On one of those annual trips to Jerusalem, Jesus wandered off. At least that is how Mary and Joseph perceived it. Jesus knew where he was headed so there was no “wandering” at all.
Jerusalem was a big city. The streets were packed with strangers. Jesus was only 12 years old, just a year or so older than our grandson Josiah. I can easily imagine how two parents would be anxious if their son did not reappear hours later, but surprisingly there is no mention in Luke 2:41-50 of Mary or Joseph being concerned until late that evening. They seemed to have had a high level of trust in their son, expecting him to behave with a maturity beyond his years.
But when Mary and Joseph finally realized Jesus was missing, can you imagine the level of panic in their hearts? Joseph had allowed not just his own son, but God’s Son, to wander alone in such a dangerous city. What had Joseph been thinking? After all, hadn’t he and Mary fled the city years earlier when King Herod tried to kill the child? Returning from Egypt, hadn’t Joseph feared settling in the city because Herod’s son Archelaus was ruling next? Now wasn’t another son, Herod Antipas, on the throne? Was Jesus still in danger? With such thoughts filling his head, can you understand the high level of urgency Joseph felt as he hunted for Jesus?
Knowing the time to trust and let our children fly on their own or when to hold on and pull them back from danger is different for every child. Every parent has to depend on God for wisdom. Before you rush out the door today, pause and ask God to reveal his wisdom for the things you will face in the day ahead.