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Summary: The Bible teaches us that there are two truths to consider when we read the 5th commandment: (1. The call to honor our earthly parents… (2. And the call to be honorable as earthly parents! It is not just a call to the children, but also to the dad an

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TEXT: Ex. 20:12; Luke 2:41-52; Eph. 6:1-4

INTRO: When God gave Moses the 10 commandments they came on 2 tablets of stone. Tablet #1 had the first 4 commandments on them and dealt exclusively with man’s relationship with God; tablet #2 had the last 6 commandments and they dealt with man’s relationship to man, this would be the natural breakdown for having two tablets since there are two relationships we all deal with.

What is interesting about this breakdown is that each tablet began with a very similar commandment: i.e.

Tablet #1 - To honor God as heavenly father

Tablet #2 - to honor earthly father & mother

These "first" commandments at the top of each stone tablet were the starting points for all that followed on each list. First things – first!

Failure to follow the first commandment of each of the tablets would (no doubt) have an impact on the following the other commandments. There is a very real link with our relationship with our earthly parents and that of our spiritual relationship with our heavenly Father. Statistics tell us that when there are poor relationships with our earthly fathers there are higher crime rates and higher levels of depression and mental illness. This must not be ignored!

Caution: Our soul can rise or fall on what we do with the first commandment, and our society can rise or fall on what we do with the fifth commandment! We need to "plead the 5th!"

The Bible teaches us that there are two truths to consider when we read the 5th commandment:

(1. The call to honor our earthly parents…

(2. And the call to be honorable as earthly parents!

It is not just a call to the children, but also to the dad and mom!

I. THE HONORING CALL

A. Respecting Authority “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Eph. 6:1

1. The first taste of authority a child experiences is that of his/her parents!

2. All humans that become healthy adults pass through 3 stages of learning and living in authority:

a. Early childhood ... enforced obedience.

b. Youth ... willful obedience.

c. Adulthood ... mutual obedience.

3. Having an earthly father who loves their child is critical to this process; children need their dads to become healthy in their understanding of authority.

a. An earthly father’s role on a child can have lasting impact.

ILLUS: James (Jim) Clark is worth around $800 million since he is CEO of the giant corporation of Netscape. His father, Charles Clark, 78, is stricken with poverty and living in a low rent nursing home in Harris County, Texas. He barely survives by drawing less than $500 a month in Social Security. But Jim Clark won’t give his dad a dime. When, through a lawyer, the elder Clark asked for money, Jim Clark told the lawyer nothing doing. Jim Clark stated that, "He abandoned us first." The story goes that old man Clark took off when Jim was just a little boy. -- Forbes, April 8, 1996.

b. Children obviously need a strong male influence to teach them about authority. If there is no father, a child will desperately need someone to provide that much needed male authority.

(1. like churches, scouts, Royal Rangers, school clubs, neighbors, etc.

(2. God also promises to be a "father to the fatherless."

4. This first stage of "enforced obedience" (childhood) is important to a healthy development on authority later!

B. Relationships & Attitudes Luke 2:41-51

1. Jesus no doubt experienced the childhood experience of "enforced obedience" by his parents like all children.

2. While the Bible is silent about those childhood years we do have one glimpse of Jesus in the second phase of authority development, the "youth" stage. ("Willful obedience")

a. It is interesting that this one and only story of Jesus’ "youth" phase has to do with this very issue of authority and “willful obedience!”

b. Jesus was 12, He was BAR-MITZVAH ... meaning He had become a man, the meaning of "bar-mitzvah" is "son of the commandments!"

(1. This was the transition in Judaism from "enforced obedience" to "willful obedience."

(2. Jesus was suppose to now obey his Heavenly Father by His own choice, not just that of His parents!

(3. And, obedience to His earthly parents moved from "enforced" to "willful" as well.

3. Notice how Jesus’ parents had the difficulty moving from phase one to phase two...

a. They are angry that Jesus didn’t head home with them!

b. They come back and find Jesus and say to Him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you!" 2:48b

4. Jesus’ answer to them is NOT a rebuke in 2:49 "Why were you searching for me?" He asked. "Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?"

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