Lenten Devotion Day 21

Never Underestimate a Child

Young Jesus and the Elders

Children are full of faith. They believe and, in their own way, understand more about God than the adults around them. As we grow older, I believe we begin to question faith issues and ideas too much. Children just accept it. They also seem to accept it at a deeper level than we do.

In my church, at Christmas, we have a ceramic nativity on a table just as you come in the door. The first Sunday it was on display, a little girl about 2 years old went over to the table, reached up and grabbed Baby Jesus. She hugged Him to her chest. Her parents had a hard time getting Jesus away from her. All the figures on that table, including cute animals and she knew which one was the most important!

In today’s story, Mary and Joseph had gone to the Temple in Jerusalem for Passover. On the journey back, after a few days, they realized Jesus wasn’t with the group. Returning to Jerusalem and the Temple, they found Jesus discussing faith with the elders. The elders marveled at His knowledge and His questions. Mary and Joseph scolded Jesus for causing them anxiety. He was confused. “Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?”

As a young boy, Jesus had an adult understanding of His faith. Still, I believe all children have an innate understanding of God, Jesus and faith. We must nurture their faith and help it remain strong as the issues of the world begin filling them.

Today, ask your children about their faith. Have them talk to you about Jesus and what they think about Him. Listen to what they have to say. You may learn a thing or two!

Discussion Questions

1. How often do you talk to your children about faith?

2. Do you pray regularly with your children?

3. Do you read Bible stories to your children?

4. Do you discuss your beliefs with your older children?

5. Are you prepared to answer their questions?

6. How can you build your knowledge so you are prepared to help your children?

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