SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013.
WHERE WOULD YOU BE FOUND?
THE temple courts were known throughout Judea as a place of learning. Apostle Paul studied in Jerusalem, perhaps, in the temple courts under Gamaliel, one of its foremost teachers, Acts 22:3. At the time of Passover, the greatest rabbis of the land would teach and discuss great truths among themselves. The coming messiah would no doubt have been a popular topic, for everyone was expecting Him. The presence of Jesus in the temple court displayed the depth of His wisdom as it astounded the religious teachers.
However, at age 12, Jesus was considered almost an adult; so, He probably didn’t spend a lot of time with His parents during the festival. Those, who attended these festivals often travelled in caravans for protection from robbers along the Palestine roads. The women and children usually would travel at the front of the caravan, with the men coming in the rear. A 12-year-old boy conceivably could have been in either group, so both Mary and Joseph probably assumed that Jesus was with the other one. But when the caravan left Jerusalem, Jesus stayed behind absorbed in His discussion with the religious teachers.
It took three whole days for His parents to discover Him. It is possible they may have felt disappointed, disgusted at the treatment of boy Jesus to them. Why stay back in the first place when all had left at the end of the festival? To show the intensity of their disappointment Mary said: ‘Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic searching for you everywhere.’
Interestingly, Jesus did not feel any guilt as He answered: ‘But, why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ The psalmist observed: ‘I was glad when they said to me let us go into the house of the Lord, Ps. 122:1. In the house of the Lord we inquire about His beauty, His faithfulness and loving kindness. It is most unfortunate that some children, these days, look for quick money and easy life, notwithstanding the virtues put in them by their parents. Most times, they want to have their way and some places where they are found speak volumes of their despicable behaviours. We should be worried in such places where they are found, often, they are not decent places.
Painfully, the devil is gathering souls for destruction, having sold to them different dummies that will not do them any good. As parents, therefore, we need to go in search of our children before it becomes too late. We recommend a diligent search to counter the activities of the evil one. We should be on the look out for some of our children at home, who pretend to be good, but out there would be wolves, leaders in various deadly cult groups, armed robbers and celebrated prostitutes. May God deliver us.
The Bible told us that Jesus sat among the religious leaders discussing and asking them questions. It was not surprising in Matt. 23:13 that He came harsh on the religious leaders, what sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees, hypocrites, blind guides, whitewashed tombs. Yes, He was found in the temple and no other such condemnable place. Watch where you may be found today!VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.