Thursday, March 3, 2016

Luke 2:41-45

Luke 2:41-45
And His parents went into Jerusalem according to the yearly custom to the Passover Feast.  And when he became twelve years, while they went up according to the custom of the festival, and after completing the days, in the midst of their return, the boy Jesus remained in the temple, and His parents did not know.  And after considering Him to be in the traveling group, they went a day along the road and they were searching for Him in the relatives and acquaintances.  And after they did not find Him they turned back into Jerusalem while searching for Him.   

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Once more we hear about obedience.  We don’t get to hear much about Joseph, but we can certainly say that what we do know about the household that Joseph and Mary create in which Jesus could grow up was an environment that took God’s expectations seriously.  They continued to go up to the Temple on a yearly basis for the Passover.  They continued to make sure that their children were immersed in the culture of faith.  They were great parents in this regard.  They were excellent choices for God to bring His Son into the world.  Certainly they weren’t perfect and they made mistakes.  But the obedience made sure that they big things right.

How does your obedience help to keep you on the right track even if you aren’t perfect in every way?  Where has your faithful obedience come back to help you in the long run?

Second Thought:

Jesus’ parents leave Jerusalem without Him.  In today’s day and age, this seems like a ridiculous proposition.  Imagine going to Disney World and then leaving Orlando without having all of your children.  And then imagine traveling a day’s journey before getting really worried.  That simply sounds preposterous.  However, allow me to paint this in a more proper light.  In the ancient world, extended families were huge.  Aunts and uncles were often as close to you as your parents.  Your cousins were often like siblings.  Adults raised one another’s kids as if they were their own.  Families were community affairs.  So imagine a family group of forty or fifty people traveling a few days to Jerusalem.  The group decides to leave.  It would be easy to assume that Jesus would be playing with cousins or hanging out with the preferred aunt or uncle.  It would be easy to travel while looking for Jesus but not being too worried about it.  And what do we know about Mary and Joseph?  When they finally have searched thoroughly, they turn back and go get Jesus.

How can this passage help us understand that cultural differences are present in the Bible than our own culture?  How can it be easy to judge Mary and Joseph based on our culture?  What can this teach us about being careful when judging other cultures based on what we see as we compare it to our own culture?

Third Thought:

Jesus remains in the Temple.  Of course, Jesus is the Son of God.  It makes sense that He would stay in the temple from a divine perspective.  His focus is upon God.  His focus is on creating a spiritual identity for Himself.  His focus is on making sure that He is living out of that identity in the power and authority that comes from God.  Even at a young age of twelve, we see Jesus’ identity emerging.

Does your life imitate the life of Christ in this respect?  Is your identity coming from the Father?  When you have an opportunity, to you relish being in the presence of the Father?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 2:46-52
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