Jesus went with them (his parents) to Nazareth and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. Jesus became wiser and grew physically. People liked him, and he pleased God (Luke 02: 51-52).
Thirty years of preparation for three years of ministry. These thirty years, Jesus, was under his parents’ care and enjoying the joy of living with relatives and neighbors. Growing physically, mentally and socially, Christ Jesus as a young man, was loved by everyone around.
As a carpenter’s son, he would have involved himself in learning the vocation, became an expert. As the eldest son to his mother, Jesus would have involved himself in learning the households one by one. And above anything, right from his childhood he would have had friends to play with, a neighborhood that knew him by name “Jesus.” The Savior of the World prepared himself in every possible way to serve; to save this world out of the mess it had created.
From his childhood friends to the people who welcomed him into the City of Jerusalem singing “Hosanna”, everyone loved him. Loved him for who he was, and what he promised to be. Friends would have been coming calling him all the way to his house “Jesus… Jesus… come let’s play.” When he grew up, became a young man of his twenties, his friends would have invited him to have some fun. But we are sure that Jesus, who knew the scriptures by heart and the law by practice, would have filtered and screened every single step.
What surprises me is this. Look at that amazing secret that the last verse of the passage we have read today. “People liked him, and he pleased God” (Luke 02: 52). Isn’t that amazing? People around Jesus liked him, but Jesus was not getting involved in pleasing the same people in return so that he would be loved more. Instead he pleased God. People liked him, and Jesus, in every single thing he did, he pleased God.
As children who serve the true living God, we are called to be so. We are called to live as the light of this world. We are called to be a lamp in the midst of the darkness in this world, and as a consequence, people would start to admire us, appreciate us and like us. But the most important thing we have to remember is, not to start pleasing these people who like us in return, but to please God. Let the cross be in front of us always, and let our service, our ministry and our lifestyle be pleasing to God.
As we continue to please God in our lives, and the more we please Him the more we become likable by the people around us. But when we realize that we are actually pleasing the people around us, then remember, we are on the wrong track. We need to do a quick check of the goals and targets we have set. We need to see God in them. Are those goals and targets pleasing to God? If ‘Yes’, then let’s go ahead if it is a ‘No’ then pause, stop and return back to the right track.
People liked Jesus, and he pleased God. Thousands of people may like us, but we need to please God and not the people. Only then, you are running a God-driven race, doing a God-centered ministry and living a God-filled lifestyle. Let’s take it as an assurance. It may be at home, workplace, among your friends, and even at your church. Let us not please people so that we would be likable, but let us please God. The rest is an amazing story.
I pray, our hearts and minds would always look up to God and our whole life would be centered on pleasing Him and Him alone.
Ebenezer Breman Veerasingam