LOSING JESUS THROUGH CARELESSNESS
“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. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the Temple.” Luke 2:43-46.
Luke shares the story of how Jesus purposely stayed behind in Jerusalem, allowing those who had been with Him to go on without him. Who has not felt a similar experience in their spiritual life? Jesus seemingly withdrawing right during prayer or passing by when we thought He would remain. At times we may be overcome by a strange feeling as if he were going to leave us. What does it all mean?
Christ does not have a fluctuating love, nor is he erratic in His treatment of us. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and can not be fickle. He lives with the highest wisdom and is obedient to laws that most Christians do not take time to study and understand. God announces himself as a jealous God. He is worthy of being followed and sought after. As a mother puts down her child and makes it walk to her, the Lord withdraws and is silent to make us pursue him and call after him.
The issue is “do we realize He has left”, and the question is “do we want to pursue Him?”
Luke suggests Joseph and Mary were so busy buying and selling and getting ready for travel that their eyes got off Jesus, and they drifted apart. Many have done just the same since. They have drifted from Jesus. They never intended it to happen, but they became so absorbed that it did. In some of these cases, there was no flagrant sin, but while attending to a business or occupation that was legitimate and proper, they gradually let go of Christ. They were busy buying and selling, taking care of the children, attending to the spouse, and generally running around. There were hours of laughing and talking, days consumed in entertaining of others, contact with many people distracted and diverted their mind so that one night after going to bed, they realized there was no Christ in their heart. They were pretty elbowed out of the divine companionship of Jesus by the busyness of the world around them.
According to Luke’s passage, Jesus was lost, and He was lost by those who loved him. The same continues to happen today. He is gradually lost because God loves us too much to leave us at once. He gives us loving, gentle warnings but those so absorbed in other things have not seen these warnings.
Are you willing to ask yourself whether you have Jesus in you?
Please take some time this week and ask yourself that crucial question: “Am I willing to pursue Jesus?”