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What Are You Missing? (Leaving Jesus Behind)

(A bible study based on the message preached by James Kordon, Camelback Community Church 4/15/12)

What Am I Missing? (Leaving Jesus Behind)

Remember the old movie Home Alone? Little Kevin’s family wakes up late on the morning they are to leave for vacation. In all the chaos to make it to the airport on time, they forget just one thing – Kevin. Remember that moment on the plane when Kevin’s mother realizes that she’s left her child behind?
Every mother knows the horror and panic that strikes when they realize they’ve lost their child.

  • Have you ever lost your child in a crowd? How did it feel?

Read Luke 2:41-44
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.

Even Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph experienced the panic of losing track of their child and leaving him behind. Can you imagine losing the Son of God?

They left Jesus behind. They didn’t mean to. They probably thought he was somewhere in the crowd that was traveling back to their home from Jerusalem. They may have been tired or distracted while visiting with others who traveled with them, but unintentionally, with each step, they were walking away from Jesus.
Your first step away from God is usually a small one.

  • Have you ever been distracted and suddenly realized that you had left Jesus behind?
  • If so, what were the small steps that led you away?
  • What was your “moment of realization”?

Read Luke 2:45-47

45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When Mary and Joseph realized that they had left Jesus behind, they turned around and went back to Jerusalem to look for Him.

  • If you suddenly realized that you had “left Jesus behind” in your everyday walk with Him, what would “turning around” look like?

Read Luke 2:48

48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
Isn’t it funny that Mary and Joseph blamed Jesus for being left behind? Even if He chose to stay behind, He was just 12 years old. It’s a parent’s responsibility to be sure they know where their children are.

Where you are in life is not God’s fault!

  • Have you ever found yourself in a bad situation and realized that at that moment God seemed far away and then you blamed Him for the whole thing?
  • Was it God who moved away from you or you who moved away from God?
Are we Christ followers or do we go about our lives,
doing our own thing and expecting Him to follow us?

Read Luke 2:49-51
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them. 51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Notice that when Mary and Joseph turned back and reconnected with Jesus, their relationship was restored. He went back to Nazareth with them and resumed the normal child/parent relationship.

  • Do you sometimes fear that if you turn back to God after having walked away, that He will reject you?

Mary “treasured all these things in her heart.” She pondered them, remembered them and stored it all in her heart.

ACTION STEP

If you feel that you have been taking small steps away from Jesus and that right now He seems far from you. Think about what we have just studied, turn back, repent and renew your relationship with Christ. He will not rebuke you, but will restore your fellowship with Him. Then, treasure these things in your hear. Remembering them will keep you from straying away from Him again.

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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)