28 Dec Day 97: Encounters with Jesus – Luke 2:41-50, by Nicole Snead
I am always intrigued by this passage of Scripture. Jewish law required that males attend the feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. At the age of 12, a Jewish boy becomes a ‘Son of the Law’ and begins to observe the requirements of the Law. I appreciate that this was part of the tradition in which Jesus was raised, and as a family they were clearly present at this significant occasion.
However, verse 47 compels me to search and grasp this encounter with Jesus. It states that, “All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.” Those who encountered the boy Jesus, who was on the cusp of manhood, were overwhelmed by His discerning nature. You see, He had been sitting and listening to the teachers for three days. Jesus was able to put together answers, ask questions and also use developed reasoning and critical thinking skills.
So today, all these years later, what does God have to say to His people through this passage? For me, it gives me assurance that it is okay to ask questions. It is okay to explore and listen to others in our individual journey of faith, as long as Jesus is in the midst of the dialogue. It is the outcome of our dialogue, our shared learning, listening and searching, that we are stronger and more grounded in our faith because Jesus has been there as our teacher the whole time. This is how I want to encounter Jesus – someone who listens, someone who teaches me, and asks me questions but also has the answers I need as well. As a result, I continue to be astounded and amazed by what I see, and His ability to discern and clearly see into the situation brings me great comfort.
“Three days later they found Him in the house of God. He was sitting among the teachers. He was hearing what they said and asking questions. All those who heard Him were surprised and wondered about His understanding and at what He said.”
Luke 2:46-47 (NLV)
- Are you able to sit with others, both listening and asking questions?
- Can you point to situations in your life, or others, where Jesus has demonstrated complete understanding? Does it amaze you?
- What can The Salvation Army learn by listening and asking questions?
Father, we thank You that by Your example, You encourage us to sit with others and explore this life of faith and what it means to live it out every day. Help us to continue to learn from, as well as listen to, those we trust around us. Continue to reveal Your knowledge and grace to us, so that we can do the same with others. Amen.
Captain Nicole Snead is serving with her husband Johnmark as the Divisional Youth, Children and Candidates Secretary in the Tasmania Division. She is also Chaplain at McCombe House, a Salvation Army crisis accommodation centre for women and children. Nicole and Johnmark have two fabulous children, and Nicole enjoys cooking, reading, running, shopping, and spending time with her family and friends.