A man was going to bed when his wife told him he’d left the light on in the shed. He grabbed a flash light and headed outside but halfway there he realized there were people in the shed stealing things. He ran back in the house, called the police, but they told him no officer was in his area so no one was available to catch the thieves. He said OK, hung up, counted to 30 and called the police again. “Hello. I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed? Well, you don’t have to worry about them now – I’ve just shot them all.” Within 5 minutes half a dozen police cars arrived, as well as a SWAT unit. They caught the burglars red-handed. One officer said to this man – “I thought you said you shot them!” He replied – “I thought you said there was no one available!”
A similar thing plays out regularly in our lives. Someone asks me to do something and I respond – “I don’t have time.” But more than I care to admit, what I really mean is it’s not that important to me. Truth is, we’ll find the time—make the time—to do whatever we regard as important. As the old saying goes: You can always tell a person’s priorities by looking at their calendar or their check book. For all of us, we must choose those things which are of greatest importance to us. Just be careful your choices are those things which are also most important to God. The greatest men and women in the Bible were not those with the greatest resources or talents; they were men and women who made themselves available to be about God’s business. May God never hear us say – Sorry, I’m not available!
Read Luke 2:40-50. Even as a child, Jesus was at work doing his Father’s business, revealing to you and me His identity that we might be called back to repentance and faith and, ultimately, salvation. In the present moment, we are at the beginning of a new year. This is a time when our culture considers doing new things and making new resolutions for life. Maybe for you and me it’s a time to ask ourselves some important questions about our priorities.
Bible Study Questions:
- Of all the things that the Bible could have recorded of Jesus’ childhood, why do you think Luke 2:40-50 is the only account we have?
- What does Luke 2:40-50 teach us about Jesus’ priorities even as a boy?
- In the Greek language (the original language of the New Testament), Jesus’ response to his mother could be translated differently. The ESV and NIV translate what Jesus says this way: “Didn’t you know I must be in my Father’s house?” But in the Greek it could literally read “the things of my Father!” In fact, the Old King James version has Jesus saying, “I must be about my Father’s business.” How are you making the things of your heavenly Father –His business—a priority in your life?
Some thoughts for prayer:
- I have always loved this old prayer of the church. It’s a reminder that God ultimately establishes our path in life. Are we prayerfully submitting ourselves to it? Here is the prayer: O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, give me wisdom to identify the things that matter most today, especially those things that are the biggest blessings that you have given: family, home, church.
- Prayer starter: Lord show me your hand at work in my life and in the world around me. Give me strength to make the changes I need most to be faithful to You.