Leaving Jesus Behind
Pastor Steve Ellison
The gospels record many instances that show that when Jesus wound up in a setting in which He was with just a few people or maybe just one person, He seized these teachable moments. I doubt if many of them did, but I hope those individuals realized that these were sacred moments. I can see it in the Scripture now, but I doubt very seriously if I would have recognized it then. Please understand that those moments are no less sacred in the present. They lie on the page ready to give up their treasure to the sincere treasure seeker. The Scripture is given so that we can know God. It is beyond marvel that Christ chooses to teach us. Please do not take that privilege for granted. The first of these instances, that I choose to call “Private Lessons With The Master” is in Luke 2:41-51.
At the age of twelve, every young Jewish boy was required to travel to Jerusalem to participate in his first Passover celebration. There the boy would participate in a detailed and elaborate ceremony that would demonstrate that he was now accountable to keep the Mosaic Law. Jesus of Nazareth was no different. He took the 100 mile journey with Mary and Joseph. They sang the prescribed Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) as they traveled with a caravan of others from Galilee. At some point on the journey home, Mary and Joseph realized that Jesus was not with them. The narrative in Luke 2 provides an illuminating look at our own Christian journeys.
Verses 41-43 remind me that I very well might meet Jesus at a religious celebration. I might play games and sing songs with Him. I might even take a trip with Him. Verse 44 shows me that somehow, someway, I might have gone off on my own way, leaving Jesus behind without even being aware that I had done so. That is a sad but common occurrence. Verse 44 also reminds me that when I finally realize that I left Jesus behind, I usually began looking for Him in the wrong place. Verses 45-46 tell me that turning around (repentance) is necessary if I am to find Jesus. Verse 46 shows me that the repentance may be costly. Coming back to Jesus took three times as long as leaving Him did. Verse 47 demonstrates that if any of us truly listen to Jesus, we will be amazed with His wisdom. Verse 48-50 reveals both a lack of understanding on our part and an amazing need to be in control in spite of our lack of understanding. Verse 49 also points out that we should have known where Jesus will always be. He will always be in His Father’s house doing His Father’s business. If we want to find Him, that is where we will find Him. Verse 51 is a shock to my system. It tells me that Jesus continued in subjection to them which is not so surprising for a twelve year old boy, but what about in my life. I am humbled to think that Christ submits Himself to me in the sense that I am now His body. Christ does not override my free will. He goes where I go and does what I do. He lives in my heart taking possession of that which I give over to Him. What an amazing thought that the Creator lives in the heart of the creature, in some small way submitting to the creature. That is indeed a mystery. Surely we ought to, as verse 51 suggests, treasure this awesome mystery in our hearts.
First things first, have you left Jesus behind? If so, have you turned around and looked for Him in His Father’s house? ..…….…..firstname.lastname@example.org