While on the way out to Denver a couple of weeks ago I had a chance to listen to a bunch of stuff (I mean it only took 17 1/2 hours so fitting in time to listen to sermons wasn’t hard at all ha ha!). One thing I had downloaded to listen to was a chapel service from Nazarene Bible College where Dr. Stephen Manley spoke. It was a great sermon (listen to it HERE) but the thing that really stuck out to me was his handling of Luke 2:49.
You see, for years and years I’ve heard people say “We need to be about the Father’s business” instead of just saying “We need to get busy.” It’s a way to Christianize telling someone to do something so they can’t argue with you. If they tried, the person saying it would say “Just look at Luke 2:49. We are to imitate Christ and he was busy about the Father’s business, so what say you?”
It always bugged me for several reasons, most of which was because people didn’t want to hear that you were going to seek Christ, sit back and wait until he worked in and through you, revealing the next step. Instead they wanted to see physical action, Christian busy-ness, because it made them feel warm and fuzzy that at least someone was trying to turn this ship around. Who has time to wait 40 days in an upper room praying when the mortgage needs payed? Who has time to go to the desert to be taught by God when we need more butts in the pews? (Just Paul, but that was in olden days when things were boring and no one had anything to do anyway.)
What Manley pointed to and what my link to Luke 2:49 will show you when you look at the greek is that the word “business” is not there! The greek word that is associated with is patros which is the “genitive singular” of patēr, or Father. Again, “business” isn’t even there! We added it!
Whole sermons have been preached on a word that isn’t there. Does that strike you as odd? We like to be busy. We like to look and see others busy. We think things are getting done when everyone is running around until they’re ragged. Sure we complain how busy and worn out we are, but if we were to actually believe anything could be done by waiting on God, wouldn’t we wait? We would, right??
Chew on that for a while and watch this FedEx commercial that represents most of us in the fold.