Under authority

When Jesus was twelve years old, he went up to Jerusalem with His family and stayed behind doing His Father’s business (Luke 2:41-52).  The trouble was that His earthly father and mother didn’t understand that.  They didn’t know that at 12 He was ready to start His ministry.

It would have been a challenge to me to have let my 12 year old son or daughter start his or her ministry especially if it meant they stayed behind on a trip we were on without letting me know .  But I hope I would recognise that they had a ministry if I saw it and that I would pray to God for wisdom on what to do.

It is interesting to speculate what could have happened if Joseph and Mary had let Jesus carry on His Father’s work at 12.  Would He have been crucified at 16?

We will never know because, as it says in v.51, He was subject to His earthly guardians.

To this day the age of majority among orthodox Jews is 30.  So for 18 years He waited, while His parents didn’t understand, until He was no longer legally under their authority.  No doubt this was part of His learning process as it says in Hebrews 5:8.  They still didn’t understand after He was 30.  But at that stage He could minister and still be righteous according to the law He had made Himself subject to.

Teenagers these days can be happy that majority occurs at 18.  But will they stay submitted to their parents even for that long?

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