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Lost and Found!

Luke 2:41-49; The Desire of Ages, pp. 75-83


The Message

We can serve God wherever we are.

Memory Verse

“Serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12).

Do you ever feel that adults think you are too young? Do you wish that they would let you do something really important? Could you do a good job on something important? If you said Yes to any of these questions, today’s story is for you


Every year Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem for the Passover, but Jesus had always stayed home. This was to be His first visit to Jerusalem since He was a baby. Considering how King Herod wanted to kill Jesus when He was a baby, perhaps His parents were nervous about this trip. But they all wanted to go to the Temple in Jerusalem and worship God.

The family soon found a place to stay. Then Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple to the evening sacrifice service. Perhaps Jesus grew quiet and thoughtful as He saw the lamb on the altar. Maybe He realized that the sacrifice pointed to Him. He would someday serve as the Lamb of God, dying for the sins of the world.

When the great festival was over, the crowds packed up and started home. The group from Nazareth spread out along the road. Mary walked and visited with the women up front. Joseph and the other men followed behind. The children probably ran back and forth between the two groups.

That evening, when it was time to set up camp, Mary called to Joseph, “Have you seen Jesus?” Together they called and searched. But Jesus was nowhere to be found. No one had seen Him all day. The last place anyone remembered seeing Him was in Jerusalem.

It was already too dark to travel. There was nothing they could do except pray. Next morning Joseph and Mary quickly turned back to Jerusalem to look for Jesus.

All day they searched the city marketplaces and streets. Finally, they went to the Temple and searched among all the pillars and porches. At last they heard the sweet sound of Jesus’ voice.

Jesus had stayed at the Temple, trying to learn all He could. Joseph and Mary found Him sitting at the feet of the teachers, listening and asking questions. The teachers were amazed by all that He knew.

“Son!” Mary exclaimed as she ran up to Him, “why have you done this to us? We have been terribly worried! We searched all over trying to find You!”

Jesus looked at His parents in surprise. “Why have you been looking for Me?” He asked. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” Jesus felt at ease in God’s house.

Jesus saw how concerned Mary and Joseph were. He loved them, and He obediently returned to Nazareth with them. God wanted Him to continue serving at home and in the carpenter shop for a few more years.

Like Jesus, we can serve at home, school, and church. We can serve God wherever we are.