Today’s reading: Luke 2:36-52
One of the things I always try to do when reading this passage is put myself in the shoes of Mary and Joseph and try to imagine exactly how they lost Jesus on a trip to Jerusalem.
One of the thoughts that have occurred to me many times on this subject is that Jesus was probably a “great” kid. Modern media occasionally gets into the subject of the “lost years” of Jesus, of which we know little from the ages of two or so until his public ministry begins around age thirty. When they do so they often choose to portray Jesus as either an embarrassingly shy child who knows he is different and is just trying to keep his divinity hidden or as a totally unaware of his special nature whose divinity and mission come as a surprise when he reaches the time for his public ministry.
I view it as a third alternative, Jesus was a “great” kid. He was probably super energetic. He probably went to bed on time, slept well and was up early to help with the chores. He ate, unlike my kids, enough food that he didn’t worry his mother but not so much that he was a gluten. And most importantly, he was probably friendly, not just with other kids but with everyone. He would have been the kid bring friends over to the house and leading games. He would have been the kid who helped old ladies carry things and when he got to their homes he would have gone inside and helped them straighten up. While he was there if they were low on water he would have volunteered to fetch it or mend the door, or whatever was needed. The point is that he was probably well known in the community. His only “flaw” was that he probably always came home just before it was late because he was busy helping somebody. So when Mary and Joseph set out from Jerusalem in the caravan that was the entire town of Nazareth they probably assumed he was among the crowd, helping to load a cart, talking to the neighbors, etc. The caravan would likely have stretched out for some distance and when Mary and Joseph didn’t see Jesus they probably assumed he couldn’t find them among the long line of carts and they assumed he was safe with their well-known neighbors. That’s how I imagine Jesus got lost.
Tomorrow: Luke 3:1-14