The Pryor Times

Religion

October 17, 2013

The most important business

PRYOR, OK — When Jesus was just 12 years old, He went with His family to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.   After the Passover, when Jesus’ family left Jerusalem to return home, Jesus remained in the city.  Joseph and Mary, Jesus’ parents, traveled a whole day, assuming that their son was with their relatives and friends.  When they realized that He was not with them, they immediately returned to Jerusalem to look for Him.  After three days, they finally found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers.

Mary explained to Jesus how worried she and Joseph had been and asked Him why He had stayed there in Jerusalem.  Jesus responded by asking, “Why did you seek Me?  Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49).

Even at that early age, Jesus had already made doing God’s will His number one priority.  Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, I have no pleasure in them.”  Many people want to wait until the end of their life, and then get things right with God.  But why should anyone expect God to accept our leftovers?

Like Jesus, our first priority should be doing God’s will.  This remained Jesus’ top priority throughout His life on earth.  On one occasion, when Jesus was tired and hungry, He found great refreshment from an opportunity to do His Father’s will.  His apostles had gone to get some food, and when they returned, they urged Jesus to eat.  But in John 4:32, Jesus said, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”  In verse 34, He explained, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”

Many people think that having a good time is the most important thing in life.  They want to make their own decisions, obtain as many possessions as possible, and live a life of ease and luxury.  They don’t give any consideration to God or to His will.

In contrast, Jesus said in John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”  Jesus had a higher purpose than self-gratification.  He was committed to doing His Father’s business.  Even on the night He was about to begin His great suffering, Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

That commitment was constantly on His mind.  Jesus said 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.”  What a remarkable statement!  No other person who ever lived could make such a statement.  Jesus always did the things that please God, without exception.

Whom do we seek to please?  We can try to please self, to please family and friends,  to please mankind in general, or to please God.  Those who seek to please themselves are doomed to being the most unhappy people in the entire world.  Ironically, selfish individuals who seek their own pleasure are always unhappy.

Those who seek to please men are constantly having to worry about what others want.  Since man’s opinions can change rapidly, this often becomes a very frustrating task.  Seeking to please man brings tremendous disappointment and frustration.  The other choice, seeking to please God, brings joy, peace, contentment, and eternal life.  That is why Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”  God’s business is the most important business in the world.  The wise thing is to follow the example of Jesus and thus to be about our Father’s business.

Steve Lay

Evangelist, Chouteau Hills

Church of Christ

 

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