Having completed all the temple requirements for a first-born male child, the happy little family settled down in the town of Nazareth, Galilee. Jesus grew up strong, he was full of wisdom and God gifted him in all sorts of ways.
One year when the family was making their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival, Joseph and Mary lost Jesus. They headed home, thinking Jesus was among the group they travelled with. He was 12 years old at the time, so that seemed likely. They went for a day without seeing him. Then they started to look for him and couldn’t find him with any of their friends or relatives, because he had stayed behind in Jerusalem. So they backtracked and looked for him all the way to Jerusalem.
Three days later, they found him in the temple courtyard, calmly sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. The people gathered around were amazed at his level of understanding and how he responded to the teachers. When his parents spotted him, they were dumbfounded.
“Why did you do this to us, Jesus,” Mary asked. “Your father and I have been frantically searching for you for three days!”
Jesus replied, “Well, I don’t know why. You should have known that I would be in my Father’s house.”
This went right over Mary and Joseph’s head, but Mary filed it away in her heart’s memory. Then they left again to return to Nazareth, and in the future, Jesus was careful to do as his parents asked and expected.
Jesus grew bigger and wiser, and had a good rapport and reputation within the community, and with God.