Luke 2:41-51 is a marvelous passage. For starters, in it we find the first recorded words of Jesus. “Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” NASU This passage seems to reveal some important facts about the believer’s relationship to Jesus.
It appears that we take trips or play games with Jesus. We may even go to church with Him, at least on special occasions. Verse 42 indicates that we may even follow some custom or tradition; in fact, we may even trust Jesus as Savior.
Verse 43 is a warning for us. We might leave Jesus behind and not even realize it. Verse 44 has another warning. When we do realize it, we often look for Jesus in the wrong places.
Verse 45 gives an excellent real life illustration of what each one of us needs to do. Turn around and go back to where we got separated from Jesus. We have to turn around and go in the opposite direction from that which we have been going. That is the definition of repentance.
Verse 46 notes that the journey going back took three times as long as it did to go away from Jesus. That is a thing to be considered. It is easier and less costly to stay with Jesus than it is to suffer the consequences of leaving Him behind.
Verse 47 reminds us what a blessing it is to listen to Him. If we really listen to what He has to say, we will be astonished. Walking with Christ truly is the greatest adventure we can experience.
Verse 48 points out a strange truth about us. We amaze ourselves with our refusal to take responsibility for our circumstances. We dearly love to shift the blame to anyone else but us.
Verse 49 gives a clear word regarding where to find Jesus. We will find Him in His Father’s house. Surely, Jesus is omnipresent; He is everywhere. However, we will best recognize Him and hear Him in church.
Verses 50-51 present an amazing truth. In spite of their lack of understanding, Jesus continued in subjection to Mary and Joseph. When we come to Christ in simple faith, He lives in our heart, going where we go in spite of our lack of understanding.
Verse 51 tells us that treasuring Jesus trumps understanding every time!