Luke 2:49

Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 2:49 

“And He said to them, why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” – Luke 2:49 

I am going to start 2022 by looking at verses that are specific quotes of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our first one will be the first words of Jesus as recorded by any of the gospels. This being our focus verse, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” Luke 2:49.  They were in Jerusalem to obey the Law regarding the feasts. “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.” Exodus 23:17.  And now that Jesus was twelve, He was now permitted to go as well, as a son of the law, to take part in the celebration of the sacred festival.

Now after this was complete they headed back home. “and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. And His parents were unaware of it, but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for Him.” Luke 2:43-45.  They supposed that He was with them in the caravan, but after having looked for Him, they returned back to Jerusalem.  And after three days they found Him.  “And it came about that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.” Luke 2:46-47. Because it seems improbable that they would not have gone to the temple three days after arriving back, according to theologian John Peter Lange, “It seems more probable that we must allow one day for their departure, vs. 44; one for their return, vs. 45; and the third, vs. 46, for their search; and that they found Him in the sanctuary at the close of the latter.

They probably found Him in one of the porches of the Court of the Women, where the schools of the Rabbis were held and the law regularly taught. They were surprised to see Him there, and therefore Mary asked Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.”  Luke 2:48b.  What happened here is definitely different than the norm in this culture.  In the male-dominated temple one would expect Joseph rather than Mary to address Jesus. It could be that the unique spiritual bond she had with Jesus prompted her making this statement.  And she addresses Him not as boy, or young man, but as son, or child. She says here they have been diligently looking for Him.

We then see His response in our focus verse. “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” Luke 2:49. The first thing I want to discuss is the last word in this verse.  In the Greek, the use of the word ‘house’ can also be translated as business. Greek scholar Bill Mounce says the following, “But the plural τοῖς nags me, and suggests it is the ”things” of the father that was motivating Jesus to stay behind.” Thus, I believe what was meant here is ‘My Father’s things or affairs’, not ‘My Father’s house’.  And this makes additional sense, in that because Mary brought up the idea of Joseph as father, that He was referring to God’s business or affairs over Joseph’s, not the Temple over Joseph’s house. In other words, what God wanted Jesus to do was far more important that anyone else’ desires.

 The one thing that stands out to me regarding this verse is that Jesus saw His work for God as more important than anyone else’s, including Joseph and Mary.  And I want us all to be challenged to think the same way.  God’s calling on our lives is far more important than anything else.  We should never look at the desires of another to take priority over the desires of God.  We must always look at God’s ways as greater than ours.  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.  Jesus here is laying out what should be our most important priorities.  Let us follow them as He did.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

1 Corinthians 4:15-16

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Corinthians 4:15-16 

“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus, I have begotten you through the gospel.  Therefore, I urge you, imitate me.” – 1 Corinthians 4:15-16

According to, for the years 2017 – 2018 (current numbers I found more difficult to 1 Corinthians 4:15-16 track down), the religious book sales revenue in the United States alone was almost $600,000,000!  According to the Nielsen BookScan statistics, the approximate average of Christian book unit sales is about 60 million books sold each year in the U.S.  Since 2017-2018 Christian brick-and-mortar stores have been slowly becoming less prominent.  Independent Christian publishing is on the rise.  E-books, on-line sales, Kindle, etc., are all continuing to show steady numbers in volume and dollars.   I would guess that ‘most’ of you reading this article would recognize the name(s) of 90% of the (quote-un-quote) Top 30 Christian non-fiction writers!  

Evidently, the church of predominately Gentile believers in the city of Corinth in the mid-50’s A.D. had a similar phenomenon: they had plenty of people attempting to ‘instruct’ others concerning Christ, but no one had so much care for them as the Apostle Paul – who taught them and had instructed them in the truth of the gospel; in other words, the ‘good news’ of the efficiency of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the means of salvation, by God’s grace, and through ‘believing’ through ‘faith’ that this message was True.  Paul was the ‘apostle sent to the Gentiles’. He recounted this unique calling from the Ascending Lord in Acts 22:21 where Paul reminds his listeners that Jesus said to him: “Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.”   It was through Paul that the believers in Corinth would be taught the whole truth and nothing but the truth of this glorious ‘good news’.   

Though the city of Corinth might have had ten thousand other instructors in Christ, it was Paul who was the greatest caretaker and father to them.   The term ‘instructors’ in VS 15 is a Greek word that only occurs twice in the New Testament but has many variations due to the ‘root word’.  The first definition is that of a ‘teacher or instructor’ similar to a teacher in High School or College that brings instructions and corrections to its class members.  This is NOT the word Paul uses here. THIS word in VS 15 is speaking about ‘a guide, a leader, or a guardian’.  Elsewhere for example it is translated as ‘tutor’ in Galatians 3:24, 25.   “Therefore the law was our ‘tutor’ (our guide, our leader, our guardian) to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a ‘tutor’”.   The law, the Mosaic law of Judaism is no longer our ‘tutor and guide and guardian and leader’ once we have come to ‘faith’ in Christ, being justified by faith alone!  

Read how personal Paul’s words are to the Corinthian believers.  “For in Christ “I” have begotten you through the gospel.”  It was Jesus who ultimately sent Paul to these Corinthians.  Paul was not just ‘like’ a father to them, but it was through Paul’s message that these Corinthians came to ‘believing faith in Jesus Christ’!   No one had a greater investment in their lives literally more than Paul.  Please listen closely:  It was NOT just Paul’s message through words that made this so.  It was Paul’s life as an example in every way!  This is why Paul could say without boasting nor without any arrogance “Therefore I urge you, imitate me” (VS 16).   This is why Paul could write under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit here and in I Timothy 1:16 “However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that IN ME FIRST Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a PATTERN to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (emphasis mine).  

There are 10,000 other ‘instructors’ of Christ out there in the world of Christendom that evidently Christians turn to for guidance to some degree at least.  Six million dollars’ worth of guidance a year.  Yet what an amazing privilege we have as true believers to have the very Word of God recorded for us from the one who was first sent to the Gentile world with His glorious gospel message.   I for one, am 100% confident that if you read and study Paul’s writings first and foremost, the Lord Himself by His Written Word will encourage you to the depths of practical living that no other person can do.  Please do not take lightly Paul’s word written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he writes: “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” 

Jaca Kier, Board Member,  True Devotion Ministries, Inc.