Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 12 December 2018
Page 15

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

Being about Our Father’s Business

Marilyn LaStrape

Marilyn LaStrapeThe account of Joseph and Mary leaving Jesus behind in Jerusalem when He was 12-years-old is familiar to many. They thought Jesus was among their relatives and acquaintances, and the group had gone a day’s journey before Joseph and Mary realized Jesus was not with them. As any conscientious parents would be, they were frantic until they found Him three days later. Any parent who has experienced that horror can identify with Joseph and Mary’s fear and the potential dreaded outcome!

Luke, the physician, is the only inspired writer who records this event (Luke 2:41-52). When Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the Temple, He was sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. All were astonished at His understanding and answers.

When they saw Him, Joseph and Mary were amazed, and she said to Him as recorded in Luke 2:48-49, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” Can you feel their chill? Jesus’ reply is priceless and precious. “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

From Jesus’ perspective, what exactly was His Father’s business? Before the foundation of the world, God’s eternal purpose and plan was for its redemption through His Son Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will. The Gospel of John states this goal repeatedly in a variety of passages. John the Baptist declared most emphatically in John 1:29, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus said to His disciples in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees in John 8:29, “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” Speaking again to His disciples, Jesus said in John 9:4-5, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Yet again, Jesus speaking to His disciples said in John 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep; and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” In His final prayer to God before the cross, He said in John 17:4-5, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” The completion of Jesus’ work on earth occurs in His final words on the cross in John 19:30, “It is finished!”

Jesus did not allow anything or anybody to divert or to distract Him from His purpose—to pay the price for the world’s eternal redemption from the slavery and power of sin. Early in His ministry, Jesus began to show His disciples how He must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed and be raised the third day. Peter took Him aside and rebuked Him, saying in Matthew 16:22, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” Jesus replied in verse 23, “Get behind Me Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

In his commentary, on Psalms, Volume 6, “Psalm 109-119,” Tom Wacaster has a piece entitled “The Cluttered Desk.” He wrote the following.

In a frantic effort to get to those really important matters, we must first fight the time-wasting, insignificant things that hinder us at every turn. The tragedy is that most of us never DO get to the really important things in life. We allow the television, pleasure, self-interests and the pursuit for things (all of which perish with the using) to distract us from taking care of the most important business of all, preparing for eternity.

James M. Tolle authored Christian Destiny. The last chapter is entitled “The Reality of Death.” He wrote:

As hard as we may try, we can never completely dismiss from our thoughts the fact that some day we will die. The fact of others dying may seem much more real to us than our own impending death, but lurking somewhere in our mind is the constantly gnawing realization, however faint, that affirms the mortality of our flesh.

Unfortunately, some of us live as if we will be staying here forever! In our minds, death is at least “100 years away” because we have miles to go before we can sleep and promises to keep. We have things to do, plans to make, places to go and people to see. We will give some thought to death when we have no other choice, and sometimes even then, some of us are not convinced that it is inevitable. Surely, there is some treatment, some clinic, some drug or some doctor somewhere who can give us more time.

According to one source, statistically, if we live for 78 years, we only have 9 years after we retire to do what we want to do. Of all the things listed that take our daily time, this source did not mention one word about church attendance and worship or service to God and other people! I recently received a most precious thank you card from a beloved sister in the faith. She had asked me to please help her get back on track with her daily Bible reading and study. One of her statements really caught my attention: “Thank you for being about His business!” To be about the Father’s business, we need to first ask, what encompasses His business? Second, why is His business imperative? Third, how does His business affect us as a people and as individuals?

How much time have we spent being about the Father’s business? How much time have we spent thinking about just how limited our stay is on this earth? How much time have we spent in 2018 preparing for eternity?

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