Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Monday, January 3, 2011

Model Parents

Jesus' parents, Mary and Joseph, were in every way the ideal or model parents. From the material in the Gospels about Jesus' birth and early childhood, we can glean the following points: First of all, we will begin with their character. Mary was a young woman who was truly "highly favored" (Luke 1:28) by the Lord. Of all the women who ever lived and certainly of all the young women in her time, she alone was given the opportunity to be the mother of the Lord Jesus. Joseph, her betrothed, was a "righteous man" (Matthew 1:19). His intentions and his actions following the visit by the angel illustrate that he was a man who wanted to do things "right." The character of these two individuals before they actually became parents is why the Lord God selected them for this awesome responsibility.

Second, consider the actual birth of Jesus Christ. Mary carried him for nine months and delivered him in the same way that children normally enter the world. Joseph was there to provide and support her during their long trip from Nazareth to his birth in Bethlehem. Their having to travel and be away from home during this time made things extra difficult but they managed as young people to do the best that they could. Third, in his infancy, Mary provided his needs of food, clothing and love. No doubt Joseph did what he could to provide for Jesus and his mother's needs. On the eighth day, they took him to the temple in Jerusalem to be dedicated to the Lord (see Luke 2:22-24,27). Fourth, Jesus' parents went out of their way to protect the child from the evil King Herod. They journeyed to Egypt where they stayed until it was safe to return to their home in Nazareth. The reason they went to Egypt was because there was a large Jewish community there where they could find assistance. No doubt the gifts the wise men brought, especially the gold, helped them have the means to live and travel during this time. Parents today also need to protect their children from things that would be harmful such as violent video games, TV and movies that communicate wrong things, strangers and other things like pornography on the Internet along with gangs and drugs at school. Carroll O'Connor, an actor who lost a son to drugs, advises parents to "Do whatever it takes to get between your child and drugs. It is the parent's responsibility to protect their children as well as provide for them."

Last, Jesus' parents gave him an example to follow when they did the things that were "the custom of the Law" (Luke 2:27,42) and when they were careful to do "everything required by the Law" (Luke 2:39). By taking him to the synagogue for weekly worship, Jesus developed a pattern that would become a habit (Luke 4:16). They also took him to Jerusalem for the important feasts such as the Passover (see Luke 2:41). In addition to taking him to the synagogue and the temple, no doubt Jesus' parents consistently followed the teaching of the Word of God in their daily lives. In all of these things, Jesus' parents not only provided for him, but they gave an example for all parents to follow.

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