Let us walk with Jesus of Nazareth, right from the very beginning. A prophecy is received…

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Isn’t it wonderful to see FOR WHOM this Child was born and TO WHOM was this SON given? This  prophecy is fulfilled in…

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:8-14)

In these scriptures we read the answer to a question often asked:  “What happens in each of us, the day we personally meet Jesus?” The answer is: Exactly that which happened to the shepherds…

“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen [it], they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard [it] wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” (Luke 2:16-20)

That’s right! Every individual who meets Jesus Christ on a personal level and finds that He is indeed a reality feels the URGE to go and spread the Good News about Him, wherever they go. Yes, to testify about Him! What is the result of this testifying? It brings others to a point of awe about the testimonies they hear about Jesus which in turn leads to people going back to their homes honouring and praising God for that which they’ve heard and seen.

Then Jesus begin His “Walk”. As a 12 year old boy, He joins His parents on their traditional trip to Jerusalem, to celebrate Passover. On their way back home, they discover that Jesus is no longer part of the group travelling home-ward. They promptly turn around and go back to Jerusalem only to find Him in the Temple, amidst the learned people, listening and asking 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? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.” (Luke 2:47-50)

Can I learn something from the 12 year old Jesus here, at the onset of His journey with God? Oh certainly. His answer to His parents is also the question that is put to every one of us even today:  “…wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

Without a doubt it is not only Jesus that had to go about His Father’s business certainly we must too.  At the end of His ministry, He tells His disciples (today it’s you and I)…

“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (John 20:21)

In other words, EXACTLY what He came to do we must do today.  Only if we mean business with the Word of God, the Bible, will we be able to determine what: “His Father’s business” was (and is) that we have to “be about”. The things He wants us to busy ourselves with! A 12-year old Jesus was sitting with the tutors and questioning them. Does it mean that He accepted everything they said at face value, as the truth? Definitely not! The Bible states: “And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.” It is clear that Jesus was answering their questions in a way that astonished every one present, even the learned people. Does that mean that we can ask questions, prompted by the Holy Spirit, to the tutors and learned people around us? Questions that will also astonish them? Sure we can, and we may, because that is the way Jesus walked the walk and we are on the road with Him as His pupils. In doing so it will happen that people will recognise us as “companions” of Jesus, even if we are “unlearned and ignorant” compared to the intelligent and educated people, tutors and graduates and their qualifications…

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

Can there be anything more wonderful than to be recognised as having “been with Jesus?” I don’t think so! Therefore, at all times, we must be ready to answer any questions about the thoughts and the hope burning in our hearts and minds…

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1 Peter 3:15, 16)

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (1Timothy 4:12, 13)

It is clear from these 2 pieces of scripture that I as a modern day disciple of Jesus Christ must be ready to share the HOPE that LIVES in me. HOPE that only Jesus Christ can bring. However my testimony may never be given with pride or vanity; only in modesty, love, purity and with respect for GOD.  But even in this modesty, love and purity, I must not fear people or cease to show them to live according to the  principles in the Bible. This must be done at every possible occasion –  “be instant in season and out of season” – and I must cease to fear Satan or to allow him to fool me and stop me by making me believe I’m a “fanatic”, a “Bible bashing” fanatic…

“I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

To be a so-called “fanatic” and to testify about God and His works in my life just means that I am extremely pleased with my Heavenly Father and what Jesus Christ has done for me by dying on the cross. That act of love alone justifies me to walk around with a huge smile every day. I am also not embarrassed to be branded as a “Bible basher” seeing that I’m doing everything in my personal ability to truly live according to the principles recorded in the Bible. By doing this I notice the true fruit that follows on the application of these principles in my life. This results in my further desire to be obedient to God’s Word only. And as we are commanded in 2 Timothy 4:1-4, to proclaim the gospel at every possible occasion! To my mind, talking about the Bible “in season”, means to do so at church meetings, Sunday School, Bible School or even Home Cell meetings. To talk about the Bible “out of season” would mean to do so on occasions no one would expect one to do so. Places like sports events, a barbeque with friends, at work, in public etc. In short: I can never cease doing so because I must keep on talking about God, His love and His Word!

There is however one very important fact to remember: When we do talk about the Bible it’s not just about sharing our human knowledge of scriptures! We must act with LOVE, AT ALL TIMES!  Indeed, all knowledge descends from the tree of the knowledge of good an evil and even Paul warns us that…

“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (LOVE) edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)

How did Jesus interact with people? With knowledge or with love?  Surely there is nobody around today who has the slightest doubt at all that Jesus acted in LOVE even when sharing His knowledge, while He walked the earth. In the same manner, if we love God He endues us with that same love too. The result of this true, divine LOVE in our lives is that we’ll grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and Man – just like Jesus did…

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”(Luke 2:52)

Can we readily say that we can still learn from the child–Jesus? Yes! We are told repeatedly by Jesus that  in order for us to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God,  we must become like small children.

After the incident in the Synagogue the story of Jesus fades away and for the next 18 years nothing about His life or actions is recorded, until we meet up with Him again in His 30th year.  This also happens with many children of God too. They start out as young kids, believing in Jesus Christ and walking in His ways, only to “disappear” somewhere along the way into the world’s way of life and habits. Contrary to Jesus, our paths cross those of Satan and his deceptions and then the enemy distracts us with all the temptations that makes it easy to have our minds and hearts wander on the World’s Ways. Ways that certainly are not those our Heavenly Father had in mind for us and ways that keep us busy with a life that is not from God. But praise be to God!! There comes a day when we feel the urge to want to turn around and follow the Voice of the Shepherd again. Yes, His eternal love for us keeps on pulling at our heart strings and eventually succeeds to get us back on track again

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”(Jeremiah 31:3)

Do you see? God never stops pulling at our heartstrings with His wonderful, eternal LOVE! That is the sole cause why so many “lost sons” make a choice out of their own will again,  to turn around and be WELCOMED back into the Father’s arms, to be WASHED in His LOVE and ACCEPTANCE  and still be regarded as precious, as if NOTHING has ever changed!! Praise our Heavenly Father for His MERCY!!

tiaan gildenhuys

Authority in Christ Ministries

Pretoria RSA