A disciple is a learner and a follower of the Lord Jesus. He is one who has made Jesus his Example and seeks to conform his life to his Masters in every possible way. Like charity, discipleship also begins at home, first of all.Only two things are mentioned in the Bible about the 30 years that Jesus spent in Nazareth. First of all, in Hebrews 4:15, we are told that He was tempted as we are and never sinned. From that, we learn that He must have faced many temptations during those 30 years at Nazareth the same temptations that anyone faces during the first 30 years of his life from childhood to adulthood.Mark 6:3 tells us that Jesus had at least 4 brothers and 2 sisters in his home. So there were at least 9 members living in His home - and it was a poor home. (We understand that, when we compare Luke 2:24 with Leviticus 12:8, and discover that Mary was too poor to bring even a lamb as an offering to the Lord). So Jesus obviously did not have a private bedroom to retreat to, when things became difficult in the house. John 7:5 also tells us that His brothers did not believe in Him. They were obviously jealous of this One in their home who never got angry or acted selfishly. They must have all "ganged-up" against Him many a time and teased Him and irritated Him. Anyone who has lived in a large family in a small house, with unconverted relatives will understand the problems that Jesus must have faced in Nazareth. Yet He never sinned. To add to all that, it is quite likely that Joseph died, when Jesus was in his teens or twenties (because we never read of Joseph during the years of Jesus public ministry). Then the burden of supporting the 8-member family fell on Jesus, as the eldest son. He had to work hard to support that family. There must have been many temptations that Jesus faced in such situations. Yet He did not sin.Secondly, Jesus "continued in subjection to Joseph and Mary" (Luke 2:51) - as long as He was living in their home - for 30 years. That would not have been easy as all of us know from our own childhood days. How often in our childhood days, when we wanted to do something, our parents asked us to do something else that we did not naturally like to do! We can therefore hold up the example of Jesus to all our children. Fathers are commanded to bring up their children in "the instruction of the Lord" (Eph.6:4). What is "the instruction of the Lord"? It is primarily the example that the Lord Himself set for children during His years in Nazareth.If any boy or girl will follow the example of the Lord that we have looked at in the above two areas, he too will grow in wisdom and in favour with God as it is written about Jesus Himself (Luke 2:52).
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon