Thursday, January 23, 2014
Jesus' mother and father most certainly were confused at times. They took Jesus to Jerusalem as a boy, and he stayed behind when they left. When they finally realized he was not in camp, they retraced their steps and caught up with him at the temple. The elders were sitting with their chins scraping the ground in amazement. Jesus was teaching the teachers, the religious elite of Israel. They'd never heard such wisdom – especially from a boy. Mary and Joseph were also amazed, worried and confused. Raising a son like Jesus could not have been a boring experience!
We would be tempted to say that Jesus confused them. However, it is more accurate to say they were confused; God is not the author of confusion1 Co 14:33.
Trace the life of Jesus backward from the temple incident about 10 years. See Jesus as a two-year-old, toddling around the carpenter's shop. Watch as he nears the bench where Joseph is putting together a chair – one of eight for a large order from a rich merchant.
Inquisitively, Jesus begins to pick up one of Joseph's sharp woodcarving knives. Joseph warns: Jesus, son, No! Don't touch those...they will hurt you. Can you see the face of Jesus as he looks at his father, looks back at the knife, smiles ever so demonically and sticks his tongue at Joseph? Can you see the Christ child stomping his feet and saying NO!
Of course you cannot.
Even though Jesus was a two-year-old at one point, he never acted like one. Certainly he had to learn language and to like green beans; he had diaper issues too. Jesus did not, however, have the seed of sin or rebellion.
And that is why Mary, Joseph, and the rest of us humans have trouble understanding Jesus. We, like Mary and Joseph expect two-year-olds and twelve-year-olds (and sometimes fifty-year-olds) to be rebellious, selfish and self-absorbed. Jesus never did that.
The confusion was (and is) ours.
We expect things to go wrong, to see hatred and envy; we expect planes fly into Trade Centers and Pentagons. That is the nature of a fallen world.
When we see Jesus – love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, it confuses us. That is why Paul urged us to think on things above Philippians 4:8. It’s easy to be confused when you’re accustomed to the fruit of bitterness and Jesus shows up with the Fruit of the Spirit!
As a believer, when you attempt to follow Christ and be His disciple throughout this day, remember that the world will not understand. They’re not expecting you to act like your Master.
They will be as confused as Mary and Joseph and the temple elders.
But the confusion is theirs – be about your Father's business anyway!