How to Be Wise
Do you remember the last time you went on a family vacation? Do you remember all of the preparation and the excitement and the struggle to get everything in order? Family vacations are always a memorable experience That is what Luke is trying to express, something memorable and important.
Can you imagine the whole family going down to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover? Imagine, they would not be going to just the next town, but to Jerusalem. That is the “Big Apple” of Israel. All different kinds of people and all kinds of activity. Just think of all the memories and experiences going on during this exciting trip. That is the picture that best describes the scene in this Scripture.
The context shows that Jesus and His family have gone to Jerusalem for a family vacation. They have come to the Feast of Passover. They are there for at least a week. They bring all of their relatives. We know that Jesus had at least two brothers: James and Jude. Jesus was the oldest and He was twelve during this time.
The family was returning when the parents realized that they forgot Jesus. It was just a one day’s travel out of Jerusalem for their return journey. The first day was always the shortest because many times they forgot things and had to return. So they probably had gone only five miles.
It was customary to group the children in one of the many families that traveled. Joseph’s family and Mary’s family would have all been there. So Jesus was probably with one of the grandmothers of the group. Mary probably asked Joseph: “I thought He was with you and your family?” Joseph would say: “No, I thought He was with you.”
Notice what is going on while Jesus parents were searching for Him:
I will be wise if I learn from OTHERS.
“After three days, they found him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all those who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”” (Luke 2:46–48, CSB)
Jesus was listening to the doctors and teachers. After the lesson, the teachers would allow the student to ask question. So Jesus took that opportunity.
THREE OPTIONS FOR LEARNING GODLY WISDOM
“After three days, they found him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (Luke 2:46, CSB)
Sit among the teachers
When a carpenter wants to buy a house, he knows what kind of questions to ask. When a mechanic wants to buy a car, he knows what kind of questions to ask. Jesus was the perfect theologian. He knew the kind of questions to ask. One of the applications we see here is that other people notice Godly wisdom.
“And all those who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:47, CSB)
That can only come from reading God’s word, listening to Him in prayer and asking questions. You can ask question when you encounter challenging parts to the Bible. Let someone who is more experienced and mature in the faith help you. It is better to ask questions and learn from others than to be arrogant in your own ignorance.
I will be wise if I learn from GOD
““Why were you searching for me?” he asked them. “Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?”” (Luke 2:49, CSB)
Of all of the stories in the Gospels about Jesus, this is the only one preserved from His childhood. Why? Consider that when we read the false Gospels like the Gospel of Thomas, about the childhood of Jesus, we meet with story after story of miracle.
Jesus makes clay sparrows fly.
He puts His hand on the plough that Joseph made badly, and it immediately takes a perfect shape.
This is not the case in the Gospels. There is no hint of a boyish miracle. Jesus is said to grow and mature in body and spirit by both God and people. Jesus is not portrayed as super-human. Why?
Jesus is fully human and fully God. The Bible does not dispute this.
But even at this young age, Jesus knew what God, His Heavenly Father, wanted Him to do.
In Jewish culture, it was expected at twelve years of age for a boy to start a career. Apprenticeships were given in a trade and the son would find a trade. It is quite possible that the parents of Jesus were considering a career for Jesus. Perhaps, the parents wanted Jesus to follow in the footsteps of Joseph.
Yet, when Jesus said that He was in “My Father’s House,” He was describing God’s plan for Him. At twelve years old, Jesus knew what His Heavenly Father wanted Him to be, and that took precedent over His earthly Father’s plans.
Jesus was still growing. He had limitations to His divine attributes, by His own choice. Jesus could not be at all places at once. He was confined to human conditions. Yet, He knew more for a boy His age.
Spiritually, Jesus was becoming more aware of His purpose on this Earth for His Heavenly Father. Warren Wiersbe notes that Jesus had a “divine compulsion” to do the will of the Father.
THE PROGRESSION OF JESUS’ UNDERSTANDING OF HIS PURPOSE
“I must be in my Father’s House” (Luke 2:49)
“I much preach” (Luke 4:43)
“The Son of Man must suffer” (Luke 9:22)
“The Son of Man must be lifted up” (John 3:14)
Don’t we seek the same thing? Don’t we want to know why God has us here? Don’t we want to know what God wants us to do? We must be willing to sit, listen, and ask God questions.
I will be wise if I listen to MY PARENTS (Luke 2:51)
“Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51, CSB)
Jesus was obedient to His parents. He didn’t give His parents any backtalk. You don’t hear Jesus argue here in the Gospels as a twelve year old. He doesn’t say: “Sorry Mom and Dad, I’m home now.” He didn’t ask: “Why do we have to go?” Jesus showed maturity by following His parents home.
You know that your parents are smart, even if you don’t think so right now. They do know what they are doing.
I remember the first time I realized that my dad was smart. It was not like I thought he was dumb or anything. But there was a time when I became aware of the wisdom he possessed. It was when he ran for mayor of Texas City in Texas in 1990. I remember it being an exciting time. There were many people who thought very highly of all of the contestants who ran for mayor. But dad’s campaign manager came to me one day before a debate and told me that I should be real proud of my dad because he was doing real great in the race. I should be real proud because it took real guts and effort to run for mayor.
I remember later during the campaign, dad had returned home after a debate and I could tell it had gone well. I watched a tape of the debate and I thought dad had the best line in the debate after that night. Another opponent was taking a shot at dad’s ideas saying that they wouldn’t work and so the opponent was taking it personally and started to make personal attacks at dad. so dad replied:
“I was raised on a farm. I grew up learning on a farm. So I am used to having some manure thrown in my face every now and then.”
You parents have wisdom and it would be wise for you to listen to them. The only commandment of the Ten Commandments that says to honor your parents is the only one to come with a promise: long life. If you listen to your parents and honor they instruction, you will grow in maturity both spiritually and physically.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” (Luke 2:52, CSB)
As we see from the example of Jesus, any young Christian can grow. We need youth that grow in wisdom. We need young Christians who will be wise in how they act with others. This generation is full of people who wish to question the way things happen. They question why things are the way they are. That is something that youth should do. But young people will grow if they don’t just stop there. They can learn and grow if they are willing to listen to people God put in their path – their parents, Godly mentors. They will learn and grow if they are willing to open up the Word of God and let the Spirit of God speak to give you the Heart of God. Wisdom is designed to grow the mind and the heart.