“[His parents] did not understand what he said to them.” Luke 2:50
About the time this devotion was being written, there was a commercial on TV that involved a mom trying to use trendy slang words with her middle school aged kids. She was using them properly for the most part, but she was trying way too hard and her kids just kept giving her the, “Mom, just stop” look. To be honest, there are still times as adult I give my dad that look when he tries to be current in his word choice.
Jesus’ life as a middle school really is a fascinating thought because it reminds us that he went through a lot of what you go through. Have you ever thought to yourself, “My parents just don’t understand me”? Well, look at the verse today! There were times Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, didn’t understand him either. Luke uses the phrase “his parents” three times in just 11 verses, and refers to “mother” and “father” several times as well. The Bible wants us to clearly get the picture that Jesus had a family life – he had people he lived with on a daily basis while he grew up with; people he had to interact with and understand. Later in other parts of the Bible we learn that Jesus had siblings, so he grew up with brothers and sisters, too. (BIBLE HISTORY NOTE: Jesus was the miracle child God put into Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit, so Joseph was actually his adopted dad and his brothers and sisters would have been the biological children of Mary and Joseph).
No matter what kind of family you have and what your home life is like, it will change during your middle school years, mostly because YOU are changing. You are the path from child to adult. Your emotions can act crazy, your thought processes are deepening, your body is changing… all these things being part of God’s awesome plan to grow you into the adult he wants you to be, but all of that means you are becoming a new person, a person you are trying to understand and whom your family is trying to understand. They are used to interacting with you the way they always did with “kid you”, but now they have to adjust to the “young adult you”. It can be a tough process for you and for them!
All the Saturday devotions in this book with be about family (mostly because we spend the most time with our families on Saturday), and we’ll cover a ton of stuff that will help you not just survive your family, but enjoy your family and realize how much they need you and you need them. We know that family is important to our lives now and the future; just look at how this story of Jesus wraps up: “Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth (their home town) and was obedient to them… and Jesus increased in wisdom and… in favor with God and man” Luke 2:51-52. Jesus became smarter, more successful, and well-liked by others because he was obedient to his parents and did his part to make home life good.
If you will commit to filling the role in your family God has called you to, you can also reap the benefits it has for your future. Family life is hard, but God gives us all we need to make it through, and we’ll see that in the weeks ahead. For today, just remember that even when your parents don’t understand you and you don’t understand them, Jesus understands you both, and he’s been there before, too!