Father: Day fourteen
Please enjoy today's reflection from our September-December issue of New Daylight.
When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.
Luke 2:48 - 52 (NRSV)
We have heard about Jesus, and something of his future ministry, from both angels and prophets; now, for the first time, we hear from Jesus himself. Although the Jews always spoke of God as being, in some way, their Father, this is probably along the lines of him being the one who brought the nation of Israel into being. Jesus’ words here indicate a much more intimate, personal sense of the fatherhood of God. And this will constitute a key element of his mission: to bring others into a similar relationship, as children of God, born again through the Holy Spirit, signed through the water of baptism.
Any parent will know how easy it is to have a failure of emotional intelligence when it comes to understanding their child – or vice versa: what is obvious to one is a complete mystery to the other. Here, Jesus probably intends no disrespect; he is simply where his Father would want him to be. Hard, though, for Joseph, in the ever-challenging role of stepparent, to realise that his fathering of Jesus, however good, can never hold a candle to the unique kinship he has with his heavenly Father.
One of the challenges of the story of Jesus’ early years is that we move so quickly: here, 30 years in less than two chapters. We know only that Jesus is seen to be wise and well thought of by all. It won’t last.
Heavenly Father, whatever our situation, help us to know ourselves ever more fully as your children, thanks to your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Written by SHEILA WALKER
Find our New Daylight Bible reading notes