My Father’s House


In the now classic Christmas movie, Home Alone, five girls, six boys, and four parents all head frantically to the airport after sleeping through their alarms. Once settled and on their way to Paris, the mother can’t shake the feeling that she has forgotten something. She is terrified when it finally dawns on her that they have left their youngest son at home. Today’s passage follows a similar story of two parents searching for a son they have left behind.

  • How do you feel when you lose something important, and what is your response when you find it?


41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Describe the scene in verses 41-46. How long a period of time does it cover? What was happening, and what must people have been doing, thinking, and feeling?
  2. What was the response to Jesus from the teachers in the temple and from his parents after they found him?
  3. What was surprising about Jesus’ questions to his parents (vs. 49)? What deeper issues were at stake, and what did his questions reveal about his understanding of his relationship with God?
  4. What is your response to what has been revealed to you about Jesus? 


Those who saw and heard the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple were amazed by his understanding and his answers. Mary and Joseph were also astonished. When questioned, Jesus made it clear he knew who his true father was and what it would mean for his mission. Mary and Joseph did not fully understand what Jesus was saying because they only had partial revelation. We are blessed to have the full revelation of Jesus, to know that he is the perfect Son of God who came to forgive our sins. What will our response to him be?

  • Take time to be amazed by Jesus, to marvel at what he has done for you, and to treasure up all these things in your heart.