In the book of Matthew, Jesus was taken by his parents to Egypt to flee from Herod and his decree to kill all of the firstborn males, and through this Jesus escaped and returned to Nazareth after Herod’s death. Nazareth was not looked highly upon by others; as a result, Jesus was raised quietly there.
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him.
“Come and see,” Philip answered.
41 Every year His parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42 When He was 12 years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival. 43 After those days were over, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. 44 Assuming He was in the traveling party, they went a day’s journey. Then they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends.
Jesus traveled to Jerusalem with his parents to Jerusalem three times a year with his brothers and traveled around Samaria in doing so. As a young child, this required discipline and instruction, and it was done faithfully.
In the custom of the day, a twelve year old had more responsibility and maturity, which means they were more actively involved in family issues, and it was not unusual for family members to travel in different parties. In this situation, however, Jesus was not traveling with the family as Joseph and Mary returned from Jerusalem to Nazareth. They searched for Jesus and, after not finding Him in their party.
45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. 46 After three days, they found Him in the temple complex sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all those who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers. 48 When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.”
49 “Why were you searching for Me?” He asked them. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?”
The fact that Jesus was in the temple complex should not be missed here. Jesus was focused on doing the work of God, the father, and teaching men, who were teachers in their own right, about the things of God. Joseph and Mary still saw Him as a child, and did not realize that Jesus was aware of what His role in life was.
51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.
Yet, even though Jesus was God, He was obedient to His parents and remained under their authority until he became an adult. His obedience sets the example for parent-child relationships, and how we, even in our areas of authority, have to also learn how to come under authority. Mary also learned from this experience that her child was special.
It is important for each of us to know, at an early age if at all possible, what our role is in ministry. Knowing this requires guidance, instruction, and ongoing training. This is how Jesus was raised, and his training enabled Him to know where His focus should be.
Sometime later, Joseph passes away, and Jesus takes on, according to Jewish culture, the responsibility of caring for the family–an ongoing growth and maturity in His life. Jesus readily took on His responsibility, and fulfilled it. Not much is written in Scripture about Jesus’ life from age 12 to around age 30, but we know that He grew in wisdom and knowledge and in stature (Luke 2:52).
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them.
Ministry requires dedication and discipline, and it starts with a lifetime of preparation and the proper guidance as you grow and mature. It requires a studious behavior and a desire to learn more about Jesus Christ, and to learn how to speak with others.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work
The preparation is absolutely necessary, for the road of ministry is difficult and challenging.
“Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves.”