Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday, May 10 ~ tammi

Today's Bible In a Year reading: I Samuel 21-22; Psalm 94; Acts 5
Today's scripture focus passage: Luke 2:39-52

Man, these Fridays are sneaky!  I keep thinking I have time to sit down and do this and suddenly it's Thursday again!!

So anyway, today we come to the only recorded event in Jesus' life between His birth and the beginning of His ministry.  I'm straying a bit from the path we've been following and instead of consulting the sermons listed above, I went rather to a devotional book I have used the last two or three years during the weeks leading up to Easter ~ The Incomparable Christ, by J. Oswald Sanders.

Sanders writes in his book that at the age of 12, Jewish boys assumed religious responsibility for themselves that had previously been their parents' job.  So Jesus, at this point ~ as all other boys His age ~ was now required to observe the ceremonial laws and attend the prescribed feasts and celebrations in Jerusalem.

As we are well familiar, things go smoothly until the evening of the first day on the return trip home after the Passover, when Joseph and Mary suddenly realize Jesus is not travelling with their company.  They race back to the city and spend three full days searching for Him and finally find Him where they should maybe have thought to look first:  sitting in the temple amongst the elders, discussing things that would generally have been considered far beyond His grasp at His age.

Mary, weak with relief ~ and possibly even a little angry now that they know He's not hurt or ill ~ rebukes Jesus and says, "What were you thinking, not telling us where you were going?  How could you DO this to your mother and father??  We were worried SICK, young man!"  Or something to that effect.  I always wonder how she must have felt ~ or Joseph, for that matter ~ when Jesus quietly offers a rebuke of His own, disowning any human relationship with Joseph, and asking how they didn't know where He'd be.  Reminding them of His deity.

To me, that says His childhood was normal enough that it wasn't difficult for them to think of Him as they would any of their other children.  That He probably wasn't running around the neighbourhood with a halo around His head or working miracles, turning sticks and pebbles into real live animals to play with, as some absurdly suggest.

I think the part about this story that always strikes me the most though, is what verse 51 says about Him:  "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient [submissive] to them."

No doubt, Jesus was an exceptional child.  He was fully God and fully man, wrapped in an adolescent boy's body.  And yet here again, we are reminded that He met His requirements, fulfilled His Heavenly Father's will, and set for us a perfect example.  I imagine it would have been easy for Him to essentially rebel against His parents, to despise or disparage them, knowing spiritual truths they simply couldn't grasp, even knowing the future they simply couldn't know.  But no, He returned home with them and submitted Himself to them, to their teaching, to their discipline, to learning the family business and probably taking it over to provide for His mother after Joseph died.

Something I am gradually coming to learn is that submission takes much greater strength than rebellion does.  But then, swimming upstream against the current always does.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year reading: I Samuel 23-24
Monday's scripture focus passage: Luke 3:1-3


Miriam said...

Hmmm, yes, it does take greater strength to submit than to rebel, doesn't it? Great post, Tammi.

TammyIsBlessed said...

This is likely the first time Mary experienced the sword piercing her heart. Jesus reminding them of His divinity and their humanity. Distancing Him from their physical relationship so that they would begin to transition their image of Him from their son to their Saviour.

Truly He also claims deity in this passage. Another testimony - just like Joseph and Mary, Simeon and Anna.