44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
1901 ASV Translation:
44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey; and they sought for him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance:
45 and when they found him not, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking for him.
I. Luke Recounts Joseph and Mary's Search for Jesus.
A. They supposed Him to be in the, apparently, rather large group that was traveling together.
1. The fact that they did not see Him in the group indicates that the group must have been of significant size and the terrain may well have been full of twists and turns and ups and downs that would make seeing someone in a large group difficult.
a. The "group" was made up of "fellow-offspring of the geneological pool" and "those known by them".
b. The "problem" with "kinsmen" is two-fold: on the one hand, if you frustrate them very significantly, they will turn on you like a wolfpack with a white pup in its midst (Luke 21:16); and on the other hand, regardless of where you "fit" in the group, the tendency will be to discount you significantly if you are "too clued into the will of God" (Mark 6:4). With Jesus, the "know it all's" used their familiarity with Jesus to reject Him as God's Redeemer (Note John 6:42 and Mark 3:32 and following, compared with 3:21). The extremely sobering thing about this is that Jesus responded to them according to what they did to Him: He rejected them as "family". Those who walk with God in harmony with His Word will invariably be discounted and persecuted by those who wish to live a life of unexamined suppositions.
2. The point was that they "supposed" Him to be doing the "normal" things.
1) Only three times out of fifteen is this word used to indicate that one "supposed" something that was true. Most of the time, the supposition is not only erroneous, it is seriously destructive.
2) Luke uses the word nine of the fifteen times and only once did he use it to indicate a legitimate supposition.
b. The problem with "supposing" is that it leads one down a given path that makes the consequences more serious than they needed to be; sometimes, in fact, so serious that any continuation will result in eternal destruction.
c. According to Matthew 5:17 and 10:34, there were some suppositions floating about the Christ that were completely off track. Continuing to "suppose" them would inevitably lead to a false life.
3. In Joseph and Mary's case, their "supposing" only cost them a week and a lot of walking, searching, and mental/emotional agitation.
B. They did not even look for Him until the evening, after traveling the entire day away from Jerusalem.
1. That they did not look indicates that they did not typically concern themselves with Jesus' activities: He was, after all, a model child, and after twelve years of absolutely no difficulties with Him, it would have been remarkable indeed if they had not extended a great deal of latitude to Him in His daily activities.
2. The word Luke used to indicate their search is only used twice in the New Testament and both times it is by him. It means to try to find... It is a strengthened form of the typical word for "to seek"; thus, it indicates that they looked more than once throughout the group (they looked again and again throughout the group -- indicating just how shocked they were at the undercutting of their supposition).
C. When they could not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem -- with no comment on whether they waited till morning or not.
1. This would have been considered "a big deal" as a day's journey by foot, donkey, or cart would have been a strenuous journey.
2. That they looked throughout the group and then had to return to Jerusalem indicates that a lot more folks were involved in the fact of Jesus' deliberate action than just the two of them. Though none of the rest were going to be as directly affected by Jesus's action, many were aware of it.
D. They found Him after three days.
1. Jerusalem was a large place and they got no "divine guidance" for their search.
2. The question here is why Luke tells us they looked for three days. It is a curiosity that Luke tells us of several events in Luke/Acts that took "three days". It is a given that "three" is the number of sufficiency, but it is a question as to whether Luke wanted us to attach anything more than that to it. There is a continual linking of three days and the temple in the Gospels in that Jesus was "supposed" to have said that He could build such an edifice in three days (John 2:19-20) and was mocked on the Cross as the One who made such a claim (Mark 15:29, et. al.). That the mockers knew of His "supposed claim" makes one wonder how much of the text of Scripture is far more important than most folks think. Who would have thought that a statement made by Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry would be such a burr under the saddle of the religious establishment that it would have carried all the way through to the end?
E. He was in the Temple, in the midst of the teachers, carrying on an interactive session with them that amazed everyone who was listening.
1. Clearly Luke wanted Theophilus to know that Jesus really was "full of wisdom".
2. But just as clearly Luke wanted Theophilus to know that "family" is only "important" if it is the "family of faith". Jesus drew the line in the sand when He told Mary she was not as important to Him as His Father.