Independance vs. Obedience

May 6, 2023 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Christina Puntigam

I recently returned from an extended family vacation. It was a beautiful time in Hawaii with my husband's family. We have an almost six year old nephew who is very independent. He often wanted to do things his way and did not take direction very well. One day, his grandmother asked him to go get dressed for the day and he said no. The story of Jesus popped into my head. It's in the book of Luke chapter 2.

Every year, the Israelites would travel to the temple in Jerusalem. It says in this story that Jesus' family traveled there every year for Passover, a celebration in remembrance of the Jews escape from the hand of pharaoh in Egypt. This particular story takes place when Jesus is twelve. It was one year before the traditional year for boys to become young men through a religious ceremony called the bar mitzvah. They stayed in Jerusalem during the entire festival. It was surely a lot of fun and a test of independence for a young boy to be in the city at this time in his life.

The story goes on to say that Mary and Joseph didn't notice that Jesus was missing until they had traveled for a while. It was customary for young boys to travel with the women in the front but, Jesus was old enough that he could have been traveling with the men at the back of the caravan. A comedy of errors on his parents' part "I thought he was with you." "Why would he be with me? I thought he was with you." The family heads back to Jerusalem to look for their lost son, probably thinking of a punishment that would be befitting if they did find him okay and praying to God that Jesus was safe, wherever he was.

After many days of searching the city, Jesus is found in the temple, listening to the teachers and asking questions. The story implies that Jesus was not asking silly questions that often times accompany youth but that he was asking questions worthy of the teachers he was surrounded by. The first thing Mary says to Jesus is "What is wrong with you? How dare you make your father and I worry like that? Your father's ulcer is acting up and I've got that twitch in my eye again!"

Jesus answers them by saying, "You should have known that I'd be here!" His independence jumps up and bites them. They were clueless as to what he meant, as are most parents of teenagers. But here is the difference in the story. Where as most of us rebelled against our parents, exerting our independence, Jesus is obedient. The scripture says that Jesus went home with them and was obedient. His obedience helped him grow in wisdom and stature, and he grew in grace.

So this story came to mind as my young nephew was exerting his independence; showing that he could come up with a game plan on his own, even if that game plan was getting dressed in front of the entire family so that he could continue to watch television. I said to him, "You know, when Jesus was young, he obeyed his mom and dad. You should obey your Grammy too." He kind of looked at me, confused, but he did not get dressed in front of the television that day. I hope that he learns as Jesus taught when we should be independent and when we should be obedient to someone else. The Lord places people in our lives to instruct us and if we don't heed that instruction then how can we ever hope to grow in wisdom and stature and have an abundance of grace?

Copyright 2006. Used by permission from Christina Puntigam.

About admin

  • Advertisement

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Prove You\'re Human: *