Posted by: everynation | June 26, 2009

How Would Jesus Study?

dave-hessby Dave Hess

As many college students take final exams this week, I thought thought it would be a great time to pose the question: “How would Jesus study?”.

In Luke 2 there is an interesting story of Jesus as a twelve-year-old boy. As the story goes, his family had gone up from Nazareth to Jerusalem for a religious feast. After the feast was over they left and were traveling with a large group of family members, so even though they didn’t see Jesus personally, they just assumed that he was with some of the other relatives whom they were traveling with. However, as they continued along their journey they realized that he was not with them at all.

Mary and Joseph became very worried at this point, so they went back to Jerusalem (which was no small city) to look for Jesus. “After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.”  (Luke 2:46-47)

In this instance we read that Jesus was so engaged in this activity of study that his whole family had left him behind in the big city, and he hadn’t seen them for three days.  Apparently he thought it was so important that he was willing to risk even upsetting his adopted parents. Imagine this situation with any twelve year old kid you know. Imagine if as a twelve year old you had a family reunion in Orlando and then your whole family left without you and you didn’t see them for three days, and they didn’t even know about it!

Jesus was in preparation for the task that God had sent him. This was something he was focused on, and he was willing to take extreme measures.

Some may say, “well he was studying the Law of God. If all my classes were about the Bible then I would be more diligent in my studies.” While this passage of scripture does have application to how we should read our Bible’s I think it goes much beyond that.

Instead of limiting your diligence merely to Bible-reading, you ought to be diligent in all your work, including your work as a student. If your work is inherently immoral, or not worth doing then don’t do it at all. But if you have committed to doing something, and even more if you have both committed to do something and are paying thousands of dollars to do it, (like a college education) you really ought to get the most out of it. Do it with all your might! To do anything else is foolish.

Colosssians 3:23 gives a clear command to this effect saying,  ”Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.”

When you study this week, study as for the Lord. Maybe you need to eliminate virtually all social time with friends, make a vow not to check Facebook and do nothing but eat, sleep and study for three days straight. Go hide in the library, and leave your cell phone at home if you have to!

Consider what task might God be preparing you for? If you are like most people, you dream of doing something great one day.

How important do you think it will be to be prepared when you day of opportunity comes? Will you be ready? Are you willing to do what it takes to prepare?

Dave Hess is a Campus Director at Florida A & M University and the author of


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