Hearing In The Temple           

A Devotional Snapshot


by God's Little Boy
© MakeshiftDarkroom.com 2015
Posted 1/20/15


"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Know ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:40-49)


Often when this passage is taught or discussed it is said that the boy Jesus (at age 12) was found "teaching" in the temple. This is mentioned even in a contemporary Christian song entitled, "driving nails." But was the boy Jesus teaching in the temple? No, for what saith the scriptures? "they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions." Young Jesus was not teaching, but he was hearing. He was learning. He was inquiring in the house of God. (Psalm 27:4) It was not yet time nor was it lawful for him to teach. It was true that he was in dialogue with the teachers and responded to their questions with brilliant answers, but he was not "teaching" in the temple. How remarkable was this, that the word made flesh was himself submitted to hearing and engaged with the discipline of learning the scriptures while in his youth. As the second Adam, he was fulfilling all righteousness. He was about his Father's business. In his humanity, he was in the school of hearing and learning - increasing in knowledge and wisdom for the purpose of fulfilling the mission he came to accomplish. His education was a unique one; though he presented himself in places where the word of God was being taught, he himself was being taught by the Spirit. His father awakened his ear each day in preparation for ministry.

"The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." (Isaiah 50:4)

He was the Word, but he humbled himself to hear. He was the personification of truth and wisdom, but he was patient in learning. He was submitted to divine order; he was not in a hurry to be what he was. He did not need to teach until it was the Father's appointed time.

As our great example, his obedient submission to hearing teaches us also. If the Son of God gave such a large place to hearing how much more should we - in our preparation for life and eternity? How much more do we have the need to hear what the Spirit desires to teach us? How much more do we who are sinful need the transforming power that comes through being Spirit-taught? This is the great problem common throughout the world: the vast majority who inhabitant the earth will not hear. They refuse to pay the price to submit their ear to the voice of divine instruction. And for lack of spiritual knowledge they are destroyed. As a result, their cities and lands have become the haunt for every unclean bird (spirit). They are snared, they are taken, they are overthrown. Having turned their ears away from the truth they have been turned unto fables; and they reap the negative consequences of their negative volition toward God. On this globe, is a very tiny percentage who truly hear.

Hearing above all else, is what should characterize the Christian life. Young believers zealous to serve the Lord should take notice. The first duty of the young is to hear; it is a calling in itself. If you are new to shaving, or if there is a "2" in the first digit of your age, you should remember that you are still too dangerous with knowledge, no matter how gifted. There is still much for you to learn that can only be gained through the experience of hearing. Do not be in a rush to realize any calling before the time. You will not be fit to teach until you are perfected in hearing. Hearing is your path to life. Lay your hand over your mouth and sit in the dust of humble submission and hear. Be more ready to hear than to speak. It is wise to let your words be few when it is your season to hear - youthful novices usually think otherwise.

Be careful how you hear and what you hear. Grow in discernment toward what you hear. Wait and hear and hear while you wait - and then wait and hear some more on top of that. Don't be impatient if your months and years seem to peel from the calendar like leaves off an autumn maple. If you are called to teach or minister and yet made to wait, it is necessary - it is a time of preparation. In your waiting, do the first works. Watch everything like a hawk; and see, and perceive, and know, and understand, and grow in wisdom. What he whispers in your ear you will shout upon the rooftops - afterwards. It is better to go through your major trials of sanctification and growth before you are under the full burden of responsibility. It can be a difficult thing to start before you're finished. This is why teaching is seldom appointed to the young. It is true that Paul told Timothy not to let any man despise his youth, but Timothy was in his forties when he said that.

We are hearers that "do" the truth. (James 1:22) Our hearing will influence and define our Christianity. Nevertheless, we must first be sure that our hearing is what it should be and that it properly undergirds our action. Jesus did and taught; but first he heard. If our Christianity is wrapped up in and defined by "action" alone, there may be important things that we'll miss and never really "hear" or properly understand. Zeal must be according to and tempered by the knowledge that comes through hearing. Zeal is good and necessary, but zeal can be hazardous, and has also made fools of too many.

True hearers are they that have a deep inward respect and reverence for the things of God. Good hearers are oftentimes "sleepers" - they often shock the daylights out of people when they finally open their mouth. It becomes apparent that they really were paying attention after all, and now they have much to offer. "Is not this the carpenter's son?" - "Whence then hath this man all these things?" (Matthew 13:55a+56b)

Hearing in the temple, hearing in the school of faith, hearing in the Spirit. Hearing every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. It is only by hearing that we will grow in sanctification, true knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.


"Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors." (Proverbs 8:34)





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