Kids, do you want to give your parents something to celebrate since we just observed Independence Day? Then don’t fight for independence — earn it instead. Submit to your parents, even if you think you know more than they do. Why? Because knowledge never justifies insubordination. Jesus knew everything, but not once do we ever find Him arguing with His parents.

Let’s consider yesterday’s story in a different light. When Jesus’ parents found Him in the temple, He could have told them to leave Him alone because He was busy. He could have said, “Well, it’s your fault for leaving me here in the first place.” He could have protested, complained, sulked, and pouted about leaving the doctor friends He had met at the temple. How would you like to have someone like that for a savior? Not me.

Instead, the Bible tells us Jesus “was subject unto them,” and He went with His parents back to Nazareth. No complaining. No resentment. Just straight obedience is all we see from Him. He was always under submission to their authority. This is probably why verse 52 in Luke 2 says He increased in favor with God and man. There’s a connection between submission to authority and finding favor with others.

If Jesus could submit to His parents, then there is no reason why any young person should refuse to submit to his parents or teachers. By submitting, I don’t just mean cleaning your room or taking out the garbage when you’re told, but also speaking respectfully to them. People in authority will make mistakes sometimes, but so will you. God wants you to have a submissive heart all the time, not just when it’s convenient. That’s the way to raise your parents. Keep in mind: someday your own children may return the favor.

The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience. — Oswald Chambers

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder