Summary: Jesus had to submit himself to his parents in order to grow up and mature in wisdom and understanding before he could step out into ministry. Should we not humble ourselves, submit to leaders over us and grow up spiritually, emptying ourselves of pride before we attempt to minister to others.
Growing with Jesus
Sunday, December 30, 2019
By Rev. James May
From the time of Jesus’ birth to his appearance at the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist, little is known about Jesus’ childhood and growing up. The only passage that tells us much of anything is found in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Luke verses 41-52, but in this short snippet of Jesus’ life under the care of his earthly parents we can learn much about what is needed for us to grow more into the very image of Christ.
This morning I want to give you somewhat of an analogy, comparing the life of Jesus as he is prepared and matures in his mortal body. Even though He was, and is, the Very Son of God, he had to learn to bring his own body, soul and mind under subjection and to overcome every temptation to sin lest his plan of salvation for all mankind would have been shattered.
This passage begins with one very important aspect of Jesus’ life as a child, a teenager, and a young adult. The thing that we must note is that Joseph and Mary were called his “parents”. Even though Jesus was God’s own Son and had all authority and power, he had to learn to obey his parents.
No matter how spiritual he might be, or how much understanding and spiritual insight Jesus had, or how much more understood than even Joseph and Mary did, Jesus was still obligated to remain under their authority.
When Jehovah spoke to Moses on the top of Mt. Sinai, he gave him the 10 commandments which are the foundation of the Law of Moses and the foundation for all righteousness and law in the Bible. The 5th Commandment is given to us in
Exodus 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
In order for Jesus to suffer all things as we do, and to fulfill the Law on our behalf, he had to be first subject to his parents as we are commanded to be, and then obey his own law. To not allow himself, as the offspring of Mary and the son of Joseph, to be obedient to his parents would have been seen and it would have nullified Jesus’ ability to become the perfect man and our sacrifice for sin. If he had not allowed himself to grow up like every other child, and not obeyed his parents, Jesus would have become the Second Adam who sinned and there would be no salvation for mankind through Christ.
But thank God, Jesus had some godly parents who honored the Law and kept it as best they could. They attended the required feasts each year in Jerusalem and looked to the Ark of the Covenant behind that temple veil as their only way to be in the presence of God.
Luke 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
To understand this picture let’s look at it from our own point of view as parents. Are there any 12 year olds in this room? I think there are a few in our church.
Now consider this. You pack up your family in the car and head off to attend a weekend retreat with the church in a city that is about 65 miles away as the crow flies; like going from here to Lafayette. It’s about an hour or so by car; 30 min by air, or, if you’re walking all the way or traveling in a caravan of camels, donkeys and carts, it would take 5-6 days since the route is about 90 miles through rough country.
Luke 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
You know what happens next, but let’s read it any way to refresh our memories.
Luke 2:43 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 2:44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
Luke 2:45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
Luke 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
Now, here’s the scenario! Your 12 year old son is missing in the largest city in Israel, and the population of the city is vastly greater than normal due to the Passover Feast. You’ve searched frantically for three days and you have no idea where he might be, or whether he is still alive or not?