- Numbers 26:1-51
- Luke 2:36-52
- Psalm 60:1-12
- Proverbs 11:15
The setting for these verses is Jesus, Mary & Joseph had been to Jerusalem for the annual Passover Festival. They were caravaning back home when Mary & Joseph realized after about a day’s journey that Jesus was missing. They couldn’t find him anywhere so they hurried back to Jerusalem to find their 12 year old son. They found him in the temple listening and learning among the teachers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” (vs 48) The footnotes say that another interpretation for my father’s house could might be said as “be about my Father’s Business”.
So in response to Mary’s question, Jesus respectively reminds her that he has to Be About His Father’s Business. We all have business to be doing for the Father, don’t we?
This made me take a look back at all the people we meet in Chapter 2 of Luke. All of which, whether they realized it or not….were going about the Father’s Business.
The first person we meet is Caesar August. He issued a decree that a census should be taken, which catapulted Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. Bethlehem, as we discussed yesterday, is where the Messiah was prophesied to be born. I’m sure it was not very pregnant Mary and her husband-to-be that thought it a good idea to make this trip back home….on a donkey, no less. Right? I mean would you?!?! So we must consider is it possible that Caesar who wasn’t even a Jew or God fearing man, a Roman couldn’t possibly be aware of what he had set in motion by this decree….was Going About The Father’s Business? Could that be? Could it be that Caesar was put in motion of doing God’s Business, just as God planned it? That’s a mind boggling thought, isn’t it? So if that’s the case….and we look around at our current world and see the politics and world systems that are in motion……are those also systems and people being played out to do The Father’s Business?
Wow. When I think about the mess our world is in, and could this actually play out to be part of the Father’s Business…..it feels a bit overwhelming.
Ok, lets move to someone a bit easier.
Joseph and Mary we meet a couple of times in this chapter. The first time, we think about poor Joseph having to haul Mary back home to take this census. So if this is his hometown, could he have had to explain to his family about his pregnant wife-to-be while he was there? Lots of people were in town and Joseph had to go around hotel to hotel finding a place to stay. Nothin. He would have to take Mary and stay in a barn! Then, the baby is born. Joseph who didn’t conceive this baby, and who is riding on a shoestring of faith, becomes a Dad. Poor guy. While I’m sure he’s ecstatic, sometimes Going About The Father’s Business isn’t very comfortable. Hats off to my friend Joseph, this was a tough day.
Then of course, we meet the shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. (vs 8) When all of the sudden angels show up! The Glory of the Lord shone around them and the shepherds were terrified. These lowly shepherds, just doing their job to the best of their ability, living out in the field watching over someone elses profit margin….Going About The Father’s Business.
Then we meet Simeon who was righteous and devout. He had been WAITING for the the consolation of Israel, the Word says. He’d been WAITING and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. So he WAITED. Finally, he was moved by the Spirit and he went to the temple and when Joseph and Mary brought the child to be circumcised, Simeon was able to take the Messiah in his arms. WOW!! Simeon waited and was devout and righteous while he was Going About The Father’s Business. Has the Holy Spirit revealed something to you too?
Next we see Anna, the prophet. She had been married for 7 years and a widow until she was 84. She stayed at the church day and night fasting and praying for probably around 65 years!….Going About The Father’s Business….and was rewarded by seeing the Messiah. She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. She prophesied and she spread the good news, that was the Business that the Father set her about….and she was faithful in it.
Then we’re back to Mary and Joseph, this time I empathise with Mother Mary. She can’t find her son! He’s lost! “I thought he was with YOU”, were the thoughts in her head. Panicked she drags her husband back to Jerusalem to find the boy in the temple hanging out with the elders. Sheesh! “Son, why have you treated us like this?” She’s a mom, she was Going About The Father’s Business watching out for her son….Messiah or no Messiah, that’s her son, am I right ladies?
All of these men and women Set About Their Father’s Business. Some were aware of it, some were just doing what they do. I question myself all the time, if I’m doing what I’m “supposed to be doing”. Am I doing my Father’s Business well? I do find comfort in Verse 50:
So if Joseph and Mary, the parents of God, didn’t understand what he was saying at times….I can know that God gives me grace to just do my best each and every day.
Whenever I question I reach for Galatians Chapter 5.
There are boundaries to this freedom as Christ followers and they are listed in Galatians verses 19-21. Paul warns us to avoid acts of the flesh which are sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like.
Instead, wouldn’t the WAITING be better if we were to live to produce the fruit of the spirit which are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control? Wouldn’t it be best to Go About The Father’s Business with the work that produces these fruits?
Father God, thank you that you are patient with me when I judge other’s Business….and I ask, like Simeon, that you send the Holy Spirit to guide me to the way to King Jesus! I pray for the person reading this right now, that you would speak to their heart today….and show them the Business that You would have them go about.
How can I be praying for you today?
What is the Business of the Father in your day to day life?