Submission

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(Luke 2:48-51 KJV) And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. {49} And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? {50} And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. {51} And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Jesus, God incarnate, came to Earth not only to be a perfect sacrifice for our sins, but also to be a perfect example for our lives. As humans we often struggle to understand how The Creator of all things could willingly subject Himself to creation. Perhaps it would be more productive to accept the fact that He did do so than speculate as to how He did it.

(Philippians 2:7 KJV) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

One of the more amazing ways that Jesus provided us that perfect example of perfect obedience to the will of God was by subjecting Himself to the God ordained system of authority. God has established a hierarchy of authority with Himself at the very top. Below God we find such institutions as family and government.

Scripture bears witness to the fact that God has ordained “layers” of authority in human life:

(Exodus 20:12 KJV) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

And again:

(Romans 13:3-4 KJV) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: {4} For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

It is quite obvious that Jesus understood submission to authority evidenced by the fact that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father and died on the cross.

(Philippians 2:8 KJV) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

While we are not able to be perfectly obedient to God the Father at all times most would agree that we should strive toward that goal. God is all knowing, loving, and gracious. There should be no perceived danger in submitting to His authority.

The hidden beauty in today’s text (Luke 2:48-51) is the fact that Jesus was able to submit to an imperfect authority. Jesus parents, Joseph and Mary, were fallible human beings just like me and you. The Bible tells us clearly that Jesus’ parents did not understand all of Jesus’ words and actions.

(Luke 2:50 KJV) And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

The reality of the situation is that all the authorities placed over us, with the exception of God, are very imperfect. Our parents, our employers, our public servants, and our governments are imperfect. This, however, does not excuse us from submitting to the God ordained authorities in our life. The Bible tells us specifically that Jesus did submit to His parents’ authority.

(Luke 2:51 KJV) And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

If the Holy Spirit of God enabled a perfect Jesus to submit to the authority of His imperfect parents, rest assured, the Holy Spirit will enable us to live in submission to the authorities placed in our lives as well. Father, help us to follow Jesus’ perfect example of submission so that others might be able to see your Son in and through us!

Scott Sheriff

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