Lesson: Goal vs. Responsibilities

Luke 2:41-51

            Jesus’ parents lost him during a trip to Jerusalem.  When they found him, he said, “I had to be in my Father’s house” or “I should be doing my Father’s business.”  Then he went home with them and was obedient to them.  Jesus grew physically, mentally, and spiritually.

            Jesus’ ultimate purpose: doing God’s business.  But Jesus’ responsibility at that time was to be the child of Joseph and Mary.  And he has to obey them.  When Jesus turns 30, he began his ministry.  At age 30, he was officially old enough to leave the family.  His responsibility as a child was over.

            Compare your ultimate purpose/goal and your current responsibilities.  For instance, if your goal for now is to get into a good college, then your responsibilities at this time is to study hard and prepare yourself.  Even if tonight you have a goal of beating the new video game you just borrowed, your responsibility of completing your homework first still applies.  Sometimes you have to prioritize your various responsibilities, but as responsibilities, they most often have to be completed even if they are not on the top of your priority list.  So you have responsibilities that help you reach your purpose/goal, but when you are pursuing certain goals, don’t neglect other responsibilities.  Jesus’ goal is always to do God’s work and provide salvation to mankind, but at age 12, his responsibilities as a son of Joseph and Mary have to take precedence even though these responsibilities are far less important than his ultimate goal.  Would anyone follow Jesus if he were known to be a disobedient kid who studies the Scriptures all day but does not help out in house chores?

            Interestingly, when Jesus was crucified, he did not forget his responsibility as a son even though he was no longer legally obligated.  He also had siblings that can take care of his mother.  But he nonetheless entrusted the care of his mother to one of his disciple, John.  Interestingly, John ended upon being the longest-living of the 12 disciples, which gave him plenty of time to take care of Mary and even Jesus’ siblings (by Jesus’ words, John became a son of Mary and a brother to Jesus’ siblings).

This lesson was developed by George Huang.  Got a question or want to publish this lesson?  E-mail me.

Last updated: 11/1/2003