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We complete the Biblical teaching on the Childhood of Jesus and how the lessons show us even our problems serve to further God's plan. 

The Childhood Of Jesus-3

Continued from The Childhood Of Jesus-2

Sometimes something bad happens to save you from something worse.

3. Vanishing Child:

A. Lost over 3 days: Lk 2:44-46 "They traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for (Jesus)…After three days, they found Him…" How many minutes can your child be missing before you are concerned? How many hours, before you're frightened? How long before you panic? How many days before you're distraught? Most of the whole town of Nazareth would go to Passover, including all of Jesus' extended family. The distance was about 65 miles. With children and the aged, the walk surely took more than a few days. As children do today, they probably grouped in their own general age and stayed near the most liberal parent. Under these circumstances, it's not a large stretch to have Mary not miss Jesus for a whole day. Considering He was becoming a teenager, she was probably happy for the break. Still, can you imagine how fearful they must have been once they discovered He wasn't with the group?

Jerusalem at Passover was kinda' like Sacramento, California during jazz festival. While downtown is often busy and crowded, now it has an extra 250,000 people. Searching for Jesus must have seemed pointless. Add to this the added pressure of thinking you left God's Son to be carted off by slavers or ravaged by wild beasts. This is horrible, right? Can you imagine a worse fate for a parent? But God was working behind the scenes here, too.

B. A Dual Purpose: I see at least two Spiritual purposes to this episode:

1) To show Mary, Jesus is God. Vs 49 "Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" Mary was distraught, finding Jesus sitting with the teachers, unharmed, must have triggered the normal parental response after over 3 days of searching, punctuated by vivid imaginations of all that could have been. The Bible was very kind to her, but all you parents…and all you teenagers know exactly what went down when she found Him. Yes, He was the Son of God, but she had nursed Him, changed His diapers, probably spanked Him (very Biblical). He might seem a big shot to all these people, but He was still little poo pants to her. Seeing Him with all these Teachers of the Law marveling over His understanding is probably just what Mary and Joseph needed to understand Jesus had a deeper mission than being a loving Son. His words seem to be a not-so-subtle suggestion concerning where the authority was. It says she treasured these things in her heart.

2) To show us Jesus was human. Vs 51-52 "Then He…was obedient to them…And Jesus grew in wisdom…and in favor with God…" We know He's God! We have trouble seeing His humanity. The Bible says he is fully human and fully God. Three things in this passage suggest Jesus had disobeyed his parents. Mary said, "Why have you done this to us?" Vs 51 says He was obedient after the incident. Vs 52 says He "grew" in wisdom and God's favor, showing there was room for growth. He was human!!!! And God! Don't take this too far, the Bible also says He was without sin.

Soooo, we have three stories from Jesus' childhood that show a Spiritual pattern, God working behind the scenes to bring about His plan in people's lives. When things looked great, they weren't; when they looked hopeless, there was hope. God was weaving His plan in their lives, just as He does today, in ours. Things aren't as hopeless as we think. We never know what good things lie beneath what we think looks bad, even hopeless.

My brother died. In doing so, he was brought to the reality of God he had been avoiding all his life. On his deathbed, he accepted Jesus. I get him back in heaven! His daughter, who, for the previous few years has asked us not to mention God, accepted Jesus a few weeks later. Our whole family is closer than it has ever been, from oldest to youngest. We have new friends in Germany and the US that used to be my brother's friends.

We need to look at problems with Spiritual eyes; eyes of faith; to look for the blessings instead of whining and complaining about how unfair we think it is.

If we truly believe in God…He can take us past our problems to His plan, which is always good.

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