Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Child-Like Heart of Jesus

     During this time of the year much emphasis is given to Jesus as a babe laying in the manger.  Many people want to remember Jesus only as a infant for in this stage of life, they can enjoy His existence without having to focus on what He did as an adult.  I enjoy this time of year as well but more for the joy it brings to family members and not just a celebration of Jesus' birth.  This should be done everyday in connection with the life He lived, and the death He suffered for for each one of us.
     But I do want to focus now on His childhood.  Scripture doesn't give too much information, but what it says speaks volumes about our life and what is to be our mirror image of the Savior.  In Luke 2:40 we are told how Jesus kept increasing with wisdom, as He become stronger during the growth process from infancy to what would be almost adulthood for Jewish born sons.  It would be at the age of 12 that Jesus went into the temple, amazing those He conversed with in regard to His understanding of the Scriptures.
     When His parents saw Him in the temple they were astonished as well, desiring to know why He would treat them in such a way as to leave them without a word.  His answer drew an even deeper lack of understanding as Jesus said he must be about His Father's business, or as stated in the NASB, He had to be in His Father's house.  This obviously wasn't Joseph , but God.  Then we come to Luke 2:51.
     Though Jesus has acknowledged His divine origin, He goes down to Nazareth with His earthly parents and we are told He continued in subjection to them.  What a powerful statement.  The Son of God subjected Himself to the authority of His earthly parents.  This was done to show His obedience to God as well as to Joseph and Mary.  It was also to teach us how we are to live as children on this earth.
     What is greatly lacking in our society is the respect shown by Jesus to His parents.  There is a huge void in the hearts of our children today, and parents are largely responsible for creating it.  When children are not taught to respect others, including parents, a child will grow to despise everyone around him or her, and this will include themselves.  We have many unhappy children in our world who are desperate for direction and yet have not been shown the way they should go, for God has been largely removed from their lives.
     True happiness can only be found in a life that places God at the center.  This is true for all ages.  If we are not right with God we cannot find true happiness or contentment here on earth.  When Jesus put Himself into subjection to His parents, He was pleasing God in keeping the Law, commandment number five, but also was showing a true reverence for God, as well as respect for His parents.  He was able to live as a man and stay pleasing to God, for the Father was at the center of His life. (read Ex. 20:12; compare Col. 3:18ff; Eph. 5:22-6:4)
     May we always strive to be the mirror image of Jesus and have a child like heart that shows reverence to God and respect for our parents, or others who authority in life.  Then we will truly be a child of God.  Rodger

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