Wednesday, April 12, 2017

We've Lost Jesus!

By Mary Vee
Luke 2



From Joseph's Notes


My name is Joseph. My wife is Mary, and we have a son named Jesus who was given to us by God. We have other children too.

Each year, I take my family and join our other relatives for the annual trip to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Passover.

Jesus is twelve years old this time. It is the custom of the Jews to have a celebration for a boy turning into a man at his birthday. A ceremony is held for the family. We sing, eat, laugh, and celebrate the man who was a boy. Then, the boy must answer questions from the Rabbis. 

Between Mary's relatives and mine, our family has become quite large. We pack enough to last several days then meet our relatives for the long walk through the mountain passes toward Jerusalem. 

I've noticed that this is the week of the Passover Feast for you as well. How fitting that my story is being told at this very time! God be praised.

When we travel, the men go first. There are so many of us, we have plenty to talk about as we walk. There are a lot of political issues, ways to do this and ways to do that, all must be discussed over and over because I may think this way but my cousin thinks another. Actually, I think he is wrong and should listen to what I say.

The women ride with the children in the carts. I can hear them talking and laughing at times. These family times are so important to us.

Photo by Mary Vee A Bar Mitzvah
held at the top of Masada
When at last we reach Jerusalem, we go about the usual Feast requirements. We offer sacrifices, at the Temple, make our food, hold the ceremony for Jesus who was soon to be proclaimed a man. The week flies by before I realize it. And when the week ends, we pack to go home.

With all the family there, the children play with one another and ride with cousins. This is nothing new. I ride in the front with the other men, and Mary rides with the women and children. 

The day is about near to the end, and we've planned to camp. I start thinking that Jesus should be riding up front with the men. After all, he had his celebration. He no longer should be with the children. I pull away from my cousins, saying, "I'll be right back." I turn back to the wagon that Mary would have ridden in and ask for Jesus to come join me up with the men.

She looks at me like I've asked for some rare jewel. She says, "Because he is now a man, I thought he was with you already, Joseph. I haven't seen him."

"He isn't up with the men."

She holds her hands to her face. "Joseph, we need to search the caravan."  

I hurry to the front of the line and ask the men to stop. "Jesus is missing."

Each family searches the entire caravan. Jesus is nowhere to be found. I rush back to Mary.

She is frantic. "What should we do?"

"We have to go back to Jerusalem and find him," I say. "He'll be all right." This is one of those moments when I wish an angel would visit me and tell me what to do. But none do this time. I have to figure this one out and believe God will show me what to do.

Come back for the next story.

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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

My research in Israel.

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