God’s Business

Luke 2:49 is most often translated “in my father’s house,” as if Jesus is referring to the Temple in Jerusalem where, at age 12, he was discussing theology with the elders. The passage is variously translated:

“Didn’t you know that I had to be concerning myself with my Father’s affairs?” (CJB)

“You should have known that I must be where my Father’s work is.” (ERV)

“Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s interests? (NRSVUE footnote)

Luke 2:49 literally says: 

“Do you not know that I must be in, or about, the ______ of my Father.” 

There is no verb and the grammar insists that whatever goes in the blank be plural.

Perhaps the best translation follows the Disciples’ Literal New Testament: 

“Did you not know that I must be in the things of My Father?” (DLNT)

“I must be about the things of my Father.”

“I must be in the things of my Father.”

What are the things of God the Father? What is God’s business?

Certainly not a building no matter how magnificent. The Almighty does not dwell in temples made by humans. God is not in need of being housed and fed by enslaved people as were pagan gods. Jesus later refers to this very temple as being abandoned by the God of Abraham.

The things of the Father include all of creation – the worlds, planets, stars, quasars, bunny rabbits, elm trees, red-bellied woodpeckers, humans, ideas, emotions, longings – the entire cosmos, the whole universe, all multiverses if such exist.

The things of the Father: nature, environment, plants, animals, climate-care.

The things of the Father: the broken, sick, dying, homeless, displaced, refugee, incarcerated, mentally ill, sad, depressed, addicted, lonely, starving, war-torn – the least of Jesus’ siblings.

The things of the Father: justice, peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, nonviolence, grace.

The things of the Father: spiritual guidance, healthcare, psychological care, safe affordable housing, wholesome food, safe neighborhoods, an end to violence.

The things of the Father: honesty, compassion, lovingkindness, mercy.

To follow Jesus is to join Jesus in being about the things of the Father. 

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on December 21, 2022, in anabaptist, Christianity, creation, Jesus, Justice, Kingdom Life, kingdom of God, Life Coaching, Peace Shalom Hesed, social justice, Spiritual Direction. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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