top of page

Being Ready for Service





PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH      

LUKE 2:41-51           03 MARCH 2024

 

 

Last week, we looked at the last words of Jesus recorded in the Word.


Today, I want to take you back to the first words of Jesus as recorded in Scripture.


We find those words in Luke 2:41-51. READ


Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Now these first words spoken by Jesus had a great meaning for Him at the time He spoke to them to his Mother, Mary.


Those words are His way of reminding His Mother why He was born to her in the way he was born. He reminds her that He has been commissioned for a specific earthly task. He is reminding her that He is under the will of God, His Father, and He is ready to work on that task.


Jesus said, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? Of course, Mary knew what His purpose on earth was to be. She was told that at His birth. Remember the Scripture that “Mary pondered these things in her heart.” She may not have fully understood all that encompassed, but she knew He had a special work and purpose to carry out in His time on earth.


That phrase, Being Ready For Service, can be translated as ‘servant’ or ‘minister.’  It is also the concept of what Jesus talks about in Luke 12:37 when He says, “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.”


This term also describes prepared servants waiting for their master to return. This emphasizes the importance of being alert and always ready for service.


Those words of Christ refer to settling matters with an adversary and doing it in a speedy manner. It also highlights the readiness and diligence required to serve our Lord.

Acts 13:5 also shows that readiness to serve involves not only being THE ONE who serves but also acting as a willing helper to assist another worker in their work for the Lord.


Regarding what we might use today – it takes teamwork to get the work done effectively.


So, what does Jesus’ statement that He must be about in His Father’s house mean in our lives?


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING IN OUR FATHER’S HOUSE


The fact that Jesus had to be in His Father’s house highlights the significance of being in God’s presence and engaged in His work.


As believers, we must prioritize our relationship with God and actively seek to be in His house through prayer, worship, and fellowship.


David describes this in Psalm 27:4: “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”


The Hebrews writer says in 10:25: “not forsaking the assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

 

UNDERSTANDING OUR CALL TO SERVICE


One of the most well-known verses of Scripture used to emphasize God’s call on men and women to serve Him is found in Isaiah 6:8. It says there: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us”’ Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” And Isaiah continues telling us what God told him to do. And then, in verse 11, Isaiah asks the Lord a question: “Lord, how long should I do these things.”


God’s answer is found in verses 11-13. The end of that passage is vitally important to us today as Christians. Verse 13 – “Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, and it will again be subject to burning, Like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled.


THE HOLY SEED IS ITS STUMP. That HOLY SEED is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, our Savior, remains – He is eternal. If we are in Him – He must be served.


Paul speaks about how we must be willing to serve in Ephesians 6:7-8: “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.”


That emphasizes the proper motivation and the proper attitude that should be behind our service. It reminds us that our ultimate goal, our aim, is to please the Lord our God.


Those words Jesus spoke there in verse 49 reveal His understanding of His divine calling and His mission on earth.


“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

It is vitally important that we understand and practice the words Paul writes in Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” And then, Paul calls us to remember – “It is the Lord Christ you are serving,”


That passage reinforces the idea that our service is ultimately unto the Lord, and we should always approach it with dedication and excellence.


In the same way, we, as followers of Christ, are called to serve God and others with humility and love.


Mark 10:45 teaches us: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”


Being ready for service means being willing to step out in faith and obedience to fulfill God's purposes.


OUR NEED TO GROW IN WISDOM AND FAVOR


In Luke 2:52, we read that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. We all grow in stature from birth to late teens or early adulthood. That is due to the aging process God built into His creation of humankind.


The growing wisdom and stature we see in Luke 2 is the result of His obedience, faithfulness, and commitment to His Father’s business.


In the same way, as we engage in serving God – and others – we too can experience spiritual growth. We can experience favor with God. And we can receive blessings from our Lord. The Proverbs writer says in 3:3-4: ”Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.” In other words, don’t let go of kindness and truth. Make kindness and truth a vital part of who you are.


And hear what James has to say about growing in wisdom and stature: James 4:10: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” Notice he doesn’t say: Humble yourselves in the presence of men, and they will exalt you. Sometimes, I believe we place the acceptance of other people above our desire to be exalted by God.


You know, God doesn’t bestow gifts upon us solely for our own enjoyment, to use and develop.


Peter speaks of this in 1 Peter 4:10-11: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.


If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”


That highlights the importance of using our gifts and abilities to serve others, recognizing that it is a privilege, and a responsibility God gives us.

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page