (and why Daddy needs to stop looking at drills while Tommy is knocking TVs over). We all love our kids, try to provide them with the best education possible, and are confident that they’re going to become something in life-we don’t want to lose future doctors and lawyers. What happens, however, when you lose the future Lord and Savior of the world, at age 12? That’s right! How do you explain to others that you just lost Jesus (Jesus?! Jesus?! Come here this instant! Playtime is over!)? This brings us to the story of Jesus teaching in the temple in the Bible.
In the 2nd Chapter of Luke, we see that 12-year old Jesus and his parents, Mary and Joseph, are making the annual trip to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. During those times, Jewish men were required to go to three festivals a year-Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles- though Passover was the only festival that was strictly observed (get on the horse! We’re leaving now!). Though men were required to attend the Feast of the Passover, women and children could attend as well (Daddy, can I have some cotton candy when we get there? Please?! Pretty please, with cherries, sprinkles, Oreo cookies, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and a Twix on top?!). The Feast of the Passover celebrated God freeing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery (I’m free!!!!!!!), and attendees of the Feast would usually stay for at least a couple of days. Once a Jewish boy turned 13, he was required to attend the Feast of the Passover and participate in all of the religious activities of the people (I’m a man, Daddy! See this hair on my chin? Right there! Right there! I have a mustache too! Taping gummy worms to your upper lip doesn’t mean that you have a mustache. Haha). Jesus was not yet “required” to attend the Feast, but Mary and Joseph brought him along anyway.
Once Mary and Joseph began the trip back home, they realized that Jesus was not with them, figured he MUST be in the group of people coming back (they always traveled in groups for safety reasons), and kept walking (Y’all are tripping. If I don’t see my child immediately, I’m stopping and frisking everything that moves. Where is my child?!). Once Mary and Joseph realized that Jesus was not in the group returning home, they went back to Jerusalem to find him, and didn’t find him until three days later in the temple (Oh, God. Oh, merciful, gracious, loving and forgiving God. Please forgive us! We didn’t mean to lose the Messiah! Honest!). Twelve year old Jesus Christ was in the temple, talking with the doctors-they were amazed by how intelligent he was, both in how he understood them and how he answered their questions (DUH! He’s God in the flesh! God knows everything!). When Mary and Joseph found Jesus, Mary explained to him that they had been worried sick about him, and wanted to know why he had just left them like that. Jesus’s response was as follows:
Luke 2:49 (KJV): And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Boy! Jesus asked his parents why they were looking for him, and further asked them, “didn’t you all know that I need to be in my Father’s (referring to God Almighty’s) house and take care of his business?” Oh, snap! Both sides of my family are from down South, so please believe, if I EVER had the audacity to question my grandparents about looking for me, after I ran off, and they’re the ones taking care of me, they would have knocked me three ways into next week (Spare the rod, spoil the child. I loved my grandparents, and they took very good care of me; God rest their souls). Mary and Joseph didn’t understand what Jesus meant by this, but being the perfect little angel that he was (Jesus is the only perfect person to walk the face of the earth), he obeyed his parents and returned to Nazareth with them (listen to your parents, kids!). Mary cherished what Jesus had said about being about his Father’s business, and as Jesus continued to grow, he became wiser, more respected among men, and God continued to smile down on him (that’s my boy!).
I’m excited to remake this one! Without further ado, let’s get to it! NOTE: I will be utilizing modern-day language, technology, and ways of living in this story, as we’re picturing this happening today.
Joe, Where Did Jesus Go?!
Biblical Reference: Luke 2:41-52 (KJV)
*Mary, Joseph, and 12-year-old Jesus have traveled from Nazareth to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover-God had freed the Israelites from Egyptian slavery (God had shut that little punk, Pharaoh, down!)! Mary and Joseph (as part of a big group) are now returning to Nazareth, but soon realize that Jesus is not with them*
Mary (Jesus’s Mother): Jesus?! Jesus?! Jesus, where are you?! Joe, I don’t see Jesus!
Joseph (Jesus’s Earthly Father) *in a super scary, manly voice*: Jesus?! Jesus, where did you run off to?! Boy, I’m not playing with you! If you don’t get your behind here in the next 30 seconds, that’s your behind when we get home! *Looking at Mary* -That’s your son.
Mary: Maybe he went ahead of us. Sheldon and his parents were here, so he probably left with them (their phones are dead, so they can’t check); you know how he likes to play pranks on everyone (like the time he suddenly appeared in your stomach, even though you and Joseph hadn’t enjoyed each other’s company yet? Sure, Mary. “Prank” isn’t the word that I would use here)
Joseph: Let’s just wait and see if he’s at home. He’s probably trying to use my razor again (that boy ain’t got no hair on his chin!). He better not break anything!
Mary: Okay, Honey. Let’s just get in the car. *they can’t find their phone chargers, so they’ll just have to wait until they get home to call Sheldon’s parents*
*They drive home, only to realize that Jesus is not there, Sheldon’s parents had not picked him up, and they better find him quickly before someone calls DCFS on them…or issues an Amber Alert*
Mary (frantic): Joe, let’s hurry up and go back to Jerusalem! He must still be there! How could he just disappear like this?! He was walking with us out of Burger King, and that’s the last time I remember seeing him. He better not be pretending to be homeless to get free food; I will ring his neck!
Joseph (frantic): Get in the car, Woman! We don’t have time to waste! *he might be sleeping on the couch tonight*
*They race down the street-doing 85mph in a 55mph lane, and just praying not to be pulled over by the cops-in search for Jesus, and after THREE DAYS (I’m not leaving without my boy!), they find him in the temple, talking with some of the world’s most well-known and widely respected doctors. The doctors are in shock with how smart Jesus is-he knows more than they do!*
Mary (hugging and kissing Jesus): Jesus! Oh my goodness! My baby! We’re so glad that you’re alright! We were worried sick that something had happened to you! Why would you run off like that?! You almost gave your father and I a heart attack! You could have been kidnapped, hurt, killed, or anything! Why would you do that?!
JESUS CHRIST (in a kind and respectful manner): How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Mary: Boy, who are you getting smart with?! I’m not one of your little friends! I may not have gone through 89 hours of labor to bring you into the world, but I’ve gone through 105,120.73 hours of labor taking care of your peanut head for the last 12 years! You better fix your tone (erm, his tone was just fine) and start showing me some respect! Have you lost your mind?! I’ll help you find it! Joe, talk to your son.
Joseph: Jesus, don’t get smart with your mother. You know better than that.
JESUS CHRIST: Mother and Father, I do apologize. I don’t mean any disrespect or harm, but I must be about my Father’s business.
Mary and Joseph: Whatchu talking about, Willis?!
JESUS CHRIST: I realize that you all may not understand what I mean by this (he’s referring to his Heavenly Father, God Almighty, and how he must be in God’s house and do the work that God sent him to do), but as my parents, I will obey you all and go home with you.
Mary: Thank you! Let’s head to the car.
*Mary, Joseph, and Jesus go back home, and Mary keeps thinking about what Jesus said about needing to be about his Father’s business*
Mary (to herself): I wonder what Jesus meant by needing to be about his Father’s business? He has always had these grand ideas, and I know that he’s a smart boy. I’ll continue to pray for him. He’s going to grow up to be someone special someday. I can just feel it.
Joseph: Home, sweet home!
*Jesus continued to become more wise, more respected among the people, and he was dripping in God’s favor-God was smiling down on him. Say cheese!*