It's easy (for me) to see Jesus as an adorable little baby, asleep in Mary's arms.
Away in the Manger, right?
But imagining Jesus as a pimply, trips-on-his-own-feet, forgets-how-to-walk teenager.
And I teach middle schoolers. They're great kids and yet some of them are struggling to remember how to do the things they did so normally last year (aka a pencil or how to walk).
How many of us would willingly repeat our middle school years? I honestly can't remember much of my middle school years, except being super obsessed with how other people perceived me, and how I was SURELY the most awkward person EVER, and that I would ALWAYS be this way. . .
Yet when Jesus said YES to being Emmanuel, God with us, God living in the tents among us, He agreed to all of it.
This is grace. That Jesus didn't just pick the best parts of humanity, the moments when you walk across a stage and you receive an award, or you lay in a hospital bed and someone hands you a baby, or when you open the chapel doors and see THE ONE walking down the aisle in her gorgeous dress. . .
He picked the messiness.
He picked a stable.
He picked being a refugee to Egypt.
He picked being a 12 year old.
He picked sacrifice.
And humility. . .
All the things that you and I can never accomplish on our own.
He stood in our place, fulfilled it perfectly, and then gave it to us.
This is the Great Exchange. That Jesus got all of my sin, and my filth, and my awkwardness, and my self-obsession, and the world-revolves-around-me mentality, and gave me His perfection, so when I stand before Abba Father, He sees Christ.
(find more in Luke 2)
(I am also no claiming this thought to be mine; heard this preached at Trinity Park in Morrisville. Listen to the sermon Twelve Year Old Jesus at http://trinityparkchurch.org/sermons/)