“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
When He was twelve years old Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. After they had left to return home they found that He was not in their company of travellers so they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him. They found Him three days later in the Temple courts, listening to the teachers and asking them questions.
From His response to them it is clear that Jesus already understood a great deal about His identity and purpose.
• Firstly, He spoke of God as ‘My Father’ indicating that He was aware of His special relationship to God.
• Secondly, He felt a compulsion to occupy Himself with His Father’s affairs – He had to be in His Father’s house.
• Thirdly, it shows His awareness that He had a mission and a purpose to fulfil.
• Fourthly, from the fact that He then returned with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them, He knew that the time for action had not yet arrived and He was content to wait for God to call Him out.
We too have a mission and a purpose in life. For most of us it will not be to change the world but to bring light, life and love into our own context. It is important that we too know our identity in God, that we realise that we are concerned with His affairs and that we live and work in His strength and at His direction and pace.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29)
Check your own priorities and source of identity.
Father, my identity and purpose in life is In You – please help me not to look for it elsewhere. Amen.