Well if you have your Bibles with you today, I invite you to open them to Luke Chapter 2 really looking today at vs. 41-51 as we come to this third week and are sermon series based on the life of Jesus and the impact his life and his teachings have on us.
When you have the scripture. I invite you to stand in honor of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I will be reading from the new living translations this morning.
Luke Chapter 2 verses 41 to 51 here now the word of the Lord.
Every year Jesus parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When Jesus was 12 years old. They attended the festival as usual after the celebration was over. They started home to Nazareth. But Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, his parents didn't miss him at first because they assumed he was among the other Travelers, but when he didn't show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends when they couldn't find him. They went back to Jerusalem to search for him there 3 days later. They finally discovered him in the temple sitting among the religious teachers listening to them and asking questions all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents. Didn't know what to think. Son, His mother said to him. Why have you done this to us your father and I have been frantic searching for you everywhere.
But why did you need to search he asked didn't you know that I must be in my father's house, but they didn't understand what he meant. Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them at his mother's stored all these things in her heart Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and all people the word of God for the people of God.
Amen, you may be seated.
What were the last few weeks we have been looking at the stories of Jesus birth and infancy and the events and the people who touched his early life as we come to The Living Word of God today. We learned a little about the childhood of Jesus or should we say the coming of age of Jesus and we find him visiting the temple at the age of 12. For a Jewish boy the age of 12 is an important event in their life soon. The boy will be accountable for his own actions and for his own spiritual life. We know very little about the Earthly life of Jesus except for those few stories in the gospels that we've been focusing on.
But the History Channel and other entertainments often offers some rather fanciful Tales of Jesus to kind of fill in the gaps some of those pseudo gospels that they use were written though by heretical teachers and especially by the Gnostic group. So a lot of those strange little stories you've seen on the History Channel about Jesus Young Life between the few stories we have well,
They're they're a little bit too far fetched aren't they. They others of them were written down kind of like fiction novels might be because during the early time of Christian worship people were really eager to know. You know, how did Jesus grow up what was happening in his life when he was growing up as a child in Nazareth in between the time of the return Nazareth and the time he's twelve and then 30 years old.
What was it that have been happening? Well the fictional gospels usually focus on the infancy and early life of Jesus and then these ancient narratives the things like palm trees battling reverently before Mary on the Way to Bethlehem is in there and the boy Jesus making clay pigeons and then bringing them to life. You can see kind of the the mythical ideas and things he were just Desiring to know more about Jesus.
And came up with some really strange but you know kind of interesting fictional accounts to kind of fill in the blanks of those 30 years of Jesus life.
Now. I admit I would love to know more of the life of Jesus before his Earthly Ministry began but all we can do is offer possibilities from what life was like in Israel during the years from his birth to his adulthood. Now one of those stories that we have in the Bible has to deal with an annual trip for the Passover for Jesus and his family.
It was one of the highlights of the Jewish year one of three annual festivals that were celebrated in the capital of Jerusalem. The Feast of Tabernacles was 1. Pentecost was one and of course Passover. And like most families who live far away from Jerusalem Jesus and his family made the journey of the three annual festivals to celebrate in the Capitol most likely just once a year. Especially for Passover
Passover took place in the spring of the Year following the Jewish month of nicine which is kind of late March and April which is why we have Easter in that time. The Feast celebrated Gods Rescue of the children of Israel from slavery in the land of Egypt and the trip from Nazareth would be several days on foot for the family.
That was often a dangerous dangerous trip due to roaming bands of Thieves who would prey on vulnerable Travelers because there was safety in numbers families and communities would go together and Caravans made up of extended family and trusted friends. And so it would have been normal for the children to do with children do it large family gatherings they group together and they play with one another and that's what they would have been doing as they traveled along so it would seem logical that when they didn't see Jesus around as they traveled home that they expecting to be somewhere in the Caravan playing with some of the other kids his age. So it first no big deal, but then when the streetlights came on and Jesus didn't come home.
That's the way it was when I was a kid, you know, if the streetlights came on, you didn't run home immediately. You were in big trouble some of your old enough to remember the hum. Those old street lights used to make right? Yeah. That was the get home. Well, they didn't have street lights in Jesus day, but still as the sun began to said it was time for the children to go back with their parents in order to bed down for the night on their Journey, but there's a problem.
No, Jesus, He's not there. Now, I don't know about you, but there's been several times in our lives when we are raising our children when they were very young when they would find ways is the slip away in the store and you just couldn't find them.
I've mentioned this before the Panic that goes through you when you can't find your small child and especially when they get to that 11 or 12 area of life. You begin to say really crazy things like if he's alive when I find him I'm going to kill him.
Well, that's exactly how Mary and Joseph were feeling. They looked everywhere for Jesus. They searched for three whole days for their missing child. They must have been out of their mind, especially knowing the events of Jesus infancy. When all the power of government wanted to put the child to death along with the religious leaders. This time, however, Jesus is safe among the religious leaders, who would one day go against him and call for his death that would lead to the cross.
For most of the last three days. Jesus has been involved and what would have been much like a catechism class catechisms been part of the universal church since really the beginning and it's even part of the Methodist movement nowadays. It takes more of the form of Sunday school or are confirmation classes, but catechisms kind of a series of questions and answers that relate to and teach the doctrine of the faith and his pastors and teachers ask questions of the students the students answer if they answer right lie it leads to another question and so on and so forth.
The given take the back and forth to this questioning dialogue is the way that religious teachers of Jesus day worked as well. And so here he is. He's in the middle of all of the Jewish leaders and they're going through this given take for three whole days.
Now in Jewish families in Jesus day the education for son started at 5 years old and it afforded the children a chance to learn about their faith. The Yesheva schools are religious schools with something that the rich families could afford and we might assume that Jesus would have had access to at least some of these teachers if not their fathers would train them in the Torah.
To help them understand the scriptures and what they meant now religious instruction is so important to the development of children of the church and its Christian families. We are called to make sure that children not only know the stories in the Bible That's so important that we teach them the stories but more than that, they gain an understanding of their meaning and the impact the doctrine of the faith has on our lives as believers.
You know if we failed to teach our children the truth of the Gospel, they will not have a foundation of belief to help them navigate the dangers of the world we live in as they grow older. It is not always easy to train our children little children have a short attention span adolescents often seem to have entered a Twilight Zone from which they hopefully will emerge in their 20s and some maybe not it.
It often seems that one minute your children think you are the greatest parents on earth and the other time your adolescence think that you are an alien force trying to ruin their lives.
But we often overlooked in Children and adolescents is an insatiable appetite to learn.
To learn whatever they can.
We often don't seem to understand the way they learn and we often neglect to understand the fact that they are capable of deep spiritual reflection. And so we miss out in the midst of the arguments with our adolescence. We can find that there is room to speak to them about the Lord.
There's room to teach them in the midst of the busyness of our little ones there is room to teach them about the Lord and about our faith and it is the responsibility of every parent to do so.
If we do that if we give them proper instruction and nurture in the Lord our children and youth will come to love the Lord and desire to serve him.
I encourage all parents to spend time instructing their children daily in the faith. I know you're busy. I know it's difficult. We were busy to raising our kids.
There were times that it was really hard just to get to the table every once in awhile. But time in the minivan the SUV whatever you have is a good time to train them in the Lord. Whatever time you have. That's the most important thing you will do.
Remember when you come before the church and before the Lord to dedicate her baptize your child as parents you commit to accept as you're grateful Duty and privilege to live before your children a life that becomes the gospel. To exercise all Godly care, but they will be brought up in the Christian faith and taught the holy scriptures and learn to give Reverend attendance upon private and public worship of God.
That is one of the most important things you will ever do.
And we can guarantee one thing that if Jesus either went to Yeshiva schools are set with Joseph and learned the scriptures the Torah was taught in his home as they work together as they played together as they ate meals together.
If you're not sure how to do this. I I want to offer you some excellent resources that will help you. Just let me know so you can fulfill that grateful Duty that God has had for you the greatest point of every morning when our kids were growing up was The Breakfast Table where we would share our morning devotions and have this given take these questions and answers so they would grow in the Lord and we're seeing fruit today. I want to encourage you in that if your grandparents and you get to babysit your grandchildren,
Man use some of that time not just a teacher to throw a ball or to do woodworking or whatever it is. You want to teach him but to share the gospel with him as you work together. And as I learned from my son sitting and trying to catch fish we never caught many. It was a great time to teach about the lord.
Well as we come back to our gospel lesson, we find Jesus with the teachers in the temple listening to them asking questions and giving reply and even at this young age. Jesus has amazing knowledge of the things of God. In fact our text says all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers the others after service that some of the kids and youth come up to me and ask me some excellent questions.
Kids will do that take advantage. You just might be amazed. Any parent reading this account though understands what happens next Jesus parents are overwhelmed by what is taking place. They moved to recover their son a frustrated mother asked her budding adolescent how he could behave this way. How could you do this to me? I was in labor for 20 hours.
That's not what the text says, but you get the point.
He left his priorities.
From his family and caused a major anxiety attack. This is how it says it in the first 48 his parents. Didn't know what to think son is mother said to him. Why have you done this to your father? And I have been frantic searching for you everywhere.
You ever get that mom or dad says your father and I are your mother or I that usually means they're the ones they're the most frantic but they got to make sure they get the other parent in there, too.
The Greek word translated frantic refers to deep mental anguish and pain that's not minimize this it's 3 days a child is missing 10 minutes is an eternity.
Now to our pain Jesus answers in a very matter-of-fact way his he is explaining himself to his mother while at the same time giving her a reminder of who he really is.
Didn't you know that I must be in My Father's House occupied with my father's business. I'm sure Mom was not ready to hear that at that moment. It says they didn't understand that. This is important for us to understand though when we hear these words coming out of Jesus mouth. We understand the impact of his statement because we have over 2,000 years of hindsight on our side. We're not the Frantic mom standing there.
We know the rest of the story Mary and Joseph, although they knew the miracle of his birth have yet to understand fully what it means?
Your text says but they didn't understand what he meant. His mother's stored all these things in her heart. Mom's how many things have you stored in your hearts? Those little moments when you're with your kids that you remember when they're walking down the aisle to get married those little moments when your kids just really messed it up, but they were smiling the whole time you couldn't help but laugh those little moments when you just went I'm the worst parents in the world.
We do that as parents. We are our worst critics.
What you find and all those who are adults and have children. Now as you look back at your own parents you realize they were doing the best they could and so are you.
it's a gift from God.
I remember fondly the things that my mom and my dad did with me and my mom says she was a terrible mom.
She's stored a few things are hard. She needs to throw away and keep the good ones.
I hope that's what Mary did Mary would understand but it would not happen until Jesus went to the Cross died was buried and rose again. Just like all the other people in Jesus life. We know that she eventually became his disciple and trusted in him not as her son, but as her savior,
Yet what the story showed is that Jesus did understand who he was what he had come to do. He was and is the Incarnate Son of God the savior of the world. And even though Jesus is the Incarnate Son of God. He for a time is under the authority of the parents God the father has given him to help him grow into the man who will preach and teach the truth of the word.
Heal the sick feed the hungry raise the dead and become the sacrifice for our sins. In verse 51. It says than Jesus return to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and all the people
Jesus was faithful to the Commandments given to the people of Israel in the Covenant until the time when he would fulfill all the law in prophets.
We see this in many ways throughout the Earthly life and Ministry of Jesus. It was not yet the proper timing. So Jesus will wait until the appointed time the father has made and in obedience to his Earthly Authority the father had given him. Remember the Commandments given to Children. Hey kids. Are you listening?
Remember the Commandment given to you honor your father and mother then you will live a long full life in the land. The Lord. Your God is giving you. It's in exodus 20 if you want to go look at it later. The reason we obey our parents is not just because Disobedience brings punishment.
That happens we honor or obey our parents because it pleases the heart of God.
That's why we do that children.
The Apostle Paul put this way Ephesians 6 1 2 3 children. Obey your parents because you belong to the Lord for this is right the right thing to do honor your father and mother this is the first commandment with a promise.
If you honor your father and mother things will go well for you and you will have a long life on the earth. Jesus lived out this commandment by going home with Joseph and Mary and living obediently the scripture tells us the result of this life lived out in obedience. He grows in wisdom.