“Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.” Luke 2:46-47 (Read Luke 2:41-52)
It is amazing, isn’t it? Rather than returning with his parents and running with the other boys his age on their journey home, what did Jesus do? After three days, He was still in Jerusalem, in the temple, sitting among the teachers of God’s Word, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Jesus were astonished at His understanding and answers.
Some would imagine that Jesus, because He was and is the Son of God, was lecturing the teachers of the law. But it doesn’t say that. Instead, He was listening to them and asking them questions. We must remember that though Jesus had all knowledge, He humbled Himself and studied and learned the Scriptures just as we are enjoined to do by God in His Word (cf. Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:14-17).
As Jesus said (v. 49), He was about His Father’s business. He was learning and studying God’s Word. His delight was in the law of the LORD, and in His law He meditated day and night (Psalm 1:2). He loved the LORD God with all His heart and with all His soul and delighted in learning God’s Word.
The fact that He delighted in the LORD God and His Word and sought Him with the whole heart (cf. Psalm 37:4; 119:2) amazes us because we do not, as we are by nature since the fall, have such love for God or the desire to learn of Him and His ways. What would you have been doing at 12 years old? What do you do even yet today?
To be honest with you, I’ve heard complaints about sermons which are too long but seldom that they are too short. I’ve not had church members suggest we stay on into Sunday afternoons or, much less, into extra days to dig deeper into the Bible and consider its teaching. Yet, if we loved the LORD God with all our heart and soul and delighted in His Word, we just might do as Jesus did — continue on at church for days in the study of the Scriptures.
Jesus’ love for the Father and for the Word is evidence of His holy life in our stead. We come so far short of God’s commandments, but Jesus fulfilled them for us and then suffered and died on the cross and rose again that He might bear our punishment and win for us forgiveness and life everlasting in fellowship with God the Father.
When we acknowledge our sinfulness and our failures to keep God’s laws and look in faith to Jesus and His life and death in our stead, we obtain mercy and receive forgiveness from God and life eternal. Only through faith in Christ Jesus can we return to God and live.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for fulfilling in our stead all righteousness and paying the just debt of our sins by Your innocent sufferings and death upon the cross. Grant us faith in You and Your cross for pardon and forgiveness and give to us a sincere and ever-growing love for God and His Word. We pray in Your name. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]