We are seeing Jesus from a alphabetically speaking, and now winding down to "Y". Jesus was a youth and not much is said in the scriptures, but Luke tells us "The child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him." (2:40) When He was twelve years, after coming back home from the temple, Luke says, "And He (Jesus) was subject unto them (his parents), . . , And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:51, 52)
The example of Jesus in his childhood helps to see our lives bringing our children in the world. Growing in the Jewish heritage, Jesus was taught to memorize the scriptures. His parents did everything required as they traveled 3 times a year to the Jewish temple. Jesus had a family of siblings, and was the firstborn which had OT significance with His offering on the cross.
Although the synagogue helped spiritually trained Jesus, Mary and Joseph saw their spiritual responisbility very important. We see that his life as a teenager was very well balanced as it mentions "favor with God and man." With God, it was obeying the commandments in the Bible. Wisdom came from the Proverbs as He grew in that! With man, He grew physically, healthy and strong as a carpenter's son. He grew socially as He loved family and his friends and his community.
When Jesus spoke in the temple with the elders as they were learning from Him, His youth amazed them, but they did not understand His words, that He is doing "the Father's business." Even as a teenager, He was getting ready for bigger things, that not even His parents could explain. Jesus, as a man, realized His authority was also with His parents as He obeyed them completely.
As Jesus began His ministry, He encouraged the children to come to Him. As they see Him, they would see the love His Father has for all children and all youth. Can we learn the example of Jesus as we bring our children up in the Lord? Ephesians 6:4 says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this right." We are to bring them up in the nuture and admonition of the Lord."
In summary, as Christians, we are to teach our children the Word of God, besides our home teaching, we are to bring them to Church, help them to be physically healthy and strong. Help them to love their family and be a positive influence on the people around them. Help them to respect authority around their community.
Conclusion: Children and youth are very important to all of us. They are God's gift to us. "May we reach our children while they are young, because if we wait until they are older . . . we may lose them forever.". Amen and Amen.
Prsented By Larry L. Vollink, retired chaplain/pastor, Cedar Springs, MI lawrenceV@comcast.net (616) 655-4129.