By Mark Walz
To know Jesus is an exercise of genuine faith, not merely an exercise of our knowledge. If all we needed was knowledge, Mary and Joseph would have known where to find 12 year old Jesus in Jerusalem; but they didn’t.
“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers…”
They did not know him well enough to look first at the temple. It was more than likely the last place in their minds to find him. How else do we explain that they searched for three days before checking the Temple?
It is a fascinating story, and the only story we have of Jesus as a boy. So I believe there is a great lesson here for all of us — to know Jesus well enough must be accomplished through very different means. Means that we may not be used to that require searching and our whole being. For even his own earthly parents had difficulty understanding and knowing their son. To think we can read about him alone and truly know him, as the Bible says we ought to know him, is to deceive ourselves. To think we can approach knowing Jesus as we would anyone else is to greatly mistake the mystery of God made man.
And basically, just because we know about Jesus does not mean that we truly know him. To truly know him goes beyond facts and stories. It requires an encounter with God’s Spirit, a heart made completely new, and a genuine repentance and faith. Only then can we know Jesus.
Now, there is more to this story in Luke 2. And this Sunday, we as a church are going to dive in a bit deeper during our time together. I hope you can join us! And be on the lookout for the sermon audio next Monday.