“And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.” Luke 2:40
Have you ever been to a baby dedication ceremony? Maybe you were even dedicated as a child? In this longstanding Christian tradition, parents take their child (often to church) to be dedicated to the Lord, promising to raise him or her to follow Jesus. This ceremony was required of every firstborn son according to Old Testament law, which meant that even Jesus was dedicated to the Lord!
When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem to be dedicated in the temple, they were greeted by two different people: Simeon, an old man and devout Christ follower who praised the name of Jesus upon seeing Him and Anna, a prophet who gave thanks to Jesus for the salvation He would bring. When we hear this, it is easy to think of Jesus as the man who would soon die for our sins, but He was still only a young child.
A few years later when Jesus was just 12 years old, Jesus and His parents returned to the temple for the Passover feast – something they did each year. On their way home, Mary and Joseph realized Jesus was not with them. They went back to search for Him and three days later they finally found Him in the temple sitting at the feet of religious leaders learning from their teachings. When they asked what He was doing, Jesus responded “I was about my Father’s business.”
Even though Jesus was just a child, He knew who He was and He knew who God had created Him to be. He was the Messiah sent to save the world. It is easy to think of Jesus as the man who saved us, but remember He was first a child just like us. He was obedient like we should all strive to be and He had friends, family and parents just like we do!
Questions to think about:
- In what ways was Jesus similar to you as a child?
- In what ways was He different?
- How can we strive to be more like Jesus?