Lent – Day 32 – Jesus Questions

“Why did you need to search?” (Luke 2:49)

Every parent knows that panicky moment when their young child slips out of sight. Grocery stores and big-box stores like Walmart or Target have procedures in place to re-unite wandering youngsters with their wide-eyed parents.

CloseI can only imagine that when the 12-year-old Jesus went missing for three days, Mary and Joseph must have been apoplectic! Eventually, the frantic parents found Jesus in the Temple. And Jesus seemed quite nonplussed.

“Why did you need to search?”

To Him, it seemed obvious. Where else would He be? Of course they’d find Him in the Temple! What’s all the fuss?

I don’t know how often Jesus may have repeated that question, but it surely lay in the back of His mind. Perhaps it popped up as He told the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). As the wayward son returned home, destitute and ashamed, he seemed to know that the father would be at the house. No need to search.

God is like that. No need to search.

Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome: “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (Romans 10:8). No need to ascend into heaven or descend into the abyss searching for Christ. No need at all. He is near us.

In the dark, when we cannot see well (or at all), we can feel isolated. The darkness of sin does the same thing to us. And sometimes we spend days — even weeks, months, or years — searching for the solution. Absolution seems out of reach. Christ is surely distant. After all, people falsely tell us all the time that “God cannot abide sin and cannot look upon it!”

And thereafter we treat faith like one of life’s great quests.

The “quest” forms a powerful literary genre. An unassuming character embarks on a hazardous journey in search of a person, place, or power that will change their lives or save the lives of others. It usually involves great danger, conflict, and courage. We love those stories, and watch them played out in movies all the time.

But God the Father is not at the end of such a quest. In fact, He is the one who has been on the quest to redeem us. We are the end of His quest! Christ finished the quest at the cross.

“Why did you need to search?”

The old adage says: “If you feel far from God, guess who moved?” People have repeated it a million times because it’s true. The search is over. Christ has found us, and waits beside us to be found. Where else did we ever imagine He would be?

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