“Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 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” (Luke 2:41-43)
Had you asked Mary and Joseph that first day as they departed from Jerusalem for home if Jesus was walking with them, they most certainly would have answered yes. Of course He was with them, why wouldn’t He be? But Jesus had stayed behind, and they were not aware of it.
What a terrible thing it is to have left Jesus behind. Worse still, to be unaware of it. To suppose that the Lord Jesus walks beside us when He does not is a tragedy, but are there not many who do just that? Some have never truly come to faith in the Lord and have never known what it was like to really walk with Him in the first place. Others walked with Him at one time but sin has crowded in, their love has grown cold, and their steps have taken them in a different direction. And this is worth noticing: Jesus never leaves us behind, it is us who wander away.
Every one who supposes that the Lord walks beside them does well to make sure that He in fact does. And what to do should we discover that we have left Him behind? We will find Him in that very place where we left Him. Did we abandon Him when we began to neglect our prayer life? Then it is in a renewed prayer life that we will find Him. Have we stopped seeking Him through the study of His Word? Then when we dust off our Bibles and look again to the Holy Spirit to reveal the Son to us we will find Him again. Or perhaps it is some sin that we are reluctant to release. If we bring that sin to God, will He not strengthen us to be free from that sin and to walk with Him once again? Jesus can be found “about His Father’s business” (Luke 2:49 KJV), can we?
[Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.]