The Gospel Sync | #17 | Luke 2:41-52

An Awkward Season of Maturity

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Welcome Back! Today, we’ll be looking at the Gospel of Luke and see how Jesus and His parents navigated an awkward season of maturity

So let’s dive in.

(Click here to get a copy of the Gospel Sync document) 

The Gospel – Luke 2:41-52

Now every year Jesus’s parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up according to the custom of the Feast. When those days were over and they were returning home, the boy Jesus remained behind and His parents were unaware He had stayed in Jerusalem. Assuming He was in their company, they traveled on for a day before they began to look for Him among their relatives and friends. When they could not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. Finally, after three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished and His mother said to Him,“ Child, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.” And He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand the statement He was making to them. Then He went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But His mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Some Thoughts 

As disciples of Jesus Christ, our goal is to become more like Him in every aspect of our lives. We strive to emulate His character, His teachings, and His relationship with the Father. Our mentors play a huge role in helping us achieve this goal. However, as we grow in our faith, there comes a point where we begin to rely less on the guidance of our spiritual mentors and more on our personal relationship with God. It’s a natural part of the journey, but it can be challenging for those who have invested time and energy in discipleship.

Jesus Himself experienced this shift in His relationship with His earthly parents. At the age of 12, He stayed behind in the temple after the Passover celebration without informing Mary and Joseph. When they eventually found Him, they were understandably upset, but Jesus’ response was, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). Jesus saw His relationship with the Father as the highest priority, and it seemed obvious to Him that His parents would understand this.

As disciple makers, we must understand that disciples can grow beyond our influence. We cannot be helicopter mentors, hovering over our spiritual children and trying to control every aspect of their lives. Instead, we must point them to Jesus and teach them to love God first and foremost. When we prioritize this relationship, Jesus Himself will instruct the disciple on how to live out their faith.

It’s essential to remember that when a disciple grows in their relationship with God, it’s not a sign of rebellion or disobedience. Instead, it’s a sign of spiritual maturity. As mentors, we should celebrate this growth and encourage the disciples to continue seeking God with their whole heart. It’s a beautiful thing to see a disciple becoming your peer.

Ultimately, we must trust that God is the primary mentor in every disciple’s life. While we may have played a role in their spiritual formation, our influence will never compare to the guidance and wisdom that comes directly from God. As we continue to disciple others, let us remember to prioritize God above all else, pointing our spiritual children to Him and celebrating their growth as they mature in their faith.

My Story 

As we journey through life, we often come across people who impact us in profound ways. Sometimes, these individuals become our mentors, guiding us through challenges and helping us to grow into our full potential. For me, one of those mentors was a man who played a significant role in my spiritual journey. However, there was a time when I disappointed him, and it’s a memory that still lingers with me today.

At the time, I was wrestling with a sense of calling to become an Army chaplain. I knew that this was the path that God was leading me down, but I also knew that my mentor wasn’t going to be too thrilled about it. He had a different vision for my future, and I could see the discouragement in his eyes when I shared my plans with him.

Despite his frustration, my mentor was wise enough to hold his tongue. He recognized that this was a test of my supreme loyalty to God and that I needed to follow the path that was laid out for me. Over time, my calling was authenticated with fruitful ministry, and he could see the hand of God at work in my life.

Looking back, I’m incredibly grateful for my mentor’s wisdom and restraint. He could have tried to dissuade me from pursuing my calling. He stepped aside when it was time for me to move on to the next phase of my journey. He could have tried to hold me back or exert control over my future, but he recognized that his role was to guide me, not dictate my path.

Our Action Plan

How can we apply this as disciple makers? Consider these suggestions:

  • Start by praying for wisdom and discernment. Ask God to alert you when you may be giving advice that goes beyond His intent for the disciple’s life.
  • Delve into the Scriptures and examine examples of leaders who have appropriately or inappropriately wielded their influence.
  • Seek the experiences of other disciple makers who have encountered similar situations and learn from their circumstances.

As disciple makers, we may experience disappointment with the choices our mentees make, but our response is crucial. Our goal is to instill in them unwavering loyalty to God and guide them on the path He has set for them. Gratitude is also due to the mentors who have helped us on our own journeys, even the unexpected twists and turns along the way. It is the journey that molds us into true followers of Christ, and we should strive to aid our mentees in following the path that Jesus has laid out for them.

Author: Chuck & Deb

Chuck & Deb love Jesus!

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