“Every year, Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then, they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days, they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 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.”  49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”  50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.  51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”  (Luke 2:41—52)


            Twice in this chapter, Luke wrote Mary treasured all the things that were said to her about Jesus.  Jesus was here for a purpose.  Mary and Joseph knew that.  They were told by Simeon and Anna, the prophet and the prophetess.  Mary and Joseph themselves have done everything they were supposed to do for Jesus, raising him up in the ways of the Lord. 

            Jesus knew his destination at twelve and understood why he was here on earth.  His parents have forgotten why Jesus came.  Whether they had forgotten or, as parents, still want to hold on to their child growing up too fast, I’m not sure because when they asked Jesus, why have you treated us like this?  We have been searching for you for three days. 

            Jesus responded.  Why were you searching for me?  Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?  This question must have pierced their hearts.  Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?  Joseph and Mary should have known this about Jesus.  Joseph and Mary should have learned from the very beginning who Jesus was.  They were told before Jesus was born.  Simeon and Anna told them, yet they still were a bit slow to understand who Christ was.

            As loving as our parents are and those who care for us, we must always know our Heavenly Father’s plans for our lives.  We may have come through our earthly parents, but we were sent for a purpose and a plan that only we can understand and must do.  Jesus knew what he came here to earth to do.  He has to be at his Father’s house.  He must be about his father’s business.  As loving as our parents are, we are to pursue God’s plans for our lives. 

            I learn this does not mean we become arrogant and disrespectful toward our parents.  Jesus did not do that with Joseph and Mary.  After he reminded them what his purpose was, he returned with them to Nazareth and obeyed them.  We are all here with a plan and a purpose.  We must know what that is.  We must seek God for his plans and purpose for our life. 


            I am encouraged by this word today, knowing that I am here in Japan not because of the plans and purpose of my parents but because God has planned that I will be in Japan.  I am grateful to have followed my heavenly Father’s plans to be here in Japan.  I want to follow this calling faithfully and fulfill my purpose in this nation. 


            Jesus, thank you for the assurance of knowing that I am here in this great nation because of your plans for my life. Please continue to teach and lead me to fulfill everything you have called me to do.  Thank you to my parents, who brought me up in your ways.  Thank you for leading my life to be in the Father’s will.  Amen!