Title: Growing Up Like Jesus
Text: Luke 2:41-52
Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it.
Thinking he was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors. When they didn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him.
The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers.
But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt. His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.”
He said, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?”
But they had no idea what he was talking about. So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself.
And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.
Truth: Honor your Heavenly Father and your earthly father too! Learn to be respectful and obedient to your parents so that you can grow up smarter, taller, stronger and closer to God too! Your heavenly Father deserves your attention, but so does your earthly father (and mom) too! God holds them accountable for how they guide and provide for you.
Thoughts: In this passage the young boy named Jesus was taught from His early childhood about God, His Heavenly Father, and Jesus took every opportunity to get to honor and to know him. However, even Jesus had to be reminded that though it is good to seek after His Heavenly Father and to learn more about Him every day, He was responsible to His parents, and to neglect obeying and respecting them was an offense to God, His Heavenly Father too!
Each of you should follow in the footsteps of Jesus and seek to know as much as you can about many things. It is good to exercise and practice all the gifts and talents God has given you from your birth, but do not forget to obey and respect your parents. God holds them responsible for your well-being and up-bringing. They are there to help you to grow up smarter, stronger, taller and closer to God.
Mary and Joseph knew Jesus would live a life different from the other children his age, and Jesus would spend much of His time studying and learning to be closer to God, His Heavenly Father. But, Jesus also learned how important it was for Him to honor and respect His parents, who were also a gift from God to Him.
As you grow, just like Jesus, understand the importance of learning how to grow outwardly (in body), upwardly (in Godliness), and inwardly (in mind). You may not become the smartest, strongest or fastest, but you can grow up to be all that God, your Heavenly Father, has created you to become. No one can be who you were created to become, but you! Be the best you, you can possibly become, pleasing your parents and your Heavenly Father – Jesus did it, and so can you!
And, like Jesus, you will grow blessing and being blessed by both God and all the people in your life, especially your Grandfather (who will always be proud of you and your parents).