And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. Luke 2:40
Few people are offended by Baby Jesus unless you’re Herod and feel the need to defend your crown at all costs. Overall, it’s non-threatening to consider kneeling at a manger where Baby Jesus lay sleeping. He has not yet opened His mouth to speak.
Worship became more challenging however as Jesus grew and His wisdom cut across the grain of people’s sinful natures. Jesus was full of wisdom, Luke reported, and His sinless perfection made itself evident when He opened His mouth to speak.
I heard a great definition for wisdom the other day. I can’t give credit to the teacher because I turned on the radio in the middle of the program. He said, “Wisdom is knowing what Jesus would do when there is no biblical precedent.” Jesus always knew the right thing to do in any given situation. In the dailyness of life, the places where tempers were short, selfishness reigned, angry words were spoken, and kids acted like kids and played cruel jokes on each other, Jesus never sinned – and probably confronted sin – even as a child. Were there moments when even Mary’s worship was difficult? I suspect so. Her sinfulness was constantly exposed in the presence of her perfect Son.
In John 6, Jesus knows He has offended His disciples with the truth. Many of His followers left Him that day and He asks His friends if they want to leave too. He knows that truth repels and discipleship is costly.
As I bow at the manger to worship this Christmas, I renew my vows to worship the Infant, the Christ-child, and the God-man who came to show me the Father and guide me into all truth. As 2018 approaches, I will worship when I love His words and they make me feel good and I vow to also worship when His words are hard and upsetting. I know that I need to worship most when I am offended the most.
Jesus, You shaped Your world, even as a child. You were Lord, even in a manger. You have my worship in all the hard places. Amen