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 2:41-45 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?
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