Mary Got It Wrong
My mom had gotten me my first London Fog trench coat. She stepped back and said, “David, look at you. You’re a man.” Now I was only four foot eight. At twelve I hadn’t yet experienced the little “Wyrtzen” growth spurt that finally did come at thirteen, but my mom was proud of me. “I’ve taught you how to cook, to wash your clothes, iron, and keep your check book balanced. You’re ready.” She kissed me good-by, and I headed 1800 miles south to a boarding school in Zellwood, Florida.
My dad was almost constantly on the road as an evangelist and my mom’s health was fragile. That’s why, unlike many moms, she knew she needed to teach me how to survive on my own and pushed me out of the nest at twelve.
Mary, Jesus’ mother, on the other hand, was not so thrilled that her firstborn was out there somewhere by Himself on the streets of Jerusalem. She hadn’t seen Him for three days and was getting frantic.
“Finally, after three days, they found Him in the Temple. There He was sitting in the midst of the teachers listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard Him were amazed again and again at His insight and His answers. When His parents caught sight of Him, they were overwhelmed, and His mother said to Him, ‘Child, why did You do this to us? Look! Your father and I are totally stressed. We’ve been looking everywhere for You.’ He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for Me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s House?’ But they didn’t understand what He was talking about. So He went down to Nazareth with them and put Himself under their authority. Now His mother treasured up all these things in her heart. So Jesus continued to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” - >Luke 2:46- 52
Luke’s text told us earlier that Jesus was the Son of the Most High, the Son of God (Luke 1:32,35). Like His parents, it’s easy for us to forget. The twelve-year-old Jesus also shows us that He was well aware of who His real Father was and that He needed to be fulfilling His Father’s mission for Him. The first words that Jesus utters in Luke’s Gospel are two questions addressed to His parents. They imply that they should have known exactly where to find Him and what He would be doing. Also note that Jesus’ mom was the one doing the talking when they reconnected, but Jesus replies to both His parents. This was one Jewish boy who recognized His mom was not the one in control. If the most exemplary mother in the Bible struggled to let her Son grow up and recognize Him as a man, certainly moms will struggle with this today.
I don’t suggest that you moms send your sons away from home at twelve. In the story Jesus did, after all, go back home with His parents. But I’m still thankful for a mom that told me that I was a man at twelve. She had worked hard to teach me to survive on my own before I left. Think about how you are preparing your kids to be able to stand on their own. This is especially important for your boys. Most sons aren’t as strong as Jesus was when it comes to breaking away from mom’s protection and control.
LORD, thanks again for the practical life skills mom taught me, but thanks most of all for those times by her bed when she was sick and she taught me those wise principles from Proverbs. I also am thankful for all the special times you gave Mary and me as married adults to enjoy both of our parents before You took them home.
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