Luke 2 : 41 -52
Being A Footstep Follower.
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of ALL our hearts be acceptable in thy sight – Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer.
(Please be seated)
When we think of Jesus in reference to this time of the year we think of Him as a baby, cute and needing protection, nurturing and to be provided with gifts. The bible accounts, however, actually concentrate on His Deity & Kingship ,and that at every step of His life, He was fulfilling prophesy and showing forth God's plan for mankind.
The Gospel reading today shows us another aspect of God's plan and how Jesus even at an early age displayed what the life of a Christian , a footstep follower of Christ,should be like.
Around the age when Jewish boys are “Bar Mitzvahed” Jesus was attending the Temple with His parents,and because of His love for God. It's an example for all children because we know that when He did this Jesus grew in favor with both God and men!
What other things can we learn from Jesus' example?
It should be noted that The Gospel of Luke is the only canonical record of Jesus' boyhood years and it behooves us, children and adults alike to pay attention to this account recorded for our information by Dr.Luke, and emulate his behavior.
Jesus was in the Temple asking questions of the Ministers, Rabbis, wise men and priests. He would have taken time to talk with His peer group of course; (i.e. children of His own age; ) but He was personally interested in learning about the things of God from those with Godly knowledge and experience!
We are channels for the only Good,who is GOD,to work through in these times of turmoil, uncertainty, hatred,and evil. We strive to be brighter beacons of the light that shines forth from the
KING OF KINGS........ JESUS CHRIST!
In the first part of the Gospel we learn an interesting fact about Joseph,Mary,and Jesus.
“Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. And when he was 12 years old they went us according to Festival Custom.”
We learn that Joseph and Mary were obedient and observant in making the trip every year to Jerusalem.
With Jesus as a Family. This would have taken at least two weeks in travel time alone.
In the next verse we learn:
“After they had completed The Passover,and were returning,the boy,Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem
but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the Company,they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances.”..
On first reading it may seem a little careless on the part of Jesus' parents to not have noticed before that he was missing a whole day,but the way these journeys were completed allows us to understand the situation. When journeysuch as this were made the Men stayed together with the men; the women with the women ;and the children,as children would,would play and travel together as well. A day's journey would be about 15 miles at most.
Continuing the narrative,we read:
“But not finding Him,they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.After three days they found him in the temple,sitting in the midst of the teachers,listening to them and asking them questions,and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.”
Jesus was learning from them but it's interesting to note that the bible records that “they” were amazed at
His understanding and His answers. Did you notice that? To all the youth in the congregation it should be an
inspiration. You can have such understanding and knowledge and revelation of God that many will be amazed by your understanding and your answers to problems.
These will not just be to bible topics because God gives us answers for all questions that come into our lives. And if you want a good starting point for learning the wisdom of God then take time to read God's manual, THE BIBLE, and His wisdom literature.
As an example one could read a chapter of proverbs every morning before you go off to school ,college ,work, then pray for God's guidance and protection throughout your day and SEE how God will give you wisdom beyond your years, and help in every situation when you listen for His advice. No scientific or philosophical truth has ever shown the word of God to be wrong! Notice ,I said truth; not conjecture or theory!
Our God is a good God and His word is truth!
So learn from Him and then as you grow older and take your natural responsible position in the church and in the world, YOU will be the one that the new youths turn to for advice and to learn wisdom!
Imagine the concern of Jesus' parents after searching for three days! Then to find him in the temple sure was a relief,which simultaneously must have turned to consternation at the prospect of Him sitting and conversing and questioning the Elders....
A question and answer teaching environment was a staple of Jewish teaching (even until today) and the scriptures tell us that he amazed the elders with both His questions and His answers !
We learn here that even at that tender age Jesus was already preparing himself as a Teacher who obviously possessed great wisdom,ability,and authority.
Next we read:
“When his parents saw Him They were astonished and His mother said to him: Son why have you done this to us?Your Father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety. And He said to them Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I MUST be in my Father's House,about my Fathers Business?
Another thing to notice is that Jesus was submissive to His parents at all times. The scriptures tell us to “Honor our Mother and father”, and Jesus as a loving son always did that. Some people without knowledge of God ,in fact even some Christians think that Jesus “talked back” to His mother Mary when He said,
"Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" and about my Father's business.
But Jesus was not talking back. He was simply answering her question with what, as a “Child of God”, he thought they would have realized. It shows His surprise that they did not realize where He would be! If He wasn't with some of His earthly family where would He be? Jesus was about his Father's Business,in His Father's House- The Temple!. Young or old we should do so also!
But to emphasize the point that Jesus was always submissive the bible tells us in verse 51...
Luke 2:51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
Now these are not just examples for our youth. This is for us adults also. If we were having a conversation with others and it got around to matters of Christian living and God's word would we be able to speak words of wisdom so that they were amazed at our understanding and at our answers?
All of us should be looking into our Manual every day
and after proverbs we should move on to other wisdom literature, like the letters of Paul -such as...
Romans and Galatians and use our prayer time to draw close to God asking for His guidance and help through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christianity is a relationship with God first and then with our neighbor. We should be incessant in “Praise, Prayer and Meditation” in building up our relationship with God Jesus our example - when He was here on earth, in flesh. (physically.)
In these times that we live in, it shows wisdom to be close to our good God who reveals Himself through His manual. This is the way to His heart and to live in the blessings that He planned for us from the foundation of the world.
Jesus died for us so that on accepting His sacrifice we can have access to everything that He has in His storehouse.! Sisters & Brothers, We have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear son.
Do you not believe this ?
As we learn about Jesus and see how He acted when He was on earth we will see and appreciate what we can do also, because Jesus said that we would do everything
that He did and greater things also,... IF we believe..
Sisters and Brothers,let us end 2012 resolved in our hearts and minds for 2013 to be in regular attendance in our Fathers House and to be about our Father Business at all times thus ensuring our rightful place in his Heavenly Abode, prepared for us from the founding of the World!