The Father's Business.
Today's reading was Luke, chapter 2. A very familiar chapter- even to non-Christians, as this is Luke's account of the birth of Christ. I love reading the Christmas story when it is not Christmas. It always fills my heart with joy, as it reminds me of the most joyous time of year. The focus though, of today's devotional is at the end of chapter 2. The following passage is from the King James Version, as I think it best represents my point today. Check out especially the part in bold.
41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Now imagine being a parent of a 12 year old. Imagine yourself being in a busy shopping mall at the Christmas shopping time. It is extremely busy, and while you don't see your son, you assume that he is with other family members or friends. It isn't until much later that you realize your son is nowhere to be found. How do you feel? You feel frantic and worried and concerned for the well-being of your child. This is how Mary and Joseph must have felt for 3 days while they searched for Jesus. And when they finally find him, he almost chides them for being worried. It's amazing to really think on what Jesus said to them when they found him. "I had to see to my Father's business."
Jesus was becoming a man at this time. 12-13 is a coming of age for a young man, and even though we know very little of what life was like for Jesus growing up, I have to think that he was pretty much a normal teenager. And that 12 years old was the beginning of that confusing time for a young man. I am also certain that he loved his parents very much and was an obedient young man. Yet here, in the presence of all who were there, he was telling his beloved parents that there was something more important than them. He was saying that there was a relationship more important to him than with that of his parents.
Can we say that? Can we say that there is a relationship more important to us than anything else? Can we honestly say that God comes first? Jesus set us the perfect example that day in his Father's house, and if we want to be like Jesus, we need to follow suit. God deserves no less from us. If we think on all our plans, decisions, hopes and dreams, do we really put God first? I know I surely don't, and I fall short of that mark most days. What a wonderful thing though to have the perfect example in Jesus Christ! I thank God today that I have such an example. Something to strive for as everyday I try to put God first.