Prepare for Christmas with this 14-day interactive Advent devotional

Day 13 - Jesus' Obedience

Kitty Hurdle

The Obedient Teenager

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

Luke 2:49-51 (ESV)
Today's Passage – Luke 2:41-52 (ESV)

Mary and Joseph had a frightening experience as they traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover with their teenage son. On their return trip from the festival, they mistakenly thought he was among the large caravan of friends and family. They couldn’t find him for THREE DAYS. (Can you imagine realizing that you have lost the PROMISED MESSIAH? #EpicParentalFail)

When they finally found him sitting among the teachers in the temple, his response to their proverbial, “Where on earth have you been? You’ve nearly worried us to death!” strikes the modern reader as odd.

Jesus’ response was basically, “Where did you think I’d be? I need to be where my father wants me to be.”

“The point of Jesus’ answer is that obedience to his Father takes precedence over obedience to his parents.”

Baker's Commentary on the Bible

Jesus is no ordinary son. But Jesus’ parents are just ordinary parents. They are so confused by his answer and aren’t we too? What’s Jesus saying? There is a teenager in all of us and not necessarily the Christ-like kind.

Naturally, our inner teenager says one of two things: “I’m going to do whatever I want to do!” Or, “I’m going to do whatever my friends and I decide to do.” In the face of being fully man, tempted to rebel and run his own life, Jesus was fully God.

Even as a teenager, Jesus points to His Heavenly Father as the ultimate authority; he respectfully submits to his parents and returns home and grows in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man.


  • What situations create in you a desire for control? When are you tempted to rebel against your authority?
  • How has people-pleasing affected you this week?

Prayer Moment

Confess any desire to build your own kingdom, or do your own thing, rather than to serve the King.

Go Deeper

Take some time to evaluate the inner teenager. How are you embracing your brokenness? Where do you need God’s help?

Read over the Satisfied? booklet and practice spiritual breathing this week. Share with other believers what you’re learning as you keep in step with the Spirit.

Kitty Hurdle | Oxford, MS

Kitty Hurdle lives and writes in Oxford, MS where she, her husband and two children are on staff with Cru.

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