Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
After the Nativity, Jesus gave the world a 2nd glimpse into His coming Ministry that He would embark upon openly at the age of 30 years’ old. Jesus stayed behind His Parents after the Passover to be “in His Father’s House”. He was surprised that His Parents didn’t just “know” inherently that he “must be” in His Father’s House. Given the fulfilled Prophesy, the visits to both Joseph and Mary (by the Angel Gabriel), the Star that stood over them in Bethlehem, the Magi that came to worship the King of Kings, and both Simeon and Anna (strangers to Mary & Joseph) proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah, they should have “known”. So, why would they be shocked on this day to see that Jesus would have stayed behind them in Jerusalem teaching in the Temple? Later, when Jesus would eventually surrender His Spirit to God on the Cross, He would have to beg His Father to “forgive them for they know not what they do”, because, like His Parents when He was 12 years’ old, they should have “known” that He “must be” on His Father’s Cross. Jesus is perfect and can see clearly. We are an imperfect lot who cannot see very clearly at all. We have to really work to focus our vision, lead our hearts, and protect our minds. Jesus quite often goes Missing In Action (M.I.A.) in our lives. We lose focus and get distracted from Him. But, His love will always keep chasing us; even through the end of the world (Matthew 28:20). The Key to keeping Jesus off of the M.I.A. list in our lives, is to constantly seek Him and continually ask the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. For when God truly dwells within us, then we move beyond being just Witnesses to living the Emmanuel lifestyle. And, that is a Lifestyle that never goes out of style and trends-on Eternally.