In Luke 2:41-52, Scripture reveals an account of Jesus’ life here on earth when, at the age of twelve, he stayed behind in Jerusalem at the time of the feast of the Passover. When His parents discovered that He was not among those traveling with them, they returned, fervently searching for their missing son. Days later, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. All were amazed at the understanding and answers of this twelve-year-old boy. Upon finding Him, His mother questioned Him as to why He had stayed behind and caused them such concern. In His reply came this piercing question: Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? It seemed that there should have been an expectation that this was what His life would be about.
What is it that your life is about? Are you a Christian? Is your life about bringing glory to the Father? Do you have that heart desire that says: I must be about my Father’s business?
For your life to be about the Father’s business, there are several things which will necessarily be so. First, you must be about His business, and not your own. In many places in the Scriptures, Jesus said: … The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise (John 5:19), and I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (John 5:30). Listen again to Jesus: For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak (John 12:49). Jesus was not about Himself; He was not about doing His own will. He was not about lifting Himself up, nor about bringing glory to Himself. He spoke what the Father spoke. He did what the Father commanded. He was about His Father’s business.
Secondly, to be about the Father’s business, you must not allow the expectations of others to dictate to you. In Mark 1:35-39 and in Luke 4:42-44, as well as in other Scriptures, we find the multitudes expecting certain actions of Jesus – because He had taught them, preached to them, healed them, fed them, etc. However, we always find Him move, not according to their expectations, but according to His Father. It is interesting to note that in many of these instances He had come directly from that place of solitude and prayer. No matter how they begged Him to stay, He was about His Father’s business, and it was to other cities that He went to preach. For us to be about the Father’s business, we must know that to which He has called us. We must not be distracted by the expectations of others. We must humbly walk forward, determined to be about the Father’s business.
Thirdly, to be about the Father’s business, we must rightly divide the Word of truth. We must understand the Spirit of the law, rather than just the letter of the law. How many times in Jesus’ life on earth did the Pharisees condemn Him because they said He was walking in opposition to the law! But no, Jesus, who was without sin, understood the Spirit of the law and walked in full obedience to that law, even in the midst of accusations and condemnation. Examples of this are many: the plucking of the ears of corn on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28), eating with unwashed hands (Mark 7), the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8), and so on and so on. Jesus knew, understood, and taught that all of the law was summed up in loving the Lord God and loving your neighbor (Matthew 22:34-40, Galatians 5:14).
What, then, does it take to be about the Father’s business? Certainly, first, one must be His child. One must have been born of God, that spiritual birth that takes place at the time of salvation, when one becomes His child. Next, we must grow in the grace and knowledge of Him. We must learn to hear His voice and humbly follow. Be sure – one cannot be about the Father’s business and about her own business at the same time. It is not possible – for the Father’s business is so much higher than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Also be sure, if we still seek to please men, we are not the servants of Christ (Galatians 1:9).
And do you know what amazing things result from being about the Father’s business? It is in that place where our lives bring glory to Him. We are, then, not about ourselves. We are about those things which are pleasing to Him. As we do those things that He directs, we reflect Him and not ourselves. As we say those things which He speaks, we reflect Him and not ourselves. Interestingly enough, there is a wonderful blessing that we receive when we are in that place of the Father’s business. It is there, and only there, where we experience peace and joy. When we find these elements missing from our lives, in all likelihood, it is because we are not about the Father’s business.
One further thought of contemplation for the Christian woman: Do you know why God created the woman (Genesis 2:18)? If you are married, being about the Father’s business will reflect His purpose in creating you. Being about the Father’s business will be directly connected to your husband. Being about the Father’s business will not be about yourself – it will be about the life that the Father has chosen for you.
May we come to that place in our lives that when we are questioned about why we are doing what we are doing, we may humbly, but confidently, reply – did you not know that I have a Heavenly Father? I must be about His business!
The above post was first printed in Dawning Light © 2003.