Today we go from Jesus birth to age 30ish – all in one chapter – so hang on! The birth of Jesus never ceases to amaze me: GOD, coming in the meager form of a person, being born in a barn (Jean would SO NOT have done this), placed in a feed trough for a bed, and then who does God give the press release to? Not CNN, not TMZ, not Oprah, but lowly shepherds?*! The shepherds, while on night duty, are met by an angel & the glory of the Lord, and, yeah, I’d have been scared too. They’re told the Messiah - Savior Jesus - is born, and then a whole lotta’ angels show up praising God. What an incredible scene this must have been! They immediately decide to go check it out (Come & See). And when they find Joseph & Mary it’s all just like they were told, so immediately they “spread the word” (Go & Tell)!
Lots of stuff follows: We read that Joseph & Mary followed all the laws as they had Jesus circumcised, presented Him back to the Lord & offered the appropriate sacrifices. Then God sends Simeon to say some pretty awesome things – and some sobering things – about Jesus, as well as the prophetess Anna. Then it says that Jesus, “ …grew and became strong; He was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him.” No details are given about the next few years but we see Him at age 12 “amazing” the teachers in the temple with His “understanding & answers.” Then there’s the awkward “oops where’s our son” moment (if you have kids you know this) to which Jesus responds, as always, with obedience. The chapter ends with what I call the 18 years verse: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God & man.” This is all we know of Jesus from age 12 until He begins His public ministry 18 years later.
SO WHAT?! Here are my thoughts:
1) First & foremost, have you ever put your trust & faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? I don’t want to assume you have. If you haven’t, there is “good news of great joy” for you! Read this: http://www.dare2share.org/gospeljourney/
2) Secondly, the “good news of great joy…for all people” has always meant to be experienced & shared! The biggest excuse I hear from people for not sharing their faith is “they don’t know enough, or what to say.” Let me ask you this: How much did the shepherds know? Only what they had just seen & heard! Philemon 6 says, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” According to this verse, sharing our faith HELPS us to know what we believe! YES - learn more - but share Jesus with people as we learn, maybe even today!!! I am grateful for the students who consistently meet me at the mall to share Christ with others – their souls are worth it! Not your style? Mine either!~ But I’m reminded of the lady who once told DL Moody that she didn’t like the way he witnessed, that he was to brash. His response? “I don’t always like the way I witness either, what do you do?” Her response? “Ummm…….I don’t.” DL Moody then said, “Well I like the way I witness better than the way you don’t!” Wowsa! Let’s just share the good news of Jesus with love & grace & in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God!
3) Third, many of y’all who read this are students. Verse 51 tells us that Jesus obeyed his parents; step-parents at that because Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ real dad! If Jesus (God) obeyed his earthly parents/step-parents, how much more should we?!
4) Finally, it’s pretty evident (vs. 52) that as Jesus was growing up He spent time with His Heavenly Father – in prayer and in the Word. I pray that we, like Jesus, will grow in wisdom (through the Scriptures) and in stature and in favor (by how we live) with both God and man!