Going Deeper 12/28/2018

The Gospel reading for Christmas 1...
Luke 2:41-52   Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover.  And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival.  When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.  Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day's journey.  Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends.  When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.  After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.  When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Child, why have you treated us like this?  Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety."  He said to them, "Why were you searching for me?  Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"  But they did not understand what he said to them.  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.

There are several interesting details in this story, but for this morning's devotions, I would like to focus on the wisdom of Jesus.  Even at the age of 12, when most Jewish boys began their course of serious study, Jesus impressed the temple "teachers", the most learned of the Jews: "all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers."  And in the final verse, we are told that from that point on "Jesus increased in wisdom."

Later in Luke Jesus will have this to say about Himself: "The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!"  Greater wisdom than even Solomon?!  That is saying a lot, for tradition holds up Solomon as one of the wisest people in all of history.

As a matter of fact, Jesus was the personification of wisdom.  Jesus is described elsewhere as "the way, the truth, and the life."  Even atheists have expressed admiration for the wisdom of Jesus' teachings.

My point is this: we do well to learn from Jesus!  As a matter of fact, the writer of Hebrews describes Jesus as "the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being."  Jesus is the clearest way for us to understand God, and to comprehend His plan of salvation.  Everything that confuses us about God, every question that arises, is answered in and by Jesus.

We do well to not only learn from Jesus but to love and follow Him as well.  The wisest thing we can ever do is draw near to God in Christ, to learn of Him, to learn from Him, and to live in close connection with Him.  How about this as a New Year's Resolution: I will come to know Jesus more fully.

That would be very wise!

With You in Him,
Mark