Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#4 - The Teen Teaches Teachers

This incredible POWER LIST of maturing attributes of teenage Jesus is a place we could spend days and pages of descriptions of this Creator of all that is, and our one and only Savior. Previously, we mentioned the diversity in personality of the gospels of Jesus Christ. Remember? Matthew wrote to the Jews, Mark to the Romans, Luke to the Gentiles, and John wrote to everyone. The picture to see, is that God leaves no one out, as He presents His plan and provisions for you and I, no matter where we live or how we live. God has His compassionate eye on each of us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As John finishes his book of the “Gospel of John”, he feels swamped. He feels he hasn't even scratched the surface, of all that Jesus has done, around us, for us, and inside us. His closing words tell us,

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:25

In Luke 2:42, we see some key facts, that each hold more diamonds than we can describe here. First is that scripture tells us that Jesus is now 12 years old. After his next birthday, the Jewish society would then consider him an adult, with all the responsibilities that come with it. The Bar Mitzpah ceremony proclaims this transition to the world. (Girls 'become adults' one year earlier.)

We see in just these few verses that Jesus stresses his parents out, in their 3 day search and rescue for him. When Mary and Joseph ask him why he's done this, his response had not a drop of apology in it. They didn't even understand his response. He told them, he was doing His father's business. His response began a transition from being just Mary's little boy, to a servant of the Most High God in heaven.

Taking responsibility for our actions and seeing God's claim on our life and mission, is a monumental transition. It may come in a blink of an eye or take days to take our life in our hands and hold it up to Heaven, and humbly say, “For whatever it's worth, Dear God, here I am; here's my life. Let it be a tool; a testimony to your unfathomable undying love and Lordship, upon me, and those around me.”

Those youth we minister to, have to come to this same place of recognizing their place and purpose in God's plan. Only then can they view each sunny or stormy day in their lives as God's shaping their character and talents to magnify Him. This also gives us all a deeper understanding of God's character as we seek intimate fellowship with Him in Glory, for our eternity.

In Luke 2:46 and 47, I see a teenage Jesus in church (the temple). Wow! What a perfect place for every teenager to learn about life and God's love. Being in the right place at the right time is more than half of any battle, isn't it? This is a powerful truth that teens of every age need to understand and act upon.

My heart pushes to paint a picture of young Jesus right in the middle of all the lawyers and priests. In his quest to learn all he could about church and God, Jesus wasn't a back seat student in any fashion. I see him sitting and listening to all that was being taught, during those three days his parents were searching all of Jerusalem for their young son. Sitting and listening is not a real easy thing to deeply do. Most of us listen just close enough to form our replies. And our replies are often meant just to impress our listeners how smart we are (or think we are). 

Jesus certainly heard the lawyers teach some things that were not true. This happens to us every day. We must be good at discerning truth from tale, fact from fiction. The youth we minister to, have incredibly poor ability in doing this. They become sidetracked; they become distracted the same way Eve was sidetracked by Satan in the Garden of Eden.

'Sitting and listening' also has a powerful influence on others, that we cherish. If we first listen to them, they'll more likely listen to us. It's a good partner to asking good questions that move us closer an understanding and actions that please God and produce our FULL JOY promised in scripture.

In asking good questions, Jesus got strong attention from his 'teachers'. This resulted in Jesus TEACHING HIS TEACHERS. More than that, he amazed them with how much he knew and how rich his answers were, to their questions.

As you minister to those troubled young hearts around you, do you compassionately listen to them? Can your heart be humble enough to expect they can teach you some things. We silver-haired mentors have a great deal of misconceptions about teenagers today. Our mentoring will never get to first base unless we want our 'students' to become our teacher, for a time. Can you deeply thank God for allowing you to minister to that teenager? Do your prayers show this? Can you pray with that young heart in a way that draws you both into the very center of God's grace and mercy?