Luke 2:46-52 (CEV)
46 Three days later they found Jesus sitting in the temple, listening to the teachers and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was surprised at how much he knew and at the answers he gave.
48 When his parents found him, they were amazed. His mother said, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been very worried, and we have been searching for you!”
49 Jesus answered, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I would be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he meant.
51 Jesus went back to Nazareth with his parents and obeyed them. His mother kept on thinking about all that had happened.
52 Jesus became wise, and he grew strong. God was pleased with him and so were the people.
Didn’t You Know?
Are you ever surprised by your kids? For years, everyone assumed that our youngest wasn’t very good at math. She doodled all over the pages, but rarely put down any answers. She didn’t pay attention in class, and she never seemed to know the answers when asked. She said math was “dumb” and she “hated it”. We brought her home to homeschool last year and gave her an entire year without any math, to try to let some of the bad feelings about it melt away. But this year it was time to get back into it. I gave her the math book on the first day of school and she sighed and made a face. Then she asked me if she could go work on it on her own for a while. I figured she would doodle on the pages. I figured there wouldn’t be any answers by the end of the day. But it was the first day back to school, and I had three other things I had to do, so I said she could take it off by herself for a few hours. Well, when I got back, this kid who hadn’t paid attention to math from JK – Grade 5, and hadn’t even had a math class in Grade 6, had taught herself the entire first unit, and answered all the questions … correctly. Three weeks later, she finished the Grade 7 curriculum … with a final mark of 93%! I should have known – we know that she’s smart. I should have known – she loves watching YouTube videos about university math concepts. But somehow I kind of forgot all of this – and I certainly didn’t expect that she could teach herself eight years of math in three weeks!
Sometimes we can live with people for years and years and still miss or forget very crucial things about who they are. It seems that was the case for Mary and Joseph raising Jesus. The promise was that they were raising God’s son. But the reality is that they had a baby, who acted like a baby; and a toddler, who acted like a toddler; and a curious, delightful, inquisitive little boy, who nevertheless acted like a little boy; and a pre-teen son, who I’m pretty sure still had the developmental profile of a 12-year-old boy. And in the midst of all the every day reality of raising Jesus, I wonder whether Mary and Joseph sort of, kind of, forgot that he was God’s son?
Which, personally, is kind of encouraging to me. I mean, how often do we kind of lose sight of who Jesus is? Of what it means to follow Jesus? Of what it means to worship God? I kind of feel like if Mary and Joseph could lose sight of what was right in front of them, day-in-day-out, than maybe there’s grace for when I get a little lost in my reality.
But our story isn’t mostly about grace. I think it’s mostly a reminder to us who have been doing this Jesus-following thing for a long time, and for those of us just getting started, that we need to do our best not to get too busy, too wrapped up in life, to forget who Jesus really is – God-With-Skin; God-With-Us – and forget what that means we should be doing if we’re following Jesus – living the kind of life we’re going to watch Jesus live over the next few weeks and months.Journal Questions:
- What do you know about Jesus’ character?
- Who would you say Jesus is?
- Take some time to write out a prayer, drawer a response, sit and meditate, sing in worship or some other activity as a way to think about who Jesus is today.