Temple Tantrums

November 3, 2017

After the festival was over, while His parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking He was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for Him. After three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Luke 2:44-46 NIV

No question – parenting is hard. I have these moments. Moments that bring me closer to God when I pray, “Dear Jesus, don’t let me kill this child.”

I can’t imagine parenting God.

I wonder if Mary ever lost it with Jesus the way mothers sometimes do. We know Jesus never sinned, but Mary must have.

Mothers get overworked and weary.

Children have a unique talent for flooding floors with sticky, smelly milk that manages to pool under the stove on those days.

Mary was human parenting divine.

In the story above, Jesus and His family travel with a large group of people to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.

When the feast is over, they pack up and begin to journey home.

I imagine the caravan – donkeys loaded with blankets, pots and supplies.

Children running ahead while tired parents lag behind.

Cousins flick ears while men discuss routes.

Most likely, the entire village is traveling together.

Easy to lose track of someone.

Easy not to notice someone is missing.

Jesus is twelve. In that day, he was considered almost a man, not a child to be looked after.

They’ve traveled a full day. Dust billows as children scatter.

“Joseph, have you seen Jesus?” Mary asks.

Joseph squints, dust caked hands rise to shield eyes.

Unconcerned he answers, “I’ll find Him.”

The procession stops to rest and replenish. It’s the noon meal.

Awareness turns to unease as they search the crowd. “Have you seen Jesus?” “We can’t find our Son.” Friends and family join the search.

People mill around, repack and move forward.

Mary fights rising panic.

No Jesus.

She looks at Joseph, fear in her eyes. His gaze steadies her.

“We’ll go back.”

Mary’s eyes widen. “It’s a full day’s travel.”

Unwavering, Joseph answers, “We’re going back.”

Any mother who’s ever lost track of a child, no matter how old, knows that feeling. The awful feeling in the pit of your stomach – the worst feeling in the world.

Mary and Joseph make the journey back to Jerusalem and begin to search.

Three days later they find Jesus calmly sitting in the temple courts.

Three days.

Three days of searching.

Three days of not knowing.

Three days imagining the worst.

Here’s what happens after they find Him:

When His parents saw Him, they were astonished. His mother said to Him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”         Luke 2:48 NIV

They couldn’t believe it.

When I read Mary’s question, I feel her sleepless nights, the anxious searching and hurt over His deliberate decision to stay behind. “How could you do this to us?”

Jesus responds to His mother’s question:

“Why were you searching for me?” He asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49 NIV

This is why God picked Mary for a mother. Had it been me, the scripture might read, “When His parents saw Him, His mother yanked Him to His feet, grabbed him by the arm and dragged Him outside.”

Mary is flesh.

Jesus is God in flesh.

The story finishes this way:

But they did not understand what He was saying to them. Then He went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Luke 2:50-51 NIV

She treasured all these things in her heart.

• She treasured Jesus had to be in God’s house.

• She treasured His understanding amazed the temple court teachers.

• She treasured her Son was found.

• She treasured Jesus.

After all the fear and panic of not knowing, Mary chooses to focus on Jesus. Click To Tweet

Mary didn’t understand why Jesus did what He did.

Mary has faith in who Jesus is when she doesn’t understand His ways.

“I prayed so hard and she still died. Why have you treated us like this?”

“I’m so lonely – I’ve waited, abstained and I’m still single. Why have you treated me like this?”

“I wanted this child, this baby more than anything. She never got a chance to grow or be born. Why have you treated us like this?”

Sometimes we have no understanding.

There are no answers.

I can choose to stay in the hurt of what I don’t understand, allow it to distance me from God or I can rest in who I know Jesus to be.

  • Savior
  • Reedemer
  • Advocate
  • Deliverer
  • Faithful
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Our Hope
  • Messiah
  • Mediator
  • The Rock
  • The Risen Lord
  • The Sacrafice for Our Sins
  • Comforter
  • Friend

And so much more.

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

10 Comments
    1. Love this Liz. I can so relate with you, not Mary. What an amazing God we serve. He has gifted you with words and storytelling. Have a blessed weekend, my writing friend and keep writing💙

      1. Thank you so much!! That means a lot coming from you my gifted friend. ❤️ Love your heart for God and what you do. ❤️

      1. Hi Me – that God would use this space to connect His children to Him means everything. Thank you for reading and commenting. ❤️

    1. I needed this today. It’s been a rough day. Today I listened as my favorite pastor who is incredibly rich complained about poor people living off the government and the government taking the money from hard workers. She said that we didn’t need to enable lazy people. When I commented on another post I was told by a fellow Christian that I didn’t need a phone if I was needing medical help and help with food. Ten years ago my whole world turned upside down. I became sick and have not been in remission since that day. I have dealt with pain everyday. I have had to have numerous blood transfusions and hospital stays. I had to declare bankruptcy and I lost everything. I could no longer do the job I had been doing the previous 10yrs and so I lost my job. And the next job and the one after that. Cause you see, nobody can or wants to deal with a sick person. I lost my home 3 times until I finally had to move back in with my mother. I lost my friends because I wasn’t fun anymore. In 2012 I found out I didn’t have just one disease, I had two. And I was right back into debt. I lost my home a third time, moved into my mom’s and then lost my car. All I own now is my clothes, some personal hygiene products and some books. I had everything. My dream job, nice car and living in the suburbs. I had my health, friends and family. And I lost it all within a few yrs. And then today I got blasted by my so called sisters in Christ. My heart is so heavy and cannot stop crying. I didn’t ask for this. I don’t want it. And I just want this nightmare to end! I don’t understand why or what I did to deserve this life. Do I want to be on Medicaid? NO! Do I want to live on food stamps? NO! I want my life back! I’m angry. I’m angry at all these people judging me and people like me. Thinking we’re lazy and freeloaders. It makes me want to scream. I’m trying so hard to keep my eyes on Jesus but I just can’t understand why He would allow this. Please say some prayers for me. I’m tired. I’m so tired of fighting this fight. God bless!

      1. Sweet sister….how I missed this comment until today I do not know. I read your comment and my heart hurts for yours. You are not lazy or a freeloader. You are my sister. Someone who is valuable – to me, to God. I don’t know why He is allowing this. I’m sorry for your pain. I am adding my prayers to yours. I am calling you this afternoon. I’m so sorry for everything your going through and the delay in my response. I check for comments daily and I’m not sure why I didn’t see this earlier. I love you sister – the night is long but Morning always comes. ❤️ Praying for you now. I love you sister and I’m sorry you’ve been hurt by people’s ignorance and stupidity. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back. I’m really sick again. I’ve gone into another flare-up and have been bleeding pretty badly. And now I’ve got an URI too. Please keep me in your prayers. Hopefully we’ll get to talk soon. I’m getting a different phone. Apparently my mom is getting me a different one since this one doesn’t work well. But until then you can text me if you’d like. God bless. And thank you again for always having a kind word for me.

      1. Sweet friend – my heart hurts for you…so much trial and hardship. You are in my prayers, on my heart and in my mind. God bless you too – I will text you for sure. I wish I could do more for you. You have my love and prayers. ❤️

    1. This is so good Liz! Thank you! I choose to stand with God because I know He takes my Hurt and makes it beautiful and it’s for His purpose not mine.love you friend!

      1. Hi Sydell! Love you back – I love your words…He takes your hurt and makes it beautiful. ❤️ That’s powerful! Thank you for a great comment! Blessings my sweet friend ❤️

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