SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 Luke 2:41-52
MEDITATION: If you’ve ever lost someone in a crowd – especially a young someone – then you will totally relate to the fear that gripped Mary and Joseph when they realized Jesus was missing from the traveling party. N. T. Wright in his commentary “Luke for Everyone,” puts an interesting twist on this story when he considers the spiritual crisis of “losing Jesus.” Not only was Jesus in a different geographic place from what his parents expected, but the very core of his identity was shifting in a direction that Mary and Joseph could not have foreseen. Mary and Joseph went looking for their son but Jesus' response indicates that he has already begun "his Father's work." Our own search for Jesus can be elusive at times. An authentic desire to live by faith does not mean we always have perfect knowledge of what it looks like to follow Christ. Sometimes we get spiritually disoriented and in the search to find Jesus we may be surprised at what (or who) we find.
FOR DISCUSSION: Where do you find assurance that you're on the right track when it comes to spiritual things? Where would you turn if you had a sense of "losing Jesus"?
It’s curious that Scripture gives almost no details about Jesus’ childhood or adolescence. Except for Luke’s story of Jesus in the Temple at age 12, we hear nothing more about Jesus until his baptism at age 30. Author Anne Rice, has a creative fiction of what Jesus might have been up to during his childhood years in Egypt.
See, Anne Rice, “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt,” Ballentine Books, 2005. The author’s website provides excellent discussion questions that are easily adaptable for a group discussion on Jesus’ childhood years regardless of who had read Rice’s book.
You Tube intro to the movie, “The Young Messiah.” The movie script is based on Anne Rice’s book.