I remember years ago as a mom with children ages 4 to 14. I was having a particularly frazzling day and the WWJD (What would Jesus do?) bracelets were really popular. I wondered in my heart if my High Priest Jesus could really understand how challenging it was to be a homeschool mom in that particular season of my life.
I happened to be reading Luke 8 and 9 that day in my Quiet Time and the Lord ministered deeply to me through the Word of God. I looked at those passages that day zeroing in on Jesus’ relationship with His disciples.
As I closed my Bible, I realized that Jesus could completely relate to my life as a homeschool mom and my husband as a homeschool dad. In fact, I learned a lot about how Jesus dealt with the exact same issues that I deal with in my own family.
I discovered that Jesus understands me. And Jesus inspires me to parent in an effective way. Let me take you step-by-step through some adventures Jesus had with His disciples in Luke 8 and 9.
Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means (Luke 8:1-3 NASB).
Jesus did a lot of traveling for His ministry. And guess who was with him night and day?
That’s right! The 12 disciples and some ladies went with Him everywhere. They were like a homeschooling family doing things together. Immediately, I felt the Lord understood how I felt as I took my brood into the doctor’s office, grocery store, or to the airport. However, I think Jesus enjoyed being with his gang just as I enjoyed being with my family night and day.
Jesus gets me. He’s been there.
When Naps are Interrupted
Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?” (Luke 8:22-25 NASB).
Jesus, trying to take a nap, got interrupted. Wow! I can relate to that!
When they were afraid, Jesus took care of the problem and gave them a little life lesson about faith. I love that Jesus used teachable moments. That’s what I call a lifestyle of learning!
And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. (Luke 9:1-2 NASB).
Jesus didn’t just teach His disciples, he gave them real life opportunities to go on test ministry runs. So after ministering with Jesus in sharing the Gospel, teaching, healing, and driving out demons, they got to go out on a short-term mission.
It is so exciting to watch Jesus prepare His disciples for future ministry when He would be back in Heaven. I want to be like Jesus and prepare my children for real life when they have left childhood and begin adulting. Jesus sees and understands our desire to prepare our children for real life.
As my husband and I try to prepare our children in practical ways for the future, the Lords sees our hearts and understands us.
As I watch Jesus do such an amazing job of life prep with His own disciples, I am inspired!
When Plans Change
When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida. But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing. Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.” But He said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” Luke 9:10-13 NASB).
After a successful trip, Jesus listens to the 12 share their exploits. Then he takes them away for some time alone in the city of Bethsaida. Maybe it was a quaint village where they could go sightseeing, eat chocolate treats, and ride a Ferris wheel. Okay, I’m being silly, but the point is that Jesus was taking his guys away to have some special time alone, but unfortunately they got interrupted. Instead of having a bad attitude, Jesus ministered to the interrupters all day long. When it was over, He gave the disciples an opportunity to step out in faith and miraculously feed a crowd of thousands.
There is so much that Jesus understands: how my best-laid plans are often thwarted or changed beyond my control. Sometimes I am a good example like Jesus was and other times—well, let’s not go there. I feel so glad to know that Jesus has experienced these kind of situations. I feel understood by Him.
What inspires me is that Jesus took an interruption and turned it around to a life-changing opportunity that I’m sure the disciples would never forget. Can you imagine serving thousands of folks from a small basket of food by the power of God?
How can I do that?
Not only be a good example when my special plans with my kids are interrupted, but somehow use the situation to give my children an opportunity to love others. This passage motivates me!
And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full. And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” (Luke 9:17-22 NASB).
After the miracle of feeding thousands, Jesus pulls His disciples away and asked them questions about Himself? It is important that they really know Him. He allowed them to know the good and the bad.
What bad news that Jesus would be killed! Now, Jesus had no sin, but I do. This part of Luke 9 reminds me that I can reveal the good and bad about myself to my children as it is appropriate. They can know the real me. I don’t have to be perfect because Jesus is and I’m not, but I can be real!
I can be honest with my children. I can show them the true me instead of trying to play some kind of role. That is so freeing!
Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen. On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves. “I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not” (Luke 9:28-40 NASB).
Jesus took His 3 of his disciples on a spiritual adventure. When he got back, his other disciples had a little bit of ministry failure. Jesus handled the situation immediately.
Sometimes I give my children an opportunity to do something important and they fail. Jesus understands how I feel and how they feel.
And as with the disciples, the answer to my failure or my children’s failure is to go to Jesus and let Him fix it.
An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great” (Luke 9:46-48 NASB).
Humility. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. True that!
How come if God esteems humility so much, and rewards it with grace, that it is almost impossible to be humble and teach our children to be humble?
I love how after all of Jesus’ tender love and inspiring teaching, His disciples argue about who is the greatest. Maybe they also argued about whose turn it was to unload the dishwasher or whose turn it was to take out the trash. Maybe they said to Jesus, “He won’t stop looking at me!”
Jesus gets me! He understands the frustration of arguing and bad character.
Jesus loves so perfectly. He responds with a beautiful example of humility: a little child who comes to Jesus. Isn’t that what humility is all about?
As we are building virtue into the hearts and lives of our children, we must remember to use concrete examples that our children can understand and remember.
Overcoming Anger & Moving On
He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went on to another village (Luke 9:52-56 NASB).
Jesus had to deal with the disciple’s anger and desire for revenge. He rebuked His disciples for their anger and they moved on to another village.
If anyone understands how hard it is to deal with angry people, even if they are short and young, it’s Jesus!
Jesus addresses the anger, but then moves on. He doesn’t linger or bring up the past.
I try to remember that! I want to give my children a clean slate after we’ve dealt with something, rather than hash it up over and over again. It’s sometimes tempting to label our children by their sin, but Jesus doesn’t do that. So often in the pages of the Gospels, the disciples are not ready yet, but Jesus sees them as world changers who will one day turn the world upside down with the Gospel.
How about me?
How about you?
Can you see so much wisdom for you as a homeschool Mom or Dad in these 2 chapters?
I encourage you to spend some time in Luke 8 and 9 asking Jesus to reveal truth to you so that you can parent like Jesus did. Remember to ask Him to love through you, to parent through you, to bless you so you can be a blessing to your children.
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!