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The Cartoon Gospels
First Sunday After Christmas (C05)

Luke 2.41-52

Boy Jesus goes AWOL

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day's journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety."

He said to them, "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"

But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

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You can't stop a mom from being a mom. Jesus' response, "did you not know that I must be in my Father's house," might indicate that mom and dad still really can't fathom their child ... what parent can. Before we charge them with parental neglect for not noticing Jesus' absence right away, realize that Mary and Joseph were probably traveling with the whole family, relatives included (vs. just the three of them). Another thought here might be that God's truth appeals to all ages.

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