Jesus The Teenage Rebel – part 2

I hope that those of you who are parents of teens, and those of you who are teens, are taking comfort in this series. In JESUS THE TEENAGE REBEL – PART ONE, we understood that Jesus was a pretty normal guy. He went to school, he had a normal family, he had brothers and sisters, etc. We also looked at the fact that there had to have been some conflict in Jesus’ home. Jesus was without sin, but his parents and his siblings were not. As a parent, I am glad to know that some conflict is normal! And although there are not a bunch of stories of Jesus as a teenager, there is one: Luke 2:41-52. And you know what it shows us? It shows us that; Jesus was a teenage rebel!

Luke 2:41-48

Luke 2:41-45 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.
Luke 2:46-48 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.”

2. Jesus chose to go to the temple:

I love where they found Jesus – at the temple!! How mad can you get at your teen sneaking away so that he/she can spend more time exploring their faith??

Jesus was a twelve year-old boy at this time. Jesus didn’t stay behind to play pranks on the temple money-changers or laugh at the “old guys just sitting around talking”. He didn’t stick around to spend more time with a new friend he made in Jerusalem. He stayed behind so that He’d have a chance to spend more time at the temple. Jesus wanted to ask His questions of the teachers there, to sit among them and digest the wisdom of God of which they spoke.

Maximize the Opportunity

I think the example for us here is that Jesus maximized His opportunity to learn and grow. He maximized the opportunity to sit with the best teachers and learn from them. And He maximized the opportunity to deepen Himself in His understanding of God and the world He was in.

Do we? I mean, week after week, do we maximize the opportunities we have to grow, to worship, to learn? Are you prepared when you show up to worship? Are you eager to be a part of a small group and an Adult Christian Education class? Do you maximize the opportunity to be a light for Christ in your school or home or workplace? God has so much to offer us, and so often we settle for such a small part of the fullness that He wants to because we fail to maximize the opportunity – to take a risk – to ask a question. It caused Jesus a bit of grief. His mom wasn’t too pleased, but it was worth it!!

That’s Not Where You Typically Find a Teenager

This picture of Jesus at the temple surrounded by adults is to me a great picture of a rebel. That’s not where you would find ordinary twelve year-olds! They generally would rather sit in front of a video game, or a WWF or WCW wrestling match, or just hang out with friends.

Jesus rebelled against the teen tendency to view adults as irrelevant, boring, stodgy, out of touch old people. Instead, He saw how much He could learn from them and maximized His opportunity to learn. There is a flip side to that too! We adults need to rebel against the tendency to see teens as wild, evil, unmanageable hooligans. We need to be brave enough to start a relationship with them and get to know them and share some of the things God has taught us.

To rebel means to go against the norm. Jesus certainly did by going to the temple and learning from the teachers there!

Jesus maximized His opportunity to learn and to grow. Will you?

https://manlytraining.com/2017/12/12/joseph-life-meant/

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Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

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It Just Makes Sense.

3. It just makes sense.

Teenagers are wet cement. They form to the forms layed out for them. While working with adults is definitely important, sometimes a jackhammer and wheelbarrow is required before the wet cement can be poured in their souls.

Jonathan Edwards, perhaps the most intelligent scholar/preacher of the 1st Great Awakening, recorded that the “revival has been chiefly amongst the young….” Teenagers led the way for awakening in this powerful 18th Century revival. As a matter of fact, teenagers have been on the leading edge of every major spiritual awakening in the history of the United States.

Teenagers are idealists, visionaries and unrealistic. This lack of realism allows them to see visions and have dreams that thoses of us who have been worn down by the realities of life may no longer see. Adults tend to use microscopes while teenagers have a penchant for telescopes. We tend to get worn down by life and they tend to get fired up by causes. We wonder how much money it will take and they just don’t care.

An old French proverb goes, “The most dangerous swordsman in France is the one who has never wielded a sword.” Why are they dangerous? They don’t know the rules so they just hack away and break the rules of engagement until they win.

Teenagers don’t know the rules of engagement which can help them win souls. They can break the foolish patters of their forefathers which, for the most part, has kept the Gospel locked within the four walls of the church sanctuary.

They don’t know that they can’t reach the world for Christ just by spreading the gospel so they are willing to do it. They don’t know that they can’t reach their school for Christ without market research so they just reach it.

The average teenager has 425 online and face-to-face friends. They can use their social media clout to spark Gospel conversations in ways we could never imagine as adults.

Hitler hijacked teen culture and used it to advance the Nazi agenda. Communists harnessed and unleashed the idealism of teenagers to spread the message of communism. For years radical Muslims have recruited young people to spread a message of hate and, in far too many cases, trigger acts of terrorism around the globe.

If evil people and evil philosophies can mobilize young people for their causes then why can’t the Bride of Christ unleash young people to spread the gospel for the best cause ever, the spread of the gospel across the planet?

Teenagers are the most underutiziled, underestimated and underchallenged group of people in the church. As a result, our churches are dying.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto was asked about how he felt. His answer was stark, “I am fearful that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with terrible resolve.”

It is time to awaken the sleeping giant in the church called teenages and fill them with holy resolve. To join the movement, simply share this with as many of your friends and family as you can. Then, click HERE to subscribe to our mailing list.

No matter if you’re a lead pastor, a youth leader or a volunteer, never underestimate the power of teenagers to change the world for Christ and transform this culture!


Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

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The Foolish Things of the World

2. God receives glory when the foolish things of the world confound the wise.

1 Corinthains 1:26-29 makes this crystal clear, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”

If this passage is not a case for working with teenagers I don’t know what is. Teenagers are foolish, goofy and hyper. I love it! God loves it! He wants to use them as twitchy revolutionaries to change the course of nations and to launch a global awakening of Biblical proportions just like his Son did 2,000 years ago!


Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

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Teens Can Do Great Things.

God has a track record of choosing teens to accomplish great spiritual feats.

From Joseph, to Timothy, to Esther (who won a beauty contest then saved a nation), God has used young people in big ways to do even bigger things.

In 1 Samuel 16 when the prophet Samuel goes to the house of Jesse, it’s not the strapping, strutting older brothers of the house that God chooses to be king. It’s the underage runt of the litter that got annointed as the future leader of Israel. One chapter later, this kid named David, who was delivering cheese and crackers to his older brothers in the war, got ticked off that a nine foot giant was talking smack against the God of Israel. His anger left an impression on Goliath…a deep one.

But its not just in the Old Testament that God demonstrates his predisposition to choose and use teenagers. For the most part Jesus mostly picked teenagers to be his disciples. In Matthew 17, when Jesus, Peter and the disciples go into Capernaum, only Peter and Jesus pay the temple tax (although all of the disciples are there!) According to Exodus 30:14 the temple tax was only applicaple to those twenty years old and older. If I’m reading that right, that means that Jesus was a youth leader with only one adult sponsor…and one really rotten kid.

And God used this “youth group” to reach the world! He can use you to do the same!


Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

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Why Train Teenagers?

ejq3 is a website I launched with the sole purpose of reaching our young people for Christ and then training them. After all, we are called to make disciples.  For the past two and a half years, I have been working on “manlytraining.com” and reaching men (and some women) to train (or disciple) them in God’s ways. I reasoned that if we could reach the men, we could reach the whole family. And if we could reach the families of America, we could make a difference in our nation. For as the family goes, so goes our Nation!

So far, Manly Training Ministries has done well. We have a large online following made up mostly adults from 30 to 60 years of age. We have a weekly group of men we call “The Men of Destiny”. These men get together every week to encourage each other and study God’s word so that we can grow as men and become the men God created us to be.

As a part of the strategy that God has given us here at Manly training Ministries, we are now launching out to the younger generations. After all, they are our future. But WHY would we take on a ministry that aims to train or disciple teenagers? Well, let me tell you why:

We want to disciple the younger generations because:

1. God has a track record of choosing teens to accomplish great spiritual feats.

2. God receives glory when the “foolish things of the world” confound the wise.

3. It just makes sense.

I will explain each one of these three reasons in seperate posts. Let’s make a difference together as we train our teenagers and young adults to become the men and women God designed them to be.


Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.



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Jesus The Teenage Rebel – part 1

Jesus The Teenage Rebel

I wish there were a couple hundred more verses at the end of Luke 2. I wish there were more stories about Jesus’ teen years. some indication of how He related to His peers or how He and His parents got along.

Somehow we get this idea that Jesus’ growing up must have been conflict-free; that since He was sinless everything would have been just fine all the time. That simply can’t be true – Jesus was perfect but His parents (and siblings) weren’t!

Maybe Mary was having a bad day and got all mad at Jesus for something He didn’t do. Maybe Joseph hit his thumb with His hammer one time and tried to blame it on Jesus because He made some noise in the shop right then. Then maybe one of His siblings lied and got Jesus in trouble (it wouldn’t be the last time He was punished for someone else’s wrongs). How would Jesus have responded when He saw His parents sin? There may have been some conflict!

The point is that there would inevitably have been some conflict. Even though Jesus was without sin, His parents and siblings were not.

Take Comfort

I hope that those of you who are parents of teens, and those of you who are teens, will take some comfort from that. Some conflict is normal! And although there are not a bunch of stories of Jesus as a teenager, there is one: Luke 2:41-52. And you know what it shows us? It shows us that there WAS some conflict; Jesus was a teenage rebel!

Luke 2:41-45 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.
Luke 2:46-48 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.”

Let me give you a little bit of historical background. First let’s look at  Jesus’ education:

At the time of Jesus, most Jewish kids went to school in the synagogue. There were 3 schools that the children would go starting at 3 years of age.

– #1 – Bet Sefer –

The First school was called Bet Sefer which means house of the book – you went seven days a week for 5 years (in the mornings only) and learned to read and memorized Torah (that’s our Old Testament – except for Song of Songs and David and Bethsheba…) No Questions Allowed!

– #2 – Bet Talmud –

The Second school was called Bet Talmud which means house of learning – at this point you went morning and evening, 7 days a week for another 5 years. And here you memorized all the previous interpretations of Torah (which is a collection of writings called the Talmud). Still you couldn’t discuss anything or ask questions. You would be about half way through this school when you had your bar mitzvah (turning 13). This was where almost everyone stopped – memorize the Torah and the Talmud, and then if you didn’t really have any new ideas or interpretations of Torah you would quit school and continue to learn a trade from your father.

– #3 – Bet Midrash –

The Third school was called Bet Midrash which was reserved for the really gifted. It was at this point that you could finally discuss and argue and interpret.  Can you imagine that after 10 years of memorizing without speaking some may speak with some passion when they are finally able to?

So the normal pattern for raising your kids in first century Palestine was to send them to school when they were between 5-7. Then have a bar or bat mitzvah the Saturday before their 13th birthday. (Which welcomed them as adults into Jewish society). Then teach the boys a trade at their father’s side and the girls all of the home skills of cooking and sewing and child-rearing.  And then get them married off by age 18. Now this is important: in Jewish culture – if you were not married by age 20 at the latest, not only were your parents and family upset, but God Himself was very angry with you!

So that’s a bit of cultural background to the passage that we are looking at. I thought you might find it interesting just as context. Since this passage tells us Jesus was 12, we can assume he was in the middle school working hard at memorizing the Talmud.

Anyway, enough history. Let’s look at the passage:

Luke 2:41-45 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.

Notice what is going on here.  The family, all together, were having a Spiritual holiday. This was a tradition. You see, “every year” they went to Jerusalem for the feast of the passover.

We have a few things like that. We have a few customs and traditions: Christmas is one – kids being a part of the kids Christmas pageant, going to church together on Christmas eve, our Easter services, etc.

I would even say that getting to church together week after week is like this passage. This teaches our kids that the family goes to church together.

Be a Family and do Stuff Together

I want to encourage you to try really hard to enjoy coming to church as a family. Make sure you get there five or ten minutes early, so that you have time to get the kids to their classes and get into the sanctuary and find your seat before things begin (I know I’m asking a lot here). But then you’ll be ready to worship, and you’ll show your kids how important God is.

Maybe you can find something as a family that you can do each week to make it more enjoyable. Stop for a slurpee on the way home, or let your kids invite a friend over, or have lunch with some friends. Whatever you can think of to really make each Sunday a positive experience for your family. For lots of you it is already, if it isn’t I challenge you to sit down as a family and decide how you can make it more enjoyable!

– back to the story…

Luke 2:46-48 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.”

So there we have it: Jesus was a teenage rebel. Now by saying “Jesus was a teenage rebel” I don’t mean that He turned His back on His parents, rejected everything they had taught Him, and took off to become a Greek Philosopher. Although His parents might have been a bit concerned… “I just don’t know what could have gotten in to Him… He’s always been such a cooperative young man, and yet I’ve been worried sick about Him these past three days…” So what DO I mean? Well, let’s look at what we learn about Jesus in this passage:

1. Jesus was a pretty normal guy.

Jesus had a normal family, normal upbringing, lived in a normal Jewish place and had a normal mother and father. Even the fact that there were some abnormalities is pretty normal. This passage shows how normal everything was.

Some of you are saying now wait, how many other twelve year olds are sitting among the teachers in the temple and impressing them?? THAT certainly isn’t normal… and I’d have to agree. But what I would say is normal is that all of us at some point in time need to embrace our faith for ourselves. And that is what I see Jesus doing here – embracing His faith for Himself. We need to make a separation from our parents . We must distance ourselves a bit as we become adults and individuals. There comes a time when each of us has to examine the things we have always been taught and always believed and determine whether in fact we will own that faith for ourselves.

A Word to The Parents

Looking at this passage from a developmental point of view, I think that is what is happening. Jesus is getting it from another source. He is taking the initiative, as a twelve-year-old boy, to search out His faith and embrace it himself. Parents you need to provide room and opportunities for your kids to do that as they grow older. Send them to camp, make sure they have exposure to other adult Christians, encourage their questions and help them find the answers for themselves, even if that means allowing them to struggle to their own conclusions.

Really, that is one of the key reasons why we need to work with teens – to help them think through and challenge and question and thus come to a firm personal conviction and experience with Jesus as THEIR Lord and Savior. And parents – your biggest job here is to be a consistent example and to pray. And to let your kids know that you are praying for them!!

https://manlytraining.com/2018/02/15/school-shootings-man-america/

Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.

 

 



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