And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it . Luke 2:43.
Not one act in the life of Christ was unimportant. Every event of His life was for the benefit of His followers in future time. This circumstance of the tarry of Christ in Jerusalem teaches an important lesson. . . .
Jesus was acquainted with hearts. He knew that, as the crowd returned in company from Jerusalem, there would be much talking and visiting which would not be seasoned with humility and grace, and the Messiah and His mission would be nearly forgotten. It was His choice to return from Jerusalem with His parents alone; for in being retired, His father and mother would have more time for reflection, and for meditation upon the prophecies which referred to His future sufferings and death. He did not wish the painful events which they were to experience in His offering up His life for the sins of the world, to be new and unexpected to them. He was separated from them in their return to Jerusalem. After the celebration of the Passover, they sought Him sorrowing three days. . . .
Here is a lesson of instruction to all the followers of Christ. . . . There is necessity of carefulness of words and actions when Christians are associated together, lest Jesus be forgotten of them, and they pass along careless of the fact that Jesus is not among them. When they are aroused to their condition, they discover that they have journeyed without the presence of Him who could give peace and joy to their hearts, and days are occupied in returning, and searching for Him whom they should have retained with them every moment. Jesus will not be found in the company of those who are careless of His presence, and who engage in conversation having no reference to their Redeemer. . . . It is the privilege of all to retain Jesus with them. If they do this, their words must be select, seasoned with grace. The thoughts of their hearts must be disciplined to meditate upon heavenly and divine things.