The word “submit” is often considered a dirty word by those who don’t properly understand authority. Noone, absolutely noone possesses absolute authority, except God alone!
With this in mind, we come to a remarkable few verses in the life of Jesus Christ. Following his “missing in action” temple encounter—by the way, where did Jesus spend those nights?—Luke concludes his account of “The Passover Pilgrimage” with the following words…..
“Then he (Jesus) went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:50-51)
The 2nd person of the Trinity, the Word made flesh, who had come in human form submitted to his parents. One day (Matthew 28:18-20), He would declare, “All authority is given unto me in heaven and on earth….” yet here He submits to His mother and Joseph who were tasked with raising the God-Man.
We are checked out when it comes to authority, aren’t we? In Canada we have a “Charter of Rights and Freedoms” and we are tempted to declare our “rights” and not our “responsibilities.” Let someone challenge us, exhort us to new conduct or call us on the carpet for being defiant and we get our backs up further.
There is a principle that is essential to be learned early in life. Strong-willed children are just that – strong-willed! That will must be harnessed, it must be challenged lest the “Strong-Willed Child” becomes the “Strong-Willed Adult.” Maintain the strong-will, be a person of purpose, but learn to submit to God-given authorities or you will often suffer the consequences of a rebellious heart.
Luke indicates that his mother (Mary) added this event, this encounter, her Son’s words to the treasury of her own heart. In this one chapter, Luke has given us a glimpse into the very heart of Mary. Consider
v.19 “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
v.33 “The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.”
and now in v.51 Mary adds further deposits to her growing heart treasury.
Today’s mothers have blogs, digital cameras, scrapbooks and other tools at their disposal to preserve “memories.” Mary had her heart, a heart that would be filled with joy and sorrow as she watched the events of her infamous Son unfold. Part of her heart deposit on this occasion must have included the remarkable statements Jesus made as well as his submission.
I wonder what treasures we will deposit into our hearts today. Perhaps our children need to hear of the insights God has given us about them, about His purposes and plans, about the journey God has taken us on. I’d encourage you to wisely open up your heart treasury and pass on a legacy of faith and faithfulness to your children and grandchildren. As I write this, my wife, who is an excellent woman, is in another part of our own country, bringing God’s blessing to our daughter, son-in-law and the delightful (though sinful) grandchildren God has blessed us with in His plan for our lives. Though separated by distance, my heart is there with them, and through prayer and wise use of electronic tools, I want to do my part.