By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley,
When I was a kid, I thought brushing my teeth was the silliest thing in the world. I didn’t like the taste of the toothpaste, and I hated going to the dentist who gave me the toothpaste in the first place. My parents insisted that I brush my teeth, but I ignored them (and even tried various tricks to fool them into thinking I’d brushed my teeth). Now that I’m older, I see the wisdom in their words and encouragements, but back then, I just didn’t understand.
Children are particularly prone to misunderstandings – but it doesn’t stop when we grow up. Wisdom just doesn’t look the way we expect most of the time. For Mary and Joseph, the roles were reversed. Instead of their child not understanding them, they didn’t understand their child. Their son was Jesus, and he was the wise one. Luke 2 records this: “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him” (verse 40). Now, Mary and Joseph knew that Jesus was God, but they harbored the illusion that they were still in charge. When Jesus didn’t return with them from the temple, the thought of this being wise didn’t even occur to them. Jesus was their son; he should listen to them. End of story.
Mary and Joseph didn’t understand the wisdom of the Son, just like I didn’t understand the wisdom of my parents. It’s hard to listen and go along with wisdom that simply doesn’t make sense to you. But the Spirit of Wisdom that Jesus had and that we have as fellow children of God never promised to make sense to our earthly minds. It only promised to be right. We can trust the Holy Spirit, no matter what.