In Lk 2:41-50, Jesus went with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem to keep the feast of passover, as was their custom. When Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem, they thought Jesus was with them. He wasn’t. Jesus tarried behind. From this passage we see that it is possible for Jesus to tarry behind us when we suppose that he is with us.
It’s possible to go to church and leave Jesus behind when you leave – Lk 2:41-43 – and what’s worse, you won’t even know that you left him behind. Your main concern was not whether Jesus was with you but whether you fulfilled your obligation. It is your “custom” to go to church. And anyway, as soon as you leave church, your main concern is going on about your business.
Many people go through life supposing that Jesus “is in the company” – Lk 2:44 – Joseph and Mary supposed that Jesus was in the company of those traveling home. Like them, many people think that Jesus is in their plans and going their way. They’ll even say, “God’s in this.” In reality, he has nothing to do with what you’re doing or where you’re going.
You are wise to turn back when you realize he’s not in your company – Lk 2:44-45 – many people just keep going. But when you realize that Jesus isn’t in your plans, you need to turn back. You need to go back where you left him, that is, if you want him in your company.
It may take you longer to find him than it did to lose him – Lk 2:44 they went a day’s journey. Lk 2:46 it took them three days to find him. A lot of times, when you go back to where you took the detour, things have changed. You have to sort through more stuff to get back on track with Jesus. You might start out in the wrong Bible or in the wrong church, You may not really know where to find him. He’ll be in the right church and he’ll be giving the right answers to everyone who wants to hear from him [Lk 2:46-47].
When you find him you might be inclined to ask why he stayed behind – Lk 2:48-50 – He stayed behind because he was about his Father’s business; not yours. And the truth is he is always about his Father’s business. He is not going to leave his Father’s business to deal with your business. You need to leave your business and go to his business. So, forget asking him “why.” Leaving him behind was your doing, not his.
Conclusion: Make sure, as you go through life, that you don’t leave Jesus behind. Don’t “suppose” that Jesus is in the company, when he is not. You stay with him.