“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” – Luke 2:46-47
Many of us go through a life of discipleship. It could be sitting at the feet of Grandma and learning how to knot. Or sitting on the floor of the garage watching Dad breakdown an engine of the family station wagon. Discipleship being a learning time. A time to grow in our understanding of who we are and where we are going, while also coming to a greater understanding of the world around us.
When Jesus came into the world, he connected himself to every part of the discipleship process that was the Jewish culture of the day. He was named and circumcised on the eighth day. His parents presented him to God in the Temple, and offered the sacrifices demanded by the Law in Leviticus 12. Here in Luke 2, as he is coming of age in the world he created, Jesus is brought to the Temple for his confirmation service. He is to stand before the teachers of the Law and give answers to see if he is ready to join the men in the synagogue. It is a rite of passage that many of you have found yourself a part of in your walk of faith. I have fourteen young people in a class right now in which we spend Wednesday evenings together moving from God existing, to that God being their God in Jesus Christ.
What goes differently, however, is that this young man was not like the other young men his age. What should not have taken so long took most of the day. What should have been completed earlier caused Jesus to be left behind in the Temple because he was about his Father’s business.
What stood in that Temple that day was the very Word of God made flesh. What so many of the priests and Levites had spent their lives learning, was embodied in that young man there that day, so that every question they might ask he asked even more of them. He gave them the answers they could not find in the Law alone. What stood before those men was the Son of Man who knew more of God than any of them could ever wonder, and he was the one to whom they should be coming for learning, not the other way around. Where their intelligence and ability had brought them to positions of authority in the religious community of the day, Jesus had humiliated them by the words he spoke as only God could.
All of our discipleship, our growth as believers in Christ, is wrapped up in knowing this One who is called Lord. This One who is the very sermon of God come to earth to relieve us of needing to have the right answer. In Christ we find a never-ending discipleship as we continue to need to sit at his feet and learn. To gaze upon his face captured in the words of the pages of Scripture that we might know him more, to become his disciples in this world. Discipleship being the work of God upon the hearts of men to transform them from self-interested sinners, to children of God who live and breathe by his Word found in Jesus Christ given for the sake of sinners - you and me.