Theme: Jesus left in the Temple as a boy
Bible refs: Luke 2 vv 41-52
Location of clip: 16 mins 20 to 25 mins and 4 secs
Kevin Mcallister is accidentally left behind when his family fly to France for Christmas. He quickly learns to survive in a world where no one else does your shopping, or washing, or tells you off for eating junk food. But two burglars have their eyes on his house. And before long he has to do battle with these “Wet Bandits” as they do their best to make off with the family silver.
Kevin has been banished to the attic for being rude to his family the day before they fly off to Paris for Christmas. In his anger he wishes that his whole family will disappear. The next morning the family wake late and have a mad dash to the airport to catch their plane in time. As Kevin’s mum finally flops down into her aeroplane seat she sighs, “Hope we didn’t forget anything.”
Back home Kevin is just waking up, They did forget something.
He stumbles down from the attic looking bleary. He watches a bit of TV then slowly begins to realise that his wish has come true. He has made his family disappear. He celebrates for a while then goes through his older brother’s private stuff. He shoots at a few soldiers with an air rifle, then plonks himself down in front of the TV, watching rubbish and eating junk food. The film scares him and he yells for his mom. At the same moment, in the plane, his mother gets the worst feeling. She’s forgotten something. She goes through some options, turning off the coffee maker, locking the doors, that kind of thing. Then it finally dawns. She leans forward, a terrified expression on her face, and yells, “Kevin!”
This is the thing most parents fear. Leaving their child in the wrong place at the wrong time. You can guarantee you will be having a blissful moment of peace and satisfaction when you suddenly remember you left the baby on the bus. And Joseph and Mary lived through this moment too. They took Jesus to the temple at the age of twelve and had a wonderful time. It was a family festival including celebration, devotion, debate, laughter and worship. probably the equivalent of going to Disneyland for Jesus. Then they all packed up and started for home. In those days men and women travelled separately so it’s understandable that each thought the other was looking after Jesus.
What must that moment have been like when the terrible truth dawned.
Mary leans forward, a terrified expression on her face, and yells, “Jesus!”
“I thought he was with you!” says Joe. “You said you were going to bring him!”Mary shouts back
Did all those prophecies rattle through Mary’s mind? Did she fear that the plan to save the world was ruined because they forgot their son? Maybe, maybe not. She’s probably more like Kevin’s mum in this instant, all sorts of emotions crashing together in her mind. You can picture them running about saying,
“Er… anyone seen the Messiah?”
And people replying: “No – but keep praying – one day he will come.”
“Well actually he’s already been but we’ve lost him. Boy of twelve. Curly hair, cheeky grin, bit of a scar just there on his chin, where a chisel scraped him once. No? What about you? We’ve lost the saviour of the world, you haven’t seen him lately have you?”
The terrible tension as they hurried back. The stress building as the journey took so long. “Why can’t we see the city yet? It didn’t take this long when we were on our way before.”
Mary and Joseph sniping at each other. All the previous joy washed away in a tide of grey sludgy anguish.
And then the relief.
As they stood in the temple courts and saw him there. Unharmed. Alive. Happy even.
And then the joyful reconciliation.
“Where on earth do you think you’re doing? How dare you stay behind? We’ve had to come all this way back! You’re very naughty! Don’t argue with your mother.”
Unlike Kevin, Jesus wasn’t watching rubbish and eating junk – though he might have been eating the first century equivalent of Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream as he bantered with the scribes and Pharisees. He probably just lost track of time. He was having a ball, doing what he loved. Perhaps it was the first time he’d had the chance to discuss religious matters with people who knew so much about his chosen subject. Perhaps he was enjoying that first thrill of a new experience, finding something he really enjoyed doing. Who knows – he may even have begun to get the first inklings of who he really was as he debated and wrestled with these theological experts.
I often wonder if the reason we heard nothing more of Jesus’s life for a long time after that was because his parents grounded him for the next 18 years.
“You’re not going out again until your 30! Just stay there and make another table.”
1. God took quite a risk entrusting feeble humans with the responsibility of his son. I wonder if he spent the first few years of Jesus’s life on the edge of his celestial seat. What do you think?
2. I reckon Jesus slowly discovered, day by day, year by year, who he was. As he grew spiritually and intellectually so he learnt more and more. What do you think?
3. Jesus spent much of his life running his business with his father. He spent many years living an ordinary life. Living under the terrible oppression of the Romans, boom and bust in work, crippling taxes, wrestling with friends and bantering with neighbours. He spent ten times longer being normal than being the Messiah. Have you ever considered this before?
4. He must have faced family conflict and personality clashes with his parents (we get a glimpse of this at the wedding at Cana). I wonder how he dealt with this?
5. Did the clip make you think about anything else?