And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. Luke 2:51
When you read Luke’s narrative of the early, pre-teen years of Jesus, you can’t help but be shocked by it. Not because you picture Jesus with pimples (which I believe He had), but because you hear these words describing pimply-faced, pre-teen Jesus:
he… was submissive to them.
What pre-teen/teenager do you know who joyfully submits to their parents? It must have also shocked Mary, Jesus’ mother, because she had seen other teenage Israelites running around disrespecting, sassing, and giving their parents a hard time. Maybe that’s why the rest of verse 51 says what it says:
And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
But let’s not assume that only teenagers have a hard time with authority. Adults do too. Think about it: you don’t like being told what to do. Come on. Admit it. Every human being struggles to submit to authority. And that’s why we need Luke 2:51. We need to see Jesus submitting to His parents, the authority in His life.
So the next time you struggle to submit to whatever authority God has placed over your life, picture Jesus. Picture Jesus submitting to His parents. If you do that, then you’ll be empowered by the Holy Spirit to submit to that speed limit sign. Or, to the Home Owner’s Association. Or, to your boss. Or, to the elders and pastors who are watching over you (1 Peter 5:5; Hebrews 13:17).
Understand this: you are never more like Jesus than when you submit to the authorities in your life. Think about it. Jesus, though equal with God the Father, has joyfully submitted to Him for all eternity! This is a part of who Jesus is! He loves to submit!
Do you want to be like Jesus? Then submit to the various authorities in your life. You are never more like Jesus, and never more free and joy-filled, than when you submit to the various authorities that God has ordained over your life.