The “Second Week”: Week Fourteen/Session Three.
Theme: The Hidden Life of Jesus.
Our reading for today: Luke 2: 41-52.
Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When He was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents didn’t know it. Thinking He was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for Him among relatives and neighbors. When they didn’t find Him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him.
The next day they found Him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with Him, impressed with the sharpness of His answers. But His parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.
His mother said, “Young man, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for You.” He said, “Why were you looking for Me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of My Father?” But they had no idea what He was talking about. So He went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people. (Luke 2: 41-52 MsgB)
So what do you want to be when you grow up?
A fireman? A doctor? A teacher? An astronaut?
Do you remember being asked that question when you were young? Or if you’re like me, maybe you’re still asking yourself that very question!
For Jesus, I love to imagine what He might have said when His friends asked Him this question. I’m sure, in humility, Jesus must have passed on that one, replying with a smile, “God only knows!”
Or maybe His line was, “I want to be a good carpenter, just like my dad. Building good things for God!”
I truly doubt that Jesus smiled at His friends and said, “How about, Messiah?”
Yet, while Mary and her son, Jesus, probably never said it publicly, the fact remains that Luke, the gospel writer, makes it very clear in his writings that there was a very unique life-call upon Jesus the Nazarene, from the time of His amazing birth, and even when He was just a young adolescent growing up in sticks of Nazareth.
In Luke’s first chapter of his gospel, we find the angel Gabriel saying this about the future job description of Jesus:
He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’ The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; He will rule Jacob’s house forever—no end, ever, to His Kingdom.” Luke 1: 32-33 (MsgB)
And now, in today’s scripture, we once again find Luke reporting to us that Jesus just isn’t experiencing the normal childhood others would in this time and setting where most young men would grow up to follow in the footsteps of their father.
You see, if the world had its’ way with Jesus, He would have been assigned the job of carpenter. Now don’t get me wrong. I wish I could be as talented at carpentry as I see in some who craft amazing pieces of art made of wood. Just down the road from my hometown of Iowa City, Iowa is the Amana Colonies and there, you can go into the furniture shop and find some of the finest hand-crafted pieces the world has to offer. Heirlooms, beautiful works of furniture, crafted by talented hands and built to last forever.
But Jesus of Nazareth, you see, was not called to go into his father’s carpentry business…but into the family business of His Heavenly Father! Yes, Jesus was called to build…but not build as carpenters do. And apparently this unique call as a master craftsman for the Kingdom of God was very apparent for all to see, even when this child was only a dozen years old!
And thank goodness, that wise business decision has changed everything, worldwide. Forever and ever!
My prayer: Father God, it’s obvious that Your Son Jesus had a very unique call on His life. A call He seemed to comprehend even at a very young age. I’m thankful that He chose to respond to that call, becoming the builder of all You desired for Him to build. My life has now been changed forever because Jesus chose wisely to always be about the Father’s business. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Am I aware of the unique call of God on my life to always be about the business of the Father? How am I being pulled away from that call, choosing instead to follow lesser purposes or fleshly longings? What action steps might I take today to stay closer to the greater purposes of God in my life?
So what is God speaking to you today as we ponder together The Ignatian Adventure?
Over an eight month period, you and I will be working our way through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. For more information on our journey and how to begin…click here!
To go onto the next journal entry…click here.
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