I was brought up watching a lot of TV & movies. It has been one of my favorite past times and something I still love to do. My wife on the other hand, could take it or leave it. Except during Christmas. She loves to watch everything Christmas. Christmas specials, Christmas movies, and Christmas musicals. During the Christmas season, she will watch TV almost every day trying to catch every Christmas themed movie or special that she can. One of her favorite movies is Home Alone. The story of a little boy whose family was leaving on vacation. They were in such a hurry and there were so many of them that this little boy was left at home while the family flew halfway across the world to Paris. This hilarious comedy took place during Christmas and is a bit reminiscent of another story about a boy left Home Alone.
A number of years ago, the pastor of our church and I tag teamed some of the greatest questions Jesus asked through a series of sermons. After about 6 or 8 weeks, we moved on to a new sermon series. However, I was left with a bit of emptiness as if we barely touched the bottom of the barrel. Most people these days are interested in finding the answers. After all, that’s why many people come to church. They want answers and they want the “expert” Christian (ie pastor) to give them. It’s interesting to note that Jesus wasn’t as focused on giving answers as he was on probing them with questions. Questions that cut to the bone. Deep, meaningful questions.
The first question by Jesus recorded in the Bible was to his parents. But it has deep theological meaning for us, as we read it and consider it today.
In Luke 2:41-52, we read the story of when Jesus was a boy. His parents, friends and family had visited the temple for a festival which was more than a day’s journey from their home. After the festival, they headed home assuming Jesus was with one of their friends or family. But, he wasn’t. They left him. Home Alone. Oh wait, different story. Or not.
Jesus was left at the temple and he spent his time there having some deep theological conversations with the priests. He was about 12 years old. Having deep theological conversations with the priests. More specifically, as the priests taught, he asked questions. Yet, as the story was recorded in verse 47, everyone was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Jesus was listening to the priests and asking questions, yet the other people around were amazed at his understanding and his answers. Jesus’ questions demonstrated his understanding. His questions also gave answers. That’s the way of Jesus. As we delve into his questions, we will see that while he asks questions that demand an answer, those questions also clearly demonstrate a deep, meaningful truth in a very personal way.
His parents had assumed that he left the temple when they did. Yet, he had stayed behind for two whole days at this point, listening, learning and asking questions. His mother was a bit upset with him and felt exasperated as she asked him why he would do such a thing.
His response? A question.
“‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my father’s house?’”
These questions were asked to his parents at this particular time in history during this specific story. However, consider them for you, today. Consider Jesus asking you this question, right now. “Why are you searching for me? Don’t you know where to find me?”
Why are you searching for Jesus? Why are YOU searching for Jesus?
Consider how Jesus has spoken to you in some way in your life. Consider how he has used others to speak to you. Consider how he has spoken to you through the Bible. Consider all of your life’s experiences that have caused you to consider whether Jesus really is God, whether he really is worth following.
When you think about this question, “why are you searching for Jesus?” the answer is clear.
Because he first sought after you. Long before you cared about God or knew anything about him, he sought after you. He reached out to you. He came to earth. He taught others, who in turn taught others and on it went until someone taught you about Jesus. He gave his life for you while you knew nothing about him or cared nothing about him. Why are you searching for Jesus? Because he first sought you.
“Didn’t you know I would be in my father’s house?” This question was direct to his parents for that day and time. The question for you today, “do you know where to find Jesus? Do you know where he’s at?” The answers are found all through scripture. Or should I say, in the scriptures. Jesus is found in the words and stories of the Bible. He is found in every book of the Bible, even before the story of his human birth in the book of Matthew which comes 2/3 of the way through the Bible at the beginning of the New Testament. Watch this video for more about how Jesus is found throughout the entire Bible.
Jesus is also found in the church. The church is not a building. It is not a service. The church is God’s people. All who know Jesus as Lord and Savior are a part of the church. Jesus is found in them. Christ follower’s carry Jesus with them everywhere they go. For those that know him, that makes us his temple. He is found in us. He is in the TEMPLE! Why are you searching FOR JESUS? He is already in you, if you know him personally as Lord and Savior. If you don’t, you will find him in any and every person who does know him as Lord and Savior. Mind you, they aren’t perfect replicas of him. None of us are. But, Jesus dwells in us, just the same.
Want to know where Jesus is? Look in the Bible. Look to his people.
The story ends with Jesus’ mom, Mary treasured all of these things in her heart and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. May the same be said of us. May we treasure these things in our hearts, grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (and women).