“Every year his (Jesus) parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.” Luke 2:41
Joseph and Mary built into their lives the habit of worship and obedience. As required under the Old Testament law – e.g. Exodus 23:14-17, they appeared before the LORD.
“Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me.
1) Unleavened Bread;
In Exodus note the following directives –
a) The festival was celebrated to the LORD. Worship and obedience are God-centred not people-centred.
b) The timing and details of each feast were commanded by the LORD. Worship was not left to “subjective” impressions, but rather mandated by divine directives.
c) Noone was to appear empty-handed. How could you come to God with nothing? How would you dare show up before the LORD, the provider of all of the benefits of your life and not offer anything back to Him?
Joseph and Mary followed God’s plan. “EVERY YEAR” they went to Jerusalem. Leaving Nazareth, incurring expense, in obedience to the LORD, they made their way down the familiar roads of Israel.
Parents who prioritize the LORD over everyone else are setting a powerful example. There is no “guarantee” that their children will be as faithful, but they are certainly pointing them in the right direction. Eternal life is a gift of God, given to those who believe in Him, who trust His provision (the death of His Son) in payment for their sin. It is not earned or deserved and it cannot be transferred to the next generation. I cannot believe for my children and grandchildren but I can pray. I can prioritize worship and obedience. I can seek the blessing of God upon my family that their hearts may be open to spiritual truth.
Joseph and Mary along with Jesus and his younger siblings (assumed) made the annual trip. This was built into their lives. Luke, in his gospel, opts to zero in on a remarkable visit made when Jesus was twelve years old. We’ll explore that in our next post! As a teaser to get you thinking – Consider the fact that Joseph and Mary and Jesus were heading to Jerusalem to celebrate God’s past deliverance (under Moses) with JESUS, the present and future deliverer!