Parent Traps (Part 25)
Thwarted: By 12-Year-Old Jesus
Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the Boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day's journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, 'Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.' And He said to them, 'Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father's house?' But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Luke 2:41-52 (NASB)
Just imagine the 12-year-old Child Prodigy named Jesus. Just one year short of His legal coming-of-age (bar mitzvah), the brilliant Boy was eager to begin His Father's business. When his worried parents found Him in Jerusalem's temple, He seemed like a perky preteen in a modern family.
But His subsequent deference to them was exemplary. Perhaps His Father in Heaven gave Him a course correction. Surely, Father and Son maintained close communication. Jesus worked dutifully at home until His planned time came.
Therein, the parent/child trap of premature independence, the one where bold and bright kids feel capable of solo flight, the one where tired and busy parents yield to strong-willed children... is thwarted by due respect for parental authority.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Many of you are super-bright kids. Others of you are loving parents. Consider some take-home messages from the growing up of Jesus Christ:
1. No matter how gifted kids may be, the time to step out must come from God. Showing proper respect to parents is essential to keep His favor.
2. Neither should parents give up control, even if their kids become big stars. Although their talent may be quite large, their maturity will be too small.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Parent Traps series.