What About Jesus’s Questions?
Since our book, God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature was published, I know what you’ve been thinking. “Hey, what about the questions Jesus asked?”
Well, we heard you! Very soon, “Book 2” of God’s Intriguing Questions will be released. It’s titled God’s Intriguing Questions: 60 New Testament Devotions Revealing Jesus’s Nature. So I thought I’d give you a little taste of it with one of the devotions you’ll find there.
Why were you looking for me?
Our three-year-old granddaughter loves to hide from me, Kathy, under the clothes racks as her mother shops. But one time, I couldn’t find her. My heart raced as I envisioned someone taking her. Oh, God, help me find her. Keep her safe. In a few moments, she ran up to me giggling. I was both relieved and irritated.
Mary and Joseph must be experiencing the same panic when Jesus is missing. After the Passover festival, they travel toward home a full day before they realize Jesus isn’t with anyone in their large caravan of relatives and friends. Turning back toward Jerusalem, they must be running at times, worried and scared.
Mary and Joseph have momentarily forgotten who Jesus really is. They only think of him as a defenseless little boy when he is actually God incarnate. TWEET THAT!!!!
Then Joseph and Mary find twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple—the last place they expect. He is sitting calmly, listening and asking questions of the religious teachers. Mary’s fear takes over and she chastises her son, in effect, blaming him for her worry.
“Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress” (2:48).
We are like Mary. God, you aren’t showing up when I need you. I’m worried and it’s your fault. Why do I have to hunt for you and wonder if I’ll ever know your will? Our fears swirl around in our minds. We forget God’s work on our behalf in the past. Then when we come to our senses, we chastise ourselves for not trusting him.
The way to come to our senses and remember the truth is to think of the boy Jesus’s response as he corrects his mother, “Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?” and as many versions word it, “at my Father’s business?”
Mary says, “Your father and I have been searching for you.” Mary downgrades her son’s status as God who is also human to only human. In a sense, Jesus reminds her, “Yes, you are my human mother but Joseph is not my father. He raised me in obedience to God, but God is my Father, and my identity will never change.”
When we react in any way of fear, distrust, anger, lack of self-control—any time we are operating in the flesh and not being controlled by the Holy Spirit—we have downgraded God’s qualities in our mind. He hasn’t changed but our perception of him has in the moment. TWEET THAT!!!!
Yet, God is forbearing and long-suffering. He has reasonable expectations of those in his human family. As we face problems challenging our trust in God’s abilities to come through for us, God knows we will struggle. He is not deluded thinking we will someday “arrive” at perfection while on earth. He is with us for the long haul of a life-long process of sanctification.
We need not fear his impatience even though he corrects us and reminds us of his identity as everything perfect and everything we need.
- Do you ever believe the lie God shouldn’t be forbearing with you? Why?
- What do you say about yourself when you fail? Can you find a verse speaking the truth about your God who won’t give up on you?
My precious Lord, I praise you for your capability to be forbearing. Thank you for understanding my struggle and knowing how you will help me little by little.
I hope you are as excited as we are about our next book on God’s questions.
Will you share? What question did Jesus ask that is your favorite? And why?