Mary Lost Jesus in the Temple
Luke 2:41-45 “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.”
Mary had lost Jesus. She didn’t know where He was or what had happened to Him. But the reality was that nothing had happened to Jesus. He had not deserted or left or ran away from her. Just think about this scenario. Who are the parents and who is the child? Would you take such a thing for granted and assume something so important concerning your son? Especially when your son is a miracle child, the Son of God, miraculously conceived as no other son in history. Think about it. Who was at fault here? It was not Jesus, the boy for not keeping track of His mother and knowing what she was doing.
Luke 2:46-51 “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”
The fact is; Mary had lost Jesus in the temple. Around the holy things of the temple and surrounded by the people of God and those in the service of God. What is the point? If you don’t get intimate with Jesus, you can lose him in the temple. James 4:8 says: "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." One man asked Jesus this question: "Lord, are there few that be saved?" His reply? "And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." (Luke 13:23-27) Many go to church and hear the Word of God, but when they get up and leave, they leave Jesus there in the church where they found Him. When you hear the word and go out and keep living your own way, going about life without considering Him and you don’t let the Word of God affect your life, you will lose Him. Jesus was in the temple, but when she started home, she lost Him because she didn't keep Him with her, she didn't stay in touch with Jesus and keep Him at her side.
The church is full of lukewarm, non-committed people who haven’t and don’t connect with Jesus. How long has it been since you made a connection with Jesus? If asked about your relationship with Him, will you tell about something he did for you 20 years ago? You need Him today – a viable living current, present relationship. What he did for you years ago is great, but it is not valid today and will not keep you today. Mary took her eyes off of Jesus, in the Temple. Have you? What He did for you years ago will not deliver you, heal you, provide for you or save you today and cause you to be able to overcome the enemy and the things of this world and keep you in His love, power and redemption for salvation is a continuing relationship and not a one time experience or event. It must be a current active relationship. Anyone who says that because you were baptized as a child or made a confession of faith and so now you can live anyway you want, do your own thing and go to heaven are giving you doctrines of devils. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” We were told they would be in the church in the last days.
Look at what Jesus said to the Laodicean church! Revelation 3:14-17 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;…I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Rich, increased with goods and obviously prosperous in the things of the world, but Jesus was outside the church knocking on the door. Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Getting saved at one time is sufficient, isn’t good enough. You can’t coast your way to heaven. If you try, you will lose him in the temple. The longer we serve him the more you have to fight becoming mechanical and ritualistic without the life of the Spirit. We have to strive to stay fresh in our relationship with God. I wrote a message called “Sons and Daughters of Fresh Oil” that is on the “Messages” page of the site.
The grace of God is free, but to have an intimate relationship you have to pay a price! You can’t have relationship without fellowship – communion. Those who say that their sin just causes them to lose their fellowship with God, but not their relationship have not looked up the meaning of the words. You can’t have a relationship without fellowship. Think about it! Could you have a relationship with you husband or wife or family without time spent with them, without fellowship and communion with them?
Let us go back and look at Webster’s definitions of these words:
1. Companionship; society; consort; mutual association of persons on equal and friendly terms; familiar intercourse. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Eph. 5.
2. Association; confederacy; combination.
3. Partnership; joint interest; as fellowship in pain.
4. Company; a state of being together. The great contention of the sea and skies parted our fellowship.
5. Frequency of intercourse.
6. Fitness and fondness for festive entertainments; with good prefixed. Communion; intimate familiarity. 1John 1.
1. Fellowship; intercourse between two persons or more; interchange of transactions, or offices; a state of giving and receiving; agreement; concord. We are naturally led to seek communion and fellowship with other. What communion hath light with darkness? 2 Cor. 6.
2. Mutual intercourse or union in religious worship, or in doctrine and discipline. The Protestant churches have no communion with the Romish church.
3. The body of Christians who have one common faith and discipline.
4. Union of professing Christians in a particular church; as, members in full communion.
RELA'TIONSHIP, n. The state of being related by kindred, affinity or other alliance.
So how can you have a relationship with Jesus, claim to be related to Him spiritually, if you have no fellowship or communion with Him? The fact is: you need a current touch from Jesus so that you are not just ritualistically worshipping God. It happened to Mary, one who loved Him more than us. If Mary, the mother of Jesus, could lose him in the temple, what makes you think you can’t if you haven’t talked to him in days or looked into Word to get a glimpse of His face. It is this kind of preaching that offends people and causes them to turn away. We are in the days of people with itching ears that want to hear what makes them feel good. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
While pursuing your dreams in life, ask yourself, have I lost Jesus? Have I gotten so busy chasing career, money and the things of this world that I have lost touch with him? So then Mary turns around, three days journey and then finds Jesus where she lost him, in the temple, where she left him. She tries to blame him, but the fact was, he didn’t leave her, she left him.
When we get in a crisis or a storm we cry out, God, where are you? He hasn’t gone anywhere. He didn’t leave you. She found him where she left him. We can only find Him where we left Him.
For some, that is where God asked something of you and you said no. You will find Him when you go back and say, “Yes, Jesus, I want to follow you again” and start doing what He asked you to do. Matthew 21:28-31 “A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father?” Did you leave Jesus when He asked you to do something that you didn’t want to do? When He asked you to give up something in your life that you didn’t want to give up? When He told you not to keep doing something and you choose to continue doing it in rebellion against Him.
Some of us will find Him when we go ask forgiveness from someone. That is where we left Him. Mark 11:26 “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” You cannot walk with Jesus and have unforgiveness, bitterness, or resentment in your heart against another or are speaking evil about a brother or sister. When you quit loving and forgiving, you quit walking with Jesus.
Some will find Jesus when we wash the stripes of the one you put them on. The philippian jailer beat Paul and Silas, but before morning he was washing their stripes. Acts 16:23-33 “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks… And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” Those of you who fell out with and had it out with someone else will find Jesus when you go back to them and make things right. Jesus said, so make things right with your brother, then come offer your gift. Matthew 5:24 “Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
Wherever you left Jesus, for whatever reason you left Him, when you go back to Him, (Like the Prodigal) there is where you will find Him, when you really want him.
Have you lost Him? You will find Him right where you left Him, when you seek for Him with all your heart. Jeremiah 24:7 “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” Return to Him and let Him heal you. Have you lost your way in the temple around religious activity? How long has it been since you have had fellowship with Jesus?
If you are in his hand, no man can take you out of his hand. But you can walk away from Him; you can remove yourself from His hand! Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” You are still a free moral agent. You can still turn away and go back to sin as the prodigal son. Luke 15:11-24 “Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. .. And when he came to himself, he said,… I will arise and go to my father,… And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son…. But the father said… For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. ” Have you lost your way? As the prodigal son, you too will find your way and your heavenly Father, where you left Him. The Father was always there, waiting for the prodigal son to return and when he did, the Father didn’t reject him and neither will He reject you if you will return to where you left Him in humility and repentance.
Following Jesus is a daily decision, not a one-time decision. Because you once said you would follow Him - that is not enough. You must continue to follow Him to be His child. Luke 9:23 “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” 2 Chronicles 15:2 “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” You always have a choice! Anything else is deception. When you choose to live in willful sin, you are choosing to walk away from Jesus, as the prodigal son. That is a parable, but it tells you how the kingdom of heaven works.
If you stopped following Jesus, you will find him where you left Him. Some have lost him and don’t even know it. Check yourself. Is He your life, your everything? Is He the most important thing in your life, the Lord of your life, or just someone out there? Jesus has never rejected a repentant sinner and He has never accepted an unrepentant one! He has never rejected on who humbles and asks for mercy. He only rejects the religious hypocrite who thinks his church membership and religious activities are good enough to get him to heaven, without a relationship with His creator.
Luke 18:10-14 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” John 1:12-13“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Will you return to Him and receive Him today? You will find Him where you left Him!
Isaiah 1:18-20 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
Mary lost Jesus in the Temple and Mary found Jesus in the Temple, right where she left Him, and so will you!
I close with the words of a chorus: "Don't lose your vision of Jesus. Keep your eyes ever on Him. Many friends and dear loved ones have lost their way. They have lost their vision of Him."
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