Thursday, December 4, 2008

Luke, Chapter 2 part 2

Very little is known of Jesus' childhood. The only account of him as a boy comes late in this chapter, where as a 12 year old we find him debating with the teachers in the courts of the temple. I have always wondered what Jesus was like growing up. Here He was, completely in human form, yet He was also fully God at the same time. Did he go through all the stages of growth hat humans go through, or did He instantly know everything even as an infant? This is the only glimpse we get of him as a child, but it shows that even then He was quite exceptional.

46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."

 49"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

 51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. – Luke 2:46-52

First of all, this shows an incredible amount of maturity for a 12 year old. Second, this is one of the few times where the religious leaders of the day were at least partially understanding of His ministry. Most of the time they were plotting to kill Him. I don't fully understand what was going through their heads, but maybe they were simply astounded that this was coming from a 12 year old boy. They gave him leeway because of His youth, but later on when Jesus clearly threatened their power they revoked that leeway.

I also especially love the last part of this chapter. It really paints a picture of Jesus' humility. Jesus clearly was superior to every single human being who ever lived. In that, He never lorded it over people. He never showed human pride, being content to serve rather than seek power. He was obedient to His human parents, and much of His life was spent working as a carpenter in His father's business. Remember, His public ministry was only about 3 years long. The time between this story and his public ministry was six times longer than that. In that time, he humbly lived as a normal human being.

Was Christ trying to fully understand what it was like to live as merely a man in that time? I don't know. It is a mystery because if He is omniscient, then he didn't need to do this. I think this allows us to relate to Christ on a very personal level. Though He didn't have to, He still lived just like one of us. To have a Creator that sacrificed everything to live among us is overwhelming.

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