To the child, Jesus, the importance of the word and the works of God were made known, as He was trying to understand the purpose of all things. Heavenly angels were His companions, and the wonders of holy thoughts and spiritual guidance pleased Him. From His first beginnings of intelligence He was always growing in grace and knowledge of the truth.
Every child can gain understanding as Jesus did. As we try to know all about our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be made strong and our hearts will be made pure and we will become more like Jesus. As we look at His beauty and pure nature our faith reaches out to God. While our thoughts are amazed our soul is made rich by contact with our Creator. Regularly talking with God in prayer we grow in spiritual power and strength.
Jesus was always in touch with God, his Father. When He was young; He was a lot like other children but without any trace of sin. He was tempted like we are but He never ever sinned. He was subjected to all of the conflicts we have to meet so that He might be an example to us in childhood, in youth, and in manhood. He, in, fact took upon Himself all of the sins of the whole world, along with everyone’s punishment.
In the devotion book, “A World to Love” by George Knowles there is a story.
Called “He Took My Punishment” It seems that in this rural mountain community there was a school that no teacher was able to handle. When a young man fresh out of college applied for the job, the school board members laughed. But he begged for a chance, and got it.
On the first day of school the new teacher suggested that the students make the rules. He wrote on the chalkboard as the pupils called out: “No stealing. No cheating. No swearing.” Soon they had 10 rules on the board.
“Now, said the teacher, a law is no good unless there’s a penalty attached. What will be the penalty?” “Ten stripes across the back with no coat on,” was the reply. All went well for a few days until Big Tom found that someone had stolen his lunch. An investigation revealed the thief to be Jim, a small 10-year-old boy from a very poor home. When the teacher asked him to take his coat off, the boy was very embarrassed. He had no shirt, and only a string held up his trousers over his bony body.
“Why don’t you wear a shirt, Jim?” the teacher asked. “I have only one shirt, and my mother is washing it today,” the boy explained. “My father died, and we are very poor. For two days we have had no food. That’s why I stole Tom’s lunch. I’m sorry, but I was so hungry.” As the teacher was wondering what to do, Big Tom jumped to his feet and said, “Teacher, I’ll take Jim’s punishment for him.”
The class and the teacher agreed to let Tom take Jim’s penalty as a substitute. After 5 hard strokes, the rod broke. In the quietness; the teacher heard the entire school sobbing, and guess what he saw. Little Jim had reached up and put both arms around Tom’s neck. “Tom, I’ll love you till I die for taking my licking for me! I’ll love you forever!”
We have each broken God’s rules, but Jesus took our punishment for us. Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.
“ He suffered the death, which was ours, that we might receive the life that was His. With His stripes we are healed.” May our response be “I’ll love Him forever!”
Based loosely on excerpts from The Desire of Ages