Luke 2: 40 – 52
We sometimes wonder if a child can know if they are saved or if they can know the will of God. We have seen children who have been great preachers at an early age, or believe they have been called by God to be in a particular ministry. Today we will look at a child of about twelve years of age and see his calling.
At least three time a year the adults were required to attend the feasts in Jerusalem. The parents of Jesus had been doing this for a number of years, and had normally left Jesus behind when they attended the feast. This year Jesus had turned twelve and was now old enough to attend with his parent. After the feast a group of them left to return home not knowing that Jesus had stayed behind. That night, not finding Jesus, Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem to find him. Finding him after five days (two days travel, and three days searching), Jesus says to them, did you not know that I would be about my fathers business?
We have very little information except tradition on the life of Jesus up to this time. We would know that he was taught the same lessons that other children would have been taught. Mary and Joseph must have told him how he was conceived, so he would have known God as his father both physically and spiritually. From our scripture we find that he exceed in his studies. Because he excelled in his studies the priests were amazed at his know;edge of scripture.
A closer look at how he came to know his calling and the roll that his parents played may help us understand Jesus better. Prov. 22: 6 tell us to train a child in the direction he will go and when he is older he will not depart from that path. Mary and Joseph first knew that the will of God for Jesus to be the savior of the world. They may very well have taught him to have a personal relationship with the heavenly father. Second they would give him the best religious training that they could. Finally they allowed him to be a child. This gave Jesus his religious of God the father, knowledge of scripture and how or relate to others.
Although we will not have the same mandate from God about our child we are to train our children in the direction they are to follow. We are to first of all teach them to have a personal relationship with God. Second we are to discover, with the child, what God has gifted them to do and give them training for that gift. Third we are to teach them how to relate to others. There will be some children who will know what God has called them to do at an early age. For these children we should not discourage them but help them to realize God’s call. Others will not know God’s call for many years. As the child grows we as parents can introduce them to many different studies until they find their calling.
Today’s lesson was not as much about imitating Christ as it was about imitating his parents. God bless you as you imitate Mary and Joseph to raise a godly child.