And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
In crowded places, parents need to keep a watchful eye on their children. With a lot of people moving around, it could be easy for a child to slip away unnoticed into the crowd and be lost. Panic ensues when a parent turns to see their child not beside them, and they frantically search until they find them again. Imagine the panic Jesus’ parents must have felt when they realized they’d traveled a whole day’s journey without their precious son. When they realized He was not with them, they turned back until they found Him.
Sometimes in our lives, we may go on our way thinking Jesus is right beside us. We may unwittingly be out of His will for our lives and go a day’s journey before we realize He isn’t with us. At those moments, we must turn back and seek Him and His will anew. He will always be waiting for us to return to Him. No matter how far we travel, it is never too late to turn around and go to Jesus to get back on the right track.
Other times, we may purposefully leave Jesus out of our lives. We may decide to follow our own desires even though we know it is out of God’s will for us. We my choose to sin in some way, thinking it won’t matter to God or not caring that it does. These situations will probably turn out badly for us. But if we repent of these prideful decisions, we can restore our relationship with Him by asking forgiveness and seeking to follow Him in obedience.
Maybe there are some going about their journey thinking they are a Christian. Maybe they attend a church regularly or have been raised in a Christian home but have never accepted Jesus as personal Savior. That’s like traveling with the crowd thinking Jesus is there, only to find out later that He is not. But if any will only seek Him, He can be found, ready to accept them into His family with open arms.
Like parents with children in a crowded place, we must keep a diligent eye on our relationship with Jesus. No, we can never lose our salvation once we become God’s children, but we can be out of His will or neglecting our relationship with Him. We can wander far from Him, hardly realizing that He is not with us until we purposefully stop to see whether He is there or not. And then there is always the option to turn back, retrace our steps, and seek Him until we find Him. So wherever we go on our journey, let’s always be sure that Jesus is in our company.