December 30, 2018: Hearing God’s Call

First Sunday after Christmas

No doubt an overarching theme in Luke 2:41–52 is Jesus’ call to ministry. Certainly Jesus was a part of God’s plan—to teach a broken world how to live and to call disciples to carry on his teachings. But at what point did Jesus take God’s call seriously?

Luke’s Gospel tells us that when the festival in Jerusalem had ended, “the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. . . . After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:43, 46). Perhaps it was there, at the age of twelve, that Jesus heard his call to ministry.

Luke’s Gospel also reveals that “Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work” (Luke 3:23). The Bible does not record anything about Jesus between the ages of twelve and thirty. For eighteen years Jesus was void of public affairs. Just what was Jesus doing?

No doubt Jesus learned to be a master carpenter and worked in the family business. No doubt “Jesus increased in wisdom and in years.” No doubt Jesus increased “in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52).

Like Jesus, we too can share our talents. But like Jesus we must grow in wisdom and in years. Like Jesus, we can experience the gifts of many wonderful teachers who listen and allow us to ask questions. Like Jesus, it is our Christian duty to love and teach one another as we are called to serve.

Are we taking God’s call seriously like Jesus?

Mark Newman, pastor, Newfoundland Moravian Church
Newfoundland, Pennsylvania