Tender HeartsHow can we avoid being spiritually stubborn and unresponsive to God?
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When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law
of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee (v.39).
Christmas has come and gone. The decorations
that decked the shopping malls and churches
have been taken down. And the Christmas tree
in your living room has probably been dumped outside.
The festivities and revelry may be over for us, but after
Jesus’ birth Joseph and Mary observed three ceremonies
out of obedience to God’s laws (Luke 2:21-24,39).
When he was 8 days old, Jesus was circumcised in
compliance with God’s commands (Genesis 17:10;
Leviticus 12:3). At that time He was given the name Jesus,
“the name given Him by the angel even before He was
conceived” (Luke 2:21; see also Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:31).
Jesus took part in a third ceremony when He was
40 days old. Mary had gone to the temple for her
ceremonial purification, as was required by the law (Luke 2:22; Leviticus 12:2). At that time, Jesus was dedicated
to the Lord, for Jesus was their firstborn son (Luke 2:7). Every firstborn male—whether man or animal—
belonged to God (Exodus 13:2; Numbers 3:13), because
God spared the firstborn of all Jews and their animals
on the first Passover night (Exodus 11:4). The
firstborn of all clean animals—ox, sheep, and goat—
were to be killed and sacrificed to God as an offering.
But because God prohibited any child sacrifices, He
commanded the parents to redeem their firstborn sons
(Exodus 13:13; Numbers 18:15). Luke notes that
“Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the
law of the Lord” before they returned home to Nazareth (2:39).
Jesus grew up in a home characterized by obedience to God. Just as He
learned obedience from His parents (Hebrews 5:8), the children in your family
will learn obedience or disobedience based on what you model for them. Be
careful how you walk. Young ones are watching you.
Consider what is said of Joseph and Mary in Luke 2:39: “[They] had fulfilled
all the requirements of the law.” Is there a command from God that you have
deliberately chosen to reject or ignore? How are you modeling Jesus to others—both young
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