By John Larkins
Six, anno domino. The baby Jesus developed as a Jewish child would be expected to. He was circumcised in the Temple and grew strong in wisdom and grace. When Jesus was about 12 years of age, He accompanied His parents and others to the Temple in Jerusalem. After His parents had gone toward home for about a day, they discovered that Jesus was not with them. When they found Him after several days, He was in the Temple speaking with some teachers, hearing them and asking them questions. Jesus’ concerned parents asked why He had not come with them. He said, “Do you not know I must be about My Father’s business?” They could not understand, but of course, He was aware of His mission, and His mother may have been also.
Perhaps Jesus was 30 years old or so when He began recruiting those men who would become the earthly enduring apostles for His teaching mission to develop into His Church and spread it over space and time, to become now 1.2 billion members of the universal WAY to salvation.
Only by the Savior’s life and death could this happen. Over the last 2,000 years, it is a wonderful gift of love from His Father.
Jesus’s first miracle was done in public and witnessed by His mother (who at last understood Somewhat) and His apostles, to whom it was probably a real shock. This miracle was performed at a wedding feast in Cana. The way it transpired says a lot about Jesus’ mother’s role in the new Church, as it was she who mentioned that the wine seemed to be running low. Even though it sounded as if Jesus was not particularly concerned, she told the servants simply, “Do whatever He tells you.” That was enough to demonstrate His love for us humans as well as His mother, and to show His Godly power and ministerial ability, thus contributing to His reputation for teaching powerful truth.
For the next three years, Jesus and His apostles were together, becoming the “new wine” developing from the religion founded on God’s teaching given to Moses and passed on to the priests and prophets. This nation, Church and civilization were necessary to fulfill God’s promise that He would defeat Satan and provide all mankind with The Way to obtain God’s salvation.
Jesus’ torture and death paid the price.
Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there: because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
So, in His new Church, what does Jesus do to provide mankind a course so we may cooperate in The Way?
First, be baptized. This sacred introduction is the new “circumcision,” allowing us to show Jesus that we are obedient to Him. Second, He tells the apostles that they will be delegated the authority to act in His place and forgive sins. Next, Jesus tells us that unless we eat His body and drink His blood, we will have no life within us. He also says that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.
There is more, as Saint Paul said that he works out his salvation daily!
John Larkins was born in Oklahoma to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden. His formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University in public administration and environmental management. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals, and church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.