Thanksgiving and Jesus’ First Act of Witness

It’s common for pastors and Bible teachers to note that Jesus’ first recorded miracle is turning water into wine when a wedding had run out of wine unexpectedly, kicking off his formal ministry by making it possible for a celebration to continue and even improve. But it’s easy to forget that his first miracle wasn’t his first act of witness.

The gospels show us angels, prophets and magi all saying that there would be something special about the infant Jesus. This passage from Luke shows how the child Jesus’ behavior convinced people that those messengers were right.

His parents didn’t return to the temple to find him leading the teachers, berating them or patronizing them. Instead, he listened to them, heard what they said, and asked questions that indicated he understood what they were saying and feeling. People marveled not at how much he knew, or how carefully he argued, but at how closely he listened and how thoughtfully he asked questions.

Representing Christ doesn’t always start with making the best arguments: Jesus started convincing people that there was something special about him by making the greatest effort to understand the people he was sent to. The author and perfector of our faith began showing people the effects of his kingdom by asking questions and endeavoring to understand the hearts of others.

Thanksgiving can often be a time for hard conversations. If that’s the case for you, this should be a relief.

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