I used to go to the hair salon and spend an hour to an hour-and-a-half getting my hair colored. One thing I like about hair stylists is that they are skilled in conversation. A sign of a good salon is the buzz of conversation going on when the hairdryers are not running.
One particular visit, I was sitting in my chair while my color was processing. As I flipped through a magazine, I could hear conversations going on from the stylists around me that were working with their clients. It has nothing to do with eavesdropping or being nosey, salons are set up with chairs next to each other and lined up across the room as well. My attention was drawn to one certain stylist who was speaking louder than anyone else. She was telling a joke to her client and I caught the beginning of it and was interested. This stylist was animated and a captivating storyteller. If I didn’t know better, I think I was even leaning toward her as she was setting up for a great punchline. She was talking loud until she got to the punchline. She practically whispered the punchline in her client’s ear. The client burst out laughing as did the stylist.
Wait! That’s not fair! I think the whole salon was waiting for that punchline and she decided to whisper in her client’s ear? Ugh!!!
Every year Jesus’ parent went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 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.”
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
I love this account of young Jesus in the temple courts sitting amongst the religious leaders of the day. He had them captivated with his questions and answers. He wasn’t there for an hour, he was there for three days. If Jesus wasn’t recorded as saying, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” I would take that as missing the high point of the story. I apologize for the horrible comparison to that of the punchline to a joke, because knowing what we know about Jesus, this is what he was all about.
My trips to the hair salon have nearly ceased except for the occasional trim. I am; however, studying more about what Jesus meant when he said, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” This response packs a punch better than anything I have ever heard, or didn’t hear.