Luke 2:51, Phil 2:8, Heb 5:8
Do you remember being a kid and the thoughts that rolled through your mind when you were forced to follow rules or do jobs you didn’t want to do? Did you think, “I can’t wait to be an adult so no one can tell me what to do, and I’ll get to do whatever I want to do, all of the time”? If only that were true… Obviously now that we are on the other side of childhood we see that the demands on our time choices, societal rules, government regulations and work responsibilities far outweigh the 15 minute jobs assigned to us as kids like sweeping out the garage or picking strawberries. Most of us would welcome childhood tasks over our daily adult responsibilities these days. As kids, we couldn’t understand the weight that our parents were carrying or the discipline they were trying to teach us by requiring some tasks. What is the saying? “You don’t know what you don’t know”!
Today we get to look at three different places in the Bible that tell us about Jesus choosing to be obedient as a human to human parents, to human government and to His Father while here on earth. I don’t think we can begin to comprehend what that was like for Him. Humbling, humiliating, uncomfortable, painful, frustrating…all words that weakly describe what leaving Heaven and His King’s throne to become human must have been like for Him. But He did it. He chose to complete the plan. He humbly left His home and rightful spot in heaven and lived an entire human life with family, work, friends and a mission that we can never fully understand the weight of, because He loves us. He wanted to make a way for us be able to have relationship with Him. We are that important to Him.
Every year as Jesus was growing up, His family made the trip to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. The year that He was around 12 years old, His family headed for home at the end of the celebration and at the end of the first travel day his parents realized Jesus wasn’t with them. Panic! They returned to the city and eventually found Him in the Temple sitting among the teachers and listening to them and asking questions. His parents were frustrated with Him for not sticking with the family and He responded to them by asking why they had to search for Him. Didn’t they know that He must be in His Father’s house? They didn’t understand what He meant. Luke 2:51 says that “He returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.” Such a short simple sentence, but its meaning and action are loaded with more weight, humiliation, and patience than we can understand. Philippians 2:6-8 explains my point beautifully. “Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and He died a criminal’s death on a cross.” The commentary I read on Heb 5:8 says that, “Jesus’ human life was not a script that He passively followed. It was a life that He chose freely. It was a continuous process of making the will of God the Father His own. Jesus chose to obey even though obedience led to suffering and death.”
I think that sometimes I downplay in my mind what human life was actually like for Jesus. I tell myself that He was perfect, He was mighty, He knew all and because of these traits, He had a special “hall pass” from the frustration of life. But now that I think through this in light of His name “Obedient Son” I realize that being God made human life harder instead of easier. He faced the same things we face during His entire life, but He knew who He was and that He could remove Himself from the situation at any second. He chose daily to stay. He also knew the perfect home He left and His position of King over all and still He chose to leave it behind to complete the plan. Knowing what His future on earth held for Him, He chose to sacrifice His life and give it for us. He chose the ultimate gift of love, His life for ours. No other can or will offer you this.