Seek the LORD while he may be found.
We don’t know much about Jesus’ childhood from the Bible. Only the books of Luke and Matthew tell us anything about baby Jesus, and when it comes to Jesus’ childhood, we know even less.
What’s interesting about the accounts we have, however, is that almost every one includes people searching for Jesus.
The shepherds were told by the Christmas angel to seek out a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. They said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about” (Luke 2:15).
When the wise men, or magi, mistakenly arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2), they were redirected to Bethlehem because of what the prophet Micah predicted (Micah 5:2). When the magi later duped a jealous King Herod, he became enraged. An angel warned Joseph that “Herod is going to search for the child to kill him” (Matthew 2:13), and he urged Jesus’ stepfather to escape to Egypt.
And when the twelve-year-old Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem unbeknownst to his parents, Mary and Joseph spent three days searching for Jesus before finally finding him at the temple. “Why were you searching for me?” Jesus asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49).
What do all those accounts demonstrate? That it’s natural for us to look for Jesus in all the wrong places. When searching for the Lord, we imagine that we should be looking out for something visually spectacular. After all, it’s God, right? And God must be easy to spot because he’s big, grand, and glorious.
Well, yes, he is. But when God calls on us, as he does through the prophet Isaiah, to “seek the LORD while he may be found,” he wants us to go looking for Jesus in all the right places. And where will we find him? In his Word, the Bible, where we learn of his unconditional love for sinners like us, his perfect forgiveness of the sins of the world, and his promise of everlasting life to those who place their trust in Jesus alone.
Jesus, guide me to look for you in all the right places. Send me to your Word, where I know you’ll be found. Amen.