December 26

Luke 2:41-52

“Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.” vss. 51-52

The four gospels found in our scriptures say virtually nothing about Jesus’ life before his baptism. Essentially he came out of nowhere and changed the world! But we do have one little story, one that Luke discovered and included in his “orderly account.” In it Jesus shows an amazing grasp of theology and a willful disregard of his parents’ wishes. Luke hints that Jesus learned a lesson from the incident and from that point on was obedient to his parents. He concludes by observing that as Jesus grew older, his knowledge became wisdom, and people increasingly regarded him with favor. There’s nothing here to indicate that Jesus was anything other than an observant Jew, a normal human dedicated to pleasing God and making his family proud. It’s important to say this. Too often we have an elevated sense of who Jesus was, a regard so high that we despair of ever walking in his way, or living the life that he prescribed. But Jesus was not extraordinary–he was as we are, and he learned as we do. His lovely mother did not give him an instruction book for life–he had to figure stuff out, and it wasn’t any easier for him than it is for us. We learn as we grow–and sometimes the lessons can be brutal. 

Thought for the Day: What was my toughest lesson?

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