Brookwood Church - Love God, Love People

An Invasive Question



An Invasive Question

Mark Taylor |

Luke 2:41-52 provides some much needed clarity about who Jesus is and how He works in our lives.






Introduction

My name is Mark Taylor, Adult Discipleship Pastor

  • I love this time of year… always feels like a fresh start.
  • I’m also aware that for many of us, this can be a time of struggle.

 

Good news is that
  • Whatever you came in here with
  • Even if you don’t have any religious background

 

GOD IS GREATER

And as we open our hearts to Him, He meets us right where we are.

 

Series: Christmas Questions

We’ve been exploring questions that some of the people in the Bible asked around the time Jesus was born to help us get at some deeper truths:

  • About ourselves
  • About God

 

The idea is that…

  • In the area of discipleship (having a closer relationship with God)
  • In any area of life really, when you think you’ve got all the answers, you stop growing.
  • If you’ve come here with questions, humble and hungry to learn, even mildly curious, you’re probably already doing better than you think you are.

Our passage today is Luke 2:41-50

  • If you’re using the Bible we usually teach from, p. 822
  • I’ll read the passage, then walk back through it

 

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. 43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss Him at first, 44 because they assumed He was among the other travelers. But when He didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for Him among their relatives and friends.

 

45 When they couldn’t find Him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for Him there.

 

(interject: can you imagine that conversation?!)

 

46 Three days later they finally discovered Him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

 

48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” His mother said to Him, “why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for You everywhere.”

 

49 “But why did you need to search?” He asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what He meant.

 

There are 3 questions:

  1. Parents basically asked: What are You doing?
  2. Jesus replied with 2 questions: What do you think I’m doing? Didn’t you know?

 

These are invasive questions

  • Questioning questions
  • Questions that get below the surface

 

Even though there are 3 questions, they work together to emphasize one main point
(which is our theme verse for today)

Vs. 50 they didn’t understand

  • Join together in their mind
  • “couldn’t wrap their head around it”

 

Have you ever felt like you could use some clarity?

  • Ever felt lost or confused?
    • Where is God?
    • What in the world is going on?
  • If that’s you, you’re not alone.

 

Think about the setting for a moment:

The Jews had been living under the abusive power of a foreign government.

   Under the reign of Caesar Augustus “the majestic, or exalted one”

  • Self-centered
  • Fighting for power and control
  • Government wasn’t working, so it kept getting bigger and bigger
    • Streets were unsafe
    • Economy was a wreck
    • Kidnapping and human trafficking was widespread

 

And for the Jews, God hadn’t sent a prophet in 400 years

 

So it MAKES SENSE they didn’t understand.

 

In fact…
  • The Bible is really a series of stories of people who didn’t understand
  • Throughout the gospels, Jesus did and said things that most people had no idea what He was doing or saying.
  • In John 8:43 Jesus finally asks Why do you not understand what I’m saying?

 

This passage teaches us some REALLY IMPORTANT things about Jesus

That would be REALLY GOOD for us to understand:

  • Who He is
  • How He works in our lives

 

Ultimately, this is a message of hope – about knowing and walking with God.

 

 

So let’s walk back through this passage as we seek to grow in understanding.

Understanding Jesus…

1.   Jesus (often) comes in quietly.

 

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.

 

With an emphasis on ‘every year’ and ‘as usual’

Jesus showed up in the normal course of their lives

 

This is subtle… but as we look through Scripture, this is often how God works
  • 1:9 – visited Zechariah, as was the custom of the Priests…
  • 2:27, 28 – came to Mary, as she was engaged…
  • Adam – walking in the garden, asked a simple question
  • Abraham – as he was moving from city to city with his family

 

(most often) Jesus comes in quietly.

He meets people in their everyday lives

  • The only time He gets loud is when His people are far away from Him.
  • EVEN THEN… only to bring them back close

 

As one writer puts it… One of the striking things about Luke’s narrative is how simple it is in contrast to how great the events are. In our modern age, small events are often inflated with over-description and more important than they actually are. Luke, however, presents one of the most amazing events in history in the most understated manner.

 

Ever say? “I wish He would write it in the sky”

 

That’s not how God usually operates

 

Revelation tells us that ONE DAY Jesus will return with an army to conquer evil and set right all that’s gone wrong in this world

But in the meantime, what we have is a Jewish rabbi, who came to us as a baby

  • He walked among us
  • Carried a cross to a lonely hill
  • And He almost quietly died for us, forgiving everyone around Him

 

That’s the paradox of the Christian life.

  • The power of our lives
  • The strength of our lives
  • The influence of our lives

 

Comes as Jesus

  • Quietly asks us questions
  • Guides us, and
  • Day-by-day heals and changes our hearts.

 

There have been huge, monumental shifts in my life:

  • God invaded our family through a parachuting accident
  • My own come to Jesus moment

 

But the momentum of my life has come in the daily

  • Walking with God
  • Listening for His voice
  • And following

 

As another writer puts it… Even though Jesus didn’t come in with a bang, it’s amazing how many people knew in their hearts that He was the Savior. Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, shepherds out in the field, Simeon, angels in heaven.

 

Not because He came in riding on a horse.

 

But because, quietly, in their hearts, the Spirit of God spoke to them and simply said Jesus.

 

Questions (application)

This coming year, will you slow down enough and listen quietly for His voice

  • to tell you who you are,
  • to guide you and fill you with His life

 

What will you silence in your busy life to increase the decibel level of the voice of God?

2.   Jesus (usually) acts unexpectedly.

43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss Him at first, 44 because they assumed He was among the other travelers. But when He didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for Him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they couldn’t find Him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for Him there. …

 

48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” His mother said to Him, “why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for You everywhere.”

 

 

Parents were going in one direction; Jesus was going the other way.

They thought Jesus should be doing one thing, but that wasn’t His plan.

 

Ever felt like that? You thought God was going to be, or should be, doing one thing, but that didn’t seem to be what He had in mind.

 

Ever have a turning point in your life and think to yourself, didn’t see that one coming?

 

When God comes in

It’s usually unexpected, and often a different direction

Questions (application)
Will you be open to God leading you wherever that takes you?
  • Will you let God wreck your plans for something better?
  • What if the picture you have for your life is not the picture God has for your life?

 

Will you be willing to do the hard thing if that’s what God asks of you?
  • Be taken out of your comfort zone.
  • To make necessary changes.

This is important to understand

  • If we’re not open (resistant) to how God is leading,
  • we put up an obstacle that keeps us from
    • experiencing more of God
    • living the life He’s designed us to live.
  • Live with a sense of curiosity, openness

 

If you’re 18-29 – that very unique time of life – and want to learn to know how God is leading you… visit our Ministry Spotlight today to learn about one of the new Brookwood ministries for Young Adults.

 

You will never experience all that GOD offers,

until you manage to let go of what you think He should offer.

3.   Jesus (always) remains faithful.

46 Three days later they finally discovered Him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

 

  • They were shocked
    • Thrown out of position
    • Like a middle-school child talking about physics with a rocket scientist.

 

Jesus parents said…

 

48b …“why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for You everywhere.”

 

49 “But why did you need to search?” He asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in My Father’s house?

 

HOUSE not in text, some translations say about My father’s BUSINESS, also not in the text

  • ‘of the things of My father’
  • Standing in My Father’s place
  • One of the places where Jesus is declaring He’s God.
    • Designation of authority
    • He was beginning to live out His role of reigning as King

 

*** IMPORTANT:

  • As He stayed behind, He was not being rebellious
  • OBEDIENT, in fact – REQUIRED at age 12 to follow the Law
  • Bravely and calmly doing what the Father called Him to do

 

He’s essentially asking…

  • Where else would I be?
  • What else would I be doing?
    • Utterly devoted
    • Fierce intention 

 

Luke 9:51 (ESV)

When the days drew near for Him to be taken up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem.

 

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?

  • Ever felt like life (parenting, work) is too much to handle?
  • “I JUST NEED A BREAK!”

 

God’s not like that.

  • He never veers off course
  • He never grows tired of coming through for us
    • Never a moment
    • Not even a second
      • God is not fighting for you
      • Running after you

 

Every year our staff asks God to give us a specific word to focus on.

 

We each write our word on a small poster board…

 

Here’s a sneak peek into our Admin hallway…

JOSH T. has a 25-30-second video ready to go

 

  • My word for 2019 was FAITHFUL
  • So I printed out and studied
    • I thought it was going to be about me being faithful
    • It ended up being about God
 

 

Questions (application)
  • Will you trust that God never gives up
  • That He is utterly devoted to you no matter what
    • Even when it doesn’t turn out like you think it should
    • Even when you don’t get what you think you need
  • That He is always and completely faithful
    • to be who He says He is and
    • to do what He says He will do

 

Something ever work out the way you want it, and you say “God was faithful”

  • One of the things we need to undo in our thinking
  • The reality is, He’s always faithful. He even turns ashes into beauty.

Simple, yet POWERFUL practice

Open hands

  • leave fear at the door
  • Excitement new callings relational victories

 

if your kids are in here... that's PERFECT. Hold their hand, hold them close

and use this time to renew your desire for Christ to be the center of your home

 

If you aren’t sure about God, your prayer might be:

  • God, if You’re real, please show me and speak to me.
  • But be careful. This might be a moment that changes everything.

 

Psalm 24:7

Open the gates,

that the King of Glory may come in. 

 

  • Awake the parts of us that are still sleeping
  • We give You permission to break down any walls or obstacles that are in the way of us seeing and knowing You more.

 

If you’ve opened your heart to God, maybe for the first time, or in a new way

and you don’t have anyone to talk with about that…

Care Volunteers

Treasure

As they returned to Nazareth, His mother stored (treasured) all these things in her heart. May that be true of us as well. See you next year.

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