The Youth’s Instructor


August 30, 1894

Childhood of Jesus


Faith is a very simple matter; it is confidence in God. Some have said, “I have asked, but the Lord has not answered.” If, in a humble, trustful spirit, you ask for the things he has promised, you will receive, because the word of God is pledged: “Ye shall receive.” Keep praying, keep believing, keep looking unto Jesus, and watching unto prayer. You are to live your faith in the Lord, saying, “I do believe I receive the things I ask of him.” “What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” You are warranted in expecting the fulfilment of the promise, and you are to wait patiently on the Lord, showing that you have unlimited confidence in him. Cast your whole spirit, soul, and body upon him. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” YI August 30, 1894, par. 1

If you are seeking to reflect the life and character of Christ, you will be true and obedient to your parents. You will show your love for them by your willing obedience. When Christ accompanied his parents to one of the yearly feasts at Jerusalem, he did not keep company with the light and trifling children and youth who were to be found among the people. He was thinking,—seeking to understand the real reason of things,—just as any youth may seek to understand the significance of the words and works of God. He was opening his mind to the real character of the Jewish faith, as expressed in the rites and ceremonies. He looked upon the paschal lamb that was to be sacrificed, and knowing that it prefigured a Deliverer to come, was deeply impressed with his own mission and work, as it was portrayed in the rites and ceremonies of the feast. He was intelligent upon the subject of the moral and ceremonial laws. He was attracted to the company of the doctors and lawyers, and began to ask them questions which surprised them; for they showed unusual depth of reasoning. The peculiar order of questions he asked the learned rabbis and scribes, opened to their mind a field of thought into which they had not entered before; and the answers he gave to their questions excited their surprise and admiration. They had never before witnessed in one so young such depth of thought and such sound reasoning, and they wondered why it was that with all their learning and deep study, they had never thought of the matters he presented in the light in which he placed them. YI August 30, 1894, par. 2

While Christ was in the temple with the doctors, displaying before them the wisdom and grace which were manifested in him, his parents left Jerusalem, and traveled a day's journey without their son. When they became aware that he was not in the company, they were greatly alarmed, and returned to the city with anxious, troubled hearts, inquiring of every company they met if they had seen their son. After three days of searching, they found him in the midst of the doctors. They were astonished as they listened to the questions he asked, and to the answers he gave to the questions of the rabbis. He presented subjects of deep importance, that awakened new ideas in the minds of all who heard, and convinced the scribes and rabbis that they were not as wise as they had supposed themselves to be. YI August 30, 1894, par. 3

When the parents saw a favorable opportunity, they approached him with words which implied a rebuke, and 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? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” Divinity flashed through humanity as Jesus spoke these words. Previous to his birth, the angel had said to Mary, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” The words of the angel had been a matter of contemplation by Mary; yet the greatness of the character, mission, and work of Christ was not comprehended by her, and the answer Christ gave to her question was deep, and clothed with mystery to her mind. YI August 30, 1894, par. 4

Notwithstanding the mysterious words spoken by Jesus concerning his doing the will of God, and being about his father's business, he went down with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth; and although he was the only begotten Son of the Infinite God, he was subject unto his parents, and thus gave to children and youth a perfect example for them to copy. A much higher standard is revealed in the life of Christ for children and youth than they comprehend or imitate. Though Christ was the Son of God, he was obedient to his earthly parents, and the history of his life is on record, that it may testify to children and youth for all time, that they are to be obedient to their parents in the Lord. If parents are Christians, they will so plan the instruction and education of their children, that their children will increase in wisdom and grace. If the requirements of the parents could be obeyed by Christ, then the parents are giving children commands that do not interfere with the commandments of God. In all the instruction of parents to their children, the commandments of God should have the first place. In no case must God come second. He is first, and must be honored, cost what it may. YI August 30, 1894, par. 5

Disobedience to parents is transgression of the fifth commandment of the decalogue. Children are to consider their course of action, and understand that the promise of long life in the future world is given only to those children who are obedient to their earthly parents in the Lord. YI August 30, 1894, par. 6

Mrs. E. G. White