WHEN JESUS GOT INTO TROUBLE (RAISING JESUS – 2) by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson
This morning we are in Luke 2 for our miniseries “RAISING JESUS.” Ever wonder what it was like for Joseph and Mary to raise Jesus. On the one hand, He was the Son of God but on the other, a normal human child. This morning we will see what happened “WHEN JESUS GOT INTO TROUBLE.” Sounds wrong to the ear doesn’t it?!! Let’s see what we can learn here.
Luke 2 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it…46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions…48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
Overall Background: As a pastor, the one issue that I often face is – “Wayward Children of Christian Parents.” In other words, “Children who grew up in church but now have nothing to do with it.” I hear statements like – “We raised them in church. Not sure what happened.” “We brought them every time the church door was open but now they want nothing to do with it.” When I meet some of those young people, they avoid me or even talk rudely to me. If they are civil, they’ll say – “I remember going to church” and then make some excuse. There’s another group – parents who want children in church but not too much. They’ll say – “We don’t want to push church down their throat cause they will grow up and want nothing to do with it like so and so’s children.” “We try to balance things out – church, school, and extra-activities. Too much church is not always good.”
This message is very critical. If I could I would rather sit and let someone else read my notes. I need to hear it. Here it is in a nutshell – What you do with church in the early years of your child’s life has a lot to do with what they do with church later. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” People have tried to reinterpret this verse to fit their failures and situations but the more you study it, the more you realize that it’s meaning is exactly what it states.
Let me remind you – This message is not to pour more guilt upon you if your children are not in church. If you did the best you could, pray and trust God’s grace. This message is not to give you excuse if you are out of church. Your parents did the best they knew. You are accountable for where you are today.
Application: Let me ask you – Parents of wayward children: “Are you praying for them?” Parents of children still at home: “Are you raising your children to love church?” Here’s a more important question – “Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If you don’t, it doesn’t matter if you are in church or out of church. You’re lost. You need to get saved and then pray for your children to get saved.
This morning we will see 4 images of the Child Jesus in this passage:
I. DEDICATED CHILD
41 “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.”
Background: In the Old Testament Jewish men were commanded to go to the Temple in Jerusalem for three festivals: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. But because the Jewish people were scattered so far and wide that first century Judaism made concession that they had to go only once a year, especially Passover. Matthew tells us that Jesus’ parents made this trip to Jerusalem every year. That was dedication. They lived in Nazareth, which was 80 miles from Jerusalem. It would take 3 to 4 days, traveling 20 miles a day. If you add it up – three days there, three days back, and couple of days in Jerusalem – altogether an 8 to 10 day affair. They had to spend money and no work, so no money coming in. Also if you notice – both the parents went when women didn’t have to. This shows that they were pious and dedicated to the temple.
Because His parents were dedicated to the temple, Jesus was also dedicated to the temple. Later in His ministry when He saw the money changers and the animals in the temple, He was angry and He drove them out saying – “ ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” John adds that “Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.’” (John 2:17)
Your children’s dedication to church is depended on your dedication to church. Dropping them off and not participating sends them the opposite message. Let me also caution you – There’s a movement out there that believes that you don’t have to be connected to church. You can have your own church at home. In fact, they think that it is more spiritual and early church like to have your own family church. After all the church is filled with hypocrites, money hungry pastors, and worldly Christians.
How was the Temple during the time of Jesus? In an earlier message we saw that there were problems in the temple. Positions for the high priests were being bought and sold. It was more political than spiritual. Nonetheless, Joseph, Mary, and the child Jesus went to the Temple. But someone might say – “But that’s the Old Testament law. We’re under grace.” Listen to Hebrews 10 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some…” God wants us to get together. As a parent, He likes to see His family together.
Application: How important is church in your family’s life? Here’s a deeper question: Is it really about church or is it your own comfort that’s getting in the way? If you don’t value church, do you think your children will? Do you contribute financially?
II. MISSING CHILD
43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem.
Background: What I find fascinating is how the Boy Jesus wanted to linger at the temple. He was just hanging around. He didn’t want to leave! Can you picture that? One amazing thing about Clearview is how children and young people like to hang around. Children like to play in the gathering room or out on the playground. Young people are usually gathered by the sound system or by the office or in the parking lot. That’s a good sign!
Application: Never use the church as a threat. Never use it as a punishment. Never get the child scared about the church.
43 “…And Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Can you imagine the thoughts that were running through their heads?
For e.g. Have you ever forgotten your child somewhere? We have a couple of times.
All of us at some point have made mistakes with our children. Not necessarily left them somewhere maybe but something else. The important point is – it’s not too late to go back and get them.
Application: Have you made mistakes with your children? We all have. It’s time to seek repentance, their forgiveness, and know that God’s grace will take care of it. But there’s a Deeper Lesson – Sometimes we leave Jesus at church. We feel His presence here but when we leave, we leave Him here.
III. CURIOUS CHILD
46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
Several things worth pointing out – The Jewish Rabbis allowed a 12-year-old to sit in their midst. Some people look at children and young people as an intrusion. Many of us short-change children. Children have much more understanding of spiritual things than we think they do. Sometimes I think they’re bored with our lessons. Going deep doesn’t mean you have to use big fancy words and theological catchphrases. It means giving time and effort to teach them. One reason children grow up and never return is because what they remember was not worth returning for. Sunday school teachers: If you are opening your books Saturday night or Sunday morning for 10 minutes and expecting to capture their attention, that’s a shame. How can we make them leaders and changers if we’re boring them to death? The problem is not with them. The problem is with us. Sadly, many teachers are there by default. The most important Sunday School classes in our church are the ones for the little children and youth, and maybe then for the adults.
There’s another point here – God forbid if a wrong person begins to guide our children. I’m not just talking about abuse but wrong teaching. Man in our church who turned the hearts of young people against the pastor (my dad) and church. This was in the 70s.
Application: Parents: Do you realize the spiritual depth that is in your child? Teachers: Do you realize the seriousness of your task? Children: Do you see the importance of learning about God, Jesus, and His Word?
IV. SUBMISSIVE CHILD
48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” 49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Now just when you think Jesus had put His parents in their place and He was ready to launch out, listen to verse 51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.
Jesus was “submissive” to His parents. What a beautiful sight! That should be our goal for every child.
There’s a big different between submission and suppression (You better do what I’m telling you to do. As long as you are in my house, you will live by my rules). What the child says is “I’ll live by your rules but one day when I am gone, I’ll never come back to church. Neither is submission the same as compliance. What the child says is “I really don’t care for mom and dad’s Christianity. I’m going along with it but one day when I’m on my own, I’m not going to do all this.” Finally, submission is not the same as being passive. Here the child says – “Don’t matter if you wanna go. I’ll go if you want to and I won’t if you don’t. No big deal.”
Being submissive means Jesus’ will was involved. With His will He was honoring His parents.
Our goal for our children should be submission. It means “I love God and I’m going to honor my mom and dad.”
Do you remember when Jesus was dying on the cross for our sins? He who knew no sin became sin for us. The weight of the entire human race was upon Him. The Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. He is the bridge between heaven and earth. But…there stands his mother at the foot of the cross crying. And as He is sacrificing Himself, in that moment of agony and pain, listen to what happened as mentioned in John 19 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. WOW! How many of you would like to have a son or daughter like that?
Application: You might be a parent here today and your child has rebelled. After this message, you see your faults. It is time to call that son/daughter and ask them to forgive you. Go by and see them and humble yourself and ask them to forgive you. You might be a parent here today and your child has lost their way. After this message, stop blaming yourself and start praying for them. Go by and see them and love them and encourage them. Once again, the place to begin is with the question – “Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” “Are you doing all you can to lead your children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?” Don’t be too sure of your kids because they are good kids. There’s a world of difference between conscience and Holy Spirit conviction. “As a church, are we doing all we can to reach children?”