Here are some further thoughts from my recent reading in Luke:
- Consider phrases like ‘’used to go’’, ‘’as usual’’ and ‘’according to the custom’’ (42). This speaks of holy habits of public worship. Jesus grew up in that atmosphere, where there was a commitment to attend the recognised gatherings. Although we don’t have ‘laws’ about church worship, we could learn a thing or two from the Jews about the importance of regularly coming together before God. Furthermore, we know that we should not give up on meeting together. Hebrews 10:25 is surely a word for these times. For Joseph and Mary, going up to Jerusalem for the Passover meant a 60-70 mile journey. It took effort. It was also a step of faith for many of the worshippers, trusting God with their land and work while they were away from home. We can afford to take time out to praise God with others. While we are resting, He will keep the universe running. It does not rest on our shoulders. In one sense, ‘Sabbath’ time is a necessary and humbling reminder that we are not God.
- We (as individuals and as churches) can ‘lose’ Jesus in a sense, and not realise it for a time (43b, 44). We can lag behind Him. We can also (as here) move on ahead of Him. The key is to keep in step with Him.
- Jesus’ primary submission had to be to the Father (49; cf. John 14:31). Nevertheless, the passage emphasises that He was an obedient boy.
- Sometimes, a good question can be more potent than a good answer (46). I often pray that God will help me to ask the right questions. We have thought recently about how God blesses and uses older people. It’s important to know that years on the clock don’t mean you are finished. But here we see how God’s Hand can be on young people. Jesus was just ‘’twelve years old’’ (42).
- For a second time in this chapter we read about Mary ‘’treasuring’’ (51) these things in her heart (see 19). ‘’His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself.’’ The Message.
- Finally, here are three great things to pray for your children, whatever their ages (52; see also 40 and 1:80).
Prayer: Let my heart be full to overflowing with thoughts of Jesus