Sunday, December 27, 2009
Fourth Sunday Lunch & Worship @ Tinney Chapel
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Jesus' Rebellious Tweens
Pastor Sue Gross took a portion of Luke's Gospel account, Chapter 2, verses 41-52, and focused on the 12-year-old Jesus who lingered after Passover in Jerusalem at the Jewish Temple, astonishing the doctors and scholars with his understanding and his answers--all without the knowledge of Mary and Joseph, who had feared that Jesus was lost in the city.
Jesus, on the other hand, took the position that they should have known where to find him: About his father's business.
Remember: Jesus was just 12 years old at the time.
Kids this age tend to rebel, suggested Pastor Gross, who further suggested that such behavior often means that youth are simply trying to define themselves. In the case of Jesus, Pastor Sue noted that he was also growing into his ministry.
The Pastor said she doesn't think that Jesus was absent-minded in his failure to tell his folks where to find him. Rather, it was intentional, she believes, perhaps a tad rebellious in the sense that Jesus was, after all, both divine and human, and in this case he was behaving in a very human manner consistent with his age.
Jesus actually threw all accusations back, making it clear that he considered Mary and Joseph in the wrong for not realizing, intuitively, where to find him.
Bottom line: Jesus didn't think his folks understood him!
And this, being misunderstood, said Pastor Sue, was a mindset that would follow Jesus throughout his entire ministry. The religious leaders of that day, especially, failed to "get" Jesus, failed to understand what he was about.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves today if we are also misunderstanding Jesus, suggested the Pastor. Sure, we live in a different time and a different culture, but some things never change.
Knowing that even Jesus was often misunderstood might actually help us feel connected with Jesus. In other words, he's been there, done that, and knows how we feel. Perhaps this can help all of us come to Jesus in a spirit of true humility, a spirit that we can cultivate through the disciplined reading of Scripture, and perhaps this will help us to live out our faith and our walk, even finding new ways to do that.
But, in the final analysis, Jesus calls on us to truly understand him, and in the meantime he won't ignore us, he won't go away. Rather, he longs for us to understand him in our own way. Are we ready to do that?
Jesus is ready, and waiting!