John 11:56 – Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?
I have often asked myself the question, “How consistent am I in being a ‘bar mitzvah’?” Perhaps you have thought of that term only as a ceremony in which a Jewish boy officially enters manhood at age 13, but that it not the actual meaning of the term. The term “bar” in the Hebrew language means “son of.” In other words, my older son, Alex, would be known in that culture as “Alex, bar Beechard,” or “Alex, son of Beechard.” In the Hebrew language, the term “bar mitzvah” means “son of commandment.” Another way to say it would be “son of the Word.” It was at the age of 13 that Jewish boys would go through a well-established ritual in which they would become “bar mitzvah;” son of commandment. That meant that the young man would be expected to obey the commandments of the Lord, carry out the words of the law, and to do so steadfastly. No one ever fully succeeded at that task until Jesus came. He perfectly kept the Law, ALWAYS doing that which was pleasing to the Father, without fail living by faith.
In our Text for Today, the Scriptures paint a clear picture of just how consistent Jesus was. At age 12, even before His bar mitzvah, He was confounding scribes and doctors of the Law in the temple in Jerusalem. At age 30, He was baptized near Jordan, filled with Holy Spirit, and after 40-days of fasting, returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. In the next three and a half years, He perfectly pleased Father, and rising from the dead after His crucifixion, He ascended to heaven in His completion of the work of our redemption. Prior to His arrest and crucifixion, though some of the Jews and their leaders had sought for a way to capture Him, but could not find the means to do so. And then we read the words in our Text for Today. Jesus was so predictable in His keeping of the law, and part of that was coming to Jerusalem for the Passover, those who wanted Him dead placed their entire strategy for capturing Him on His commitment and faithfulness to the Word. Though He knew they wanted to kill Him, and though for a time He stayed out of the public view, they knew Jesus was so true to the Word that He would come to the feast of Passover, regardless of how badly someone wanted to harm, or even kill Him. And they were right.
How committed are we? How committed are you? How committed am I? I long to be so committed to His Word, so completely sold out to obedience to my Lord, that people can predict my actions based on whatever the Word of God says. May it be said of me, regardless of the situation that exists, “He is a son of commandment; he will do the Word.”
Manna for Today – John 11:45-57; Matthew 7:24-27; James 1:22; 1 John 5:3; Habakkuk 2:4