Here we are together once again! Thanks for coming back for another in this Advent series on “Parenting Jesus.”
From the very beginning, Mary and Joseph taught Jesus to respect God’s commands. Like the author of Proverbs passing on wisdom to his son, Joseph recognized that his job was not merely to protect his children from harm but also to teach them the wisdom of God’s laws. Joseph was the spiritual leader of his family. As the writer of Hebrews later put it, “Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God.” (Hebrews 13:17) Joseph tended to the soul of his son.
Matthew 19:16-22 tells us that many years later Jesus met a rich young ruler who asked what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus explained that the man could receive eternal life by obeying all the commandments. “Which ones?” the man replied, as if he were standing an overladen buffet table.
Remembering what he had learned from his own father, Jesus responded by naming several of the most basic commandments…not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to steal, not to swear false witness. And, on the positive side, to honor his father and mother. Jesus asked nothing of the young ruler that he himself had not also done. Jesus took all of God’s laws seriously.
Do others see you taking God’s laws seriously? Have you taught your children, nieces, nephews and/or grandchildren to observe God’s commands? Mary and Joseph did.