Make every effort to discern My will for you—
searching the Scriptures and seeking My Face.
Also, seek wise counsel from other Christians.
Jesus Always, July 11
It’s fascinating to me that in Jesus’ first 30 years of life, we have only a few stories about Him. He’s born in Bethlehem; presented in the temple on the 8th day; and his parents flee with Him to Egypt, on the run from a political tyrant seeking to take His life.
And then there’s that one quick moment in Luke 2.
Jesus’ family is wrapping up the Passover festival in Jerusalem and are heading back home to Galilee. Thinking He was with the larger family group of aunts, uncles, and cousins, Mary and Joseph hit the road. But after a full day, they discovered Jesus, who was 12 years old at the time, wasn’t in their company. I can imagine them scrambling around thinking, We had one job! How could we lose track of the Son of God?
They race back to Jerusalem, and Luke tells us what happened next: “After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (2:46 NIV). Jesus, the Eternal Son who—from time immemorial—has reigned over all creation, is listening to the elders and asking them questions. Who is this God that is so humble? He is the same God who taught us to honor our fathers and mothers.
How to honor the elders among us.
Too many of us have forgotten—or maybe never even learned—how to honor the elders among us. We live in a society that idolizes celebrity and glorifies youth and beauty. But here Jesus is, showing us a different way. Luke tells us that Jesus is calling us to live in humility before and in submission to our elders. He’s calling us to ask good questions of those who have gone before us. In short, He’s calling us to spend our lives chasing wisdom.
Some of you may be wondering how to chase the wise among us, so here are a few suggestions:
Seek an older, wiser person you trust.
Look around and seek an older, wiser person you trust. Maybe they will be someone you know from work or church. Take them to lunch, and come ready with a list of questions. Sometimes you’ll be shocked by their profundity. Other times, their answers will be subjective and will apply more to their unique situation than to yours. Either way, listen and take good notes.
Ask about their experiences.
Ask thought-provoking questions about their own experiences. Come with questions like, “What have you learned that I need to know? What were some of your greatest challenges during your working years? Is there anything you would caution me about in this stage of my life?” And keep thinking about other great questions you may have.
Show your gratitude.
Show your gratitude, and offer them something in return. Ask them to pray for you, and find out how you can be praying for them. Thank them for their time, honor the bits of wholesomeness that you’ve observed in them, and let them know you want to continue to glean from them.
You don’t always have to learn the hard way.
One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me growing up in church was access to the wiser sages and saints in our congregation. Looking back, those people have carried me through the first 37 years of my life, and I have been strengthened because of it. And you can find the same gift, too. But you have to ask. If sitting among the elders and asking them questions was good enough for Jesus, it ought to be good enough for us. You don’t always have to learn the hard way. If you’ll take the time and do the work, you’ll find sages along the way who can save you a lot of heartache. Let’s make it our goal to spend the rest of our lives chasing wisdom.