Luke 2:43

ESV And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,
NIV After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.
NASB and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days required, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents were unaware of it.
CSB After those days were over, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.
NLT After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first,
KJV 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.

What does Luke 2:43 mean?

Deuteronomy 16:16 lists the feasts during which all eligible males were required assemble. Jesus' earthly family raised Him in obedience to the Law of Moses (Luke 2:21–22, 39). During one of these trips to Jerusalem, Jesus remains behind in the temple while his family's large travelling group begins the trip back to Nazareth. This will result in some tense searching and an eventual reunion (Luke 2:46).

Modern readers may struggle to understand how Joseph and Mary could leave the city without Jesus, let alone not realize He is missing for an entire day (Luke 2:44). The fact that they travel in a party matters, since it's likely children and family rambled around within the group. In ancient culture, children also matured much more quickly than in modern societies—Jesus is nearly the traditional Jewish age of adulthood. Lastly—and most importantly—the Child in question is the only one in history to have never sinned (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). Adults in His family would have every reason to trust Him, even if they weren't sure what He was doing at the time.

Scripture doesn't say that Jesus lied or ran away to stay in the city. How, exactly, His family misunderstood what was happening is not made clear, either. Though Mary initially thought Jesus was in the wrong (Luke 2:48, 50), Jesus seems to have thought His presence in the temple was obvious (Luke 2:49).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: