MY FATHER’S BUSINESS
Luke 2:41 ¶ Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
This is such an authentic picture of modern day religion! Church members are so devotedly focused on one another’s ‘fellowship’ that they have no consciousness of leaving the Lord behind. He is decidedly attending to His Father’s Business, while they have completely lost awareness of him, having religious affections only for their fellow members. And at the last day they are actually going to act surprised when he states to them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Be assured, dear Reader, true religion is not about your blood line, but about Christ’s blood line! Be very careful for they of your own household can be the most subtle of enemies to your spiritual wellbeing. Matthew 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Christ’s family is only those who do the will of his Father! Matthew 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
And just as the Lord Jesus expected Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, to know about the new birth, he expected his parents to know where he would be, with no need to search for him! John 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
And you will see in the 49th verse of our text, listed above, that he questions his parents as to why there was any problem in seeking him. There was no need for them to have sought him sorrowing! And we only have to remember Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel, with the shepherds, and with her cousin Elizabeth of all that God had shown her to understand his question. They did not fully conclude just who he was by all that they had been shown!
For Joseph himself had been attended by an angel to instruct him! Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
But there is also the fact that his parents had seen the unusual workings of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus for twelve years. Here is verse forty of Luke two: And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Like his parents, too many church members firmly know of the Lord’s graces and miracles, but still don’t know where to find him in these perilous times! They know an abundance of religious facts, but have not the slightest hint of spiritual knowledge. Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me? 2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. May God have mercy!
And we see by the Lord’s asking questions of Mary just what is meant in our verses 46 and 47. For he was catechizing the Rabbi’s in the temple. He was asking them questions and giving astonishing answers! And that is a most beneficial way to teach; both asking questions and giving answers. So in this manner he also respectfully dealt with his parents ignorance of where he was to be found.
And this being coupled with the information we have in verse 51 gives us a perfect picture of his submission to authority; even authority which was without this spiritual understanding. All this he had to endure in order to conduct His Father’s Business.
We must keep in mind that the Lord Jesus was God manifest in the flesh! As God he could truthfully state, “I am the Father are one.” (John 10:30) And as the perfect man he could also truthfully say, “The Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)
And of this unique relationship we read of the consciousness he had with the Father. John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Amazing oneness while still a distinction of Persons! But this supernatural union bespeaks as well of the supernatural relationship of the believer by the Holy Spirit to the Invisible God! 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
For this is that which was long ago prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 30:20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 ¶ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
It is amazing to think that the Lord God shows in the Person of God the Son, the pattern of how spiritual a twelve year old believer is supposed to be. Our carnality has been fortified by our satisfaction in learning religion with no hunger or thirst for spiritual righteousness. James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Where is the evidence of the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit among organized religion today? Why is the modern church satisfied with Dr. Bottlestopper in her pulpits, who ‘learned’ to be a ‘minister’ by going to a Bible college? We know just how he knows ‘letters!’ But listen to the Head of True Religion upon this subject:
John 7:14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? 16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
God’s spiritual kingdom is to be advanced, not by the efforts of the flesh, but by the Holy Spirit. For the letter of the law killeth! It’s only by the Holy Spirit that there is life! 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
This also was anciently promised by the prophets. Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Then that last verse in our text bears carefully considering. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. How is it that the all-knowing God could increase in wisdom? And how was that wisdom coupled with the growth of his stature? He had to veil his glory in order to be made like his brethren, to be a faithful high priest! Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
He did let it shine forth upon one occasion prior to his ascension. Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And once again after his ascension: Acts 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
He was equal with God, but made himself of “no reputation” – that is, he “emptied himself.” And he did so in order to reveal himself to us. And since he has been so gracious to stoop that low for our spiritual benefit, should we not strive to reach as high as possible to attain godly spirituality, not just being satisfied with religion? Have not your parents ceased to speak ‘baby talk’ with you since you have grown up? Have you not emptied your room of children’s toys? 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Pastor Gene Breed
September 25. 2021