There are certain things that grab our attention as we seek to grow in Christ, and a few days ago it happened to me. It has been on my mind so much, I felt compelled to share it with all of you. Of course, a few of you will know where I am going because I spoke about it with you already. What is it? It is the subject matter of submission: something many cringe at, even myself at times. One person writes, “A man is not far from the gates of heaven when he is fully submissive to the Lord’s will.” As truthful as that may be, it is one of the most challenging aspects of the Christian walk; even so, this idea needs to be in the mind of us all with every step we take. So, I look to Jesus, who is the only “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) to help give us insight into the matter of submission.
We begin with the life of Jesus and like every year, He and his parents journey to Jerusalem during the Feast of the Passover to celebrate (Luke 2:41). This year, something different would take place: Something out of the ordinary. Jesus, now twelve, “lingered behind in Jerusalem” as his parents began to journey back home after the feast, unaware that He stayed behind. After about a day’s travel, Joseph and Mary seek to find Jesus among “their relatives and acquaintances” (v44). Unable to find Him, they return to Jerusalem and after three days…that’s right, three days…they found Him in the temple among the teachers “both listening to them and asking them questions” (v46). As a parent, I can only imagine the concern within them both. Listen to his mother’s words once they found Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously” (v48). Their twelve-year-old son, Jesus, the Son of God, responds to them in two ways. First, he says the following…
Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?
What takes place next is what caught my attention, and maybe it will you as well. We read in v51, after being confronted by His parents, “Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.” Jesus, God in the flesh, the Alpha and Omega, King of kings, Lord of lords, our Savior, subjected himself to his parents. Jesus willingly submitted himself to His parents control (that is what the word means). As one person said, “He who is perfect willingly submitted Himself to those who were imperfect.” So many things rush through my mind as I ponder this fact about Jesus. I am called as a follower of Christ to submit to a variety of people, which is part of the “Father’s business” for me, like it ultimately was for Jesus. The difference is, as it relates to me, is that I am imperfect also.
So many bible verses rushed through my mind as I sought to process this profound truth. The one that stood out is this, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5). Help us Lord to have Your mind and seek to do the Father’s business, which involves a willingness to submit to others, even when they, like we, are imperfect. Thank You Jesus for such an amazing example of humility.