Summary: To truly be Christ-like, we must learn and practice humble submission. The boy Jesus shows us what humble submission looks like
Series Introduction: Some pictures are compelling. Just seeing them draws you into a story that you don’t yet know but want to. Some pictures compel you to feel certain emotions or move you to behave in certain ways. A compelling picture tells the whole story without the use of words.
You’re familiar with some of the compelling pictures of our time.
National Geographic Cover – Afghan girl
JFK Jr. – Salute at dads funeral.
VJ Day – Kiss
These are pictures most of us are familiar with and they are pictures that are compelling. They beg us – or force us – to become a part of the story…a story we may not fully understand.
Often a compelling picture is necessary to help us become what we really are. As followers of Christ we are called to be like him…to be Christ-like…but to do that we need to see what he is like. We need a compelling picture of Jesus if we are to become like him.
Between now and Easter, I am going to work on exposing us to a compelling picture of the Jesus of the Bible. We’ve just celebrated his birth and for the next 13 weeks or so we’re going to study the gospels and explore the life of Christ…hopefully painting a compelling picture that we can keep before us and use as a model to shape our lives – a portrait that will help us to become more like Him. We’re going to look at the life of Jesus from his birth to his death and then his resurrection. We’re going to get intimately acquainted with the beauty of his face…his life so that we can imitate him with ours.
This morning we’re going to dive into the only recorded account from the childhood of Jesus. With the exception of Luke’s gospel, we have no information on Jesus as a child but Luke paints a compelling picture of Jesus the child and the lessons we can take away from this portrait are essential to our becoming like Him.
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast 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.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Luke 2:41-52 (NIV)
Movement 1: Annual Pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover
According to Jewish law at the time, every adult male within 15 miles of Jerusalem was required to journey to Jerusalem to make a sacrifice at the temple every year during Passover. Often the women would accompany their husbands on these pilgrimages. Due to distance many Jews could not make the pilgrimage each year but were encouraged to try to make it at least once in their lives. Nazareth, where Jesus lived with his parents is about 70 miles from Jerusalem so it certainly fell outside of the 15 mile limit.
We know that Joseph and Mary were righteous people, that’s why they were chosen to be the parents of the Messiah, but their righteousness is further illustrated in the fact that Luke tells us that, “Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.” Though they were not required by law to make this spiritually significant journey each year due to the distance they lived from Jerusalem, they still made the journey each year. Only the most devout of Jews would do this.
Joseph and Mary travel to Jerusalem with a group from Nazareth and the surrounding villages, as was the custom and they take 12 year old Jesus with them. Age twelve was when a Jewish boy began to become a Jewish man and accept the religious responsibilities of a Jew. Jesus was just coming into his spiritual manhood as they made this journey to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast.