Monday, February 7, 2022

Learning How to Learn From a 12-Year-Old

By Joe Chesser


    We all know how much we can learn from kids if we pay attention. Probably more than we will admit. One mom asked her 5-year-old son how his day was. He said it was awesome. She asked him what made it awesome. His reply, “Because I wanted it to be!” ... Another kid asked, “How are we supposed to meet new people if we can’t talk to strangers?” ... A little girl was asked to complete the sentence, “If the shoe fits ...” Her response was, “... buy it in every color.”

    Not much is said in Scripture about what Jesus did and said as a child. But there is one story about him when he was 12 years old (Luke 2.41-52). We know the story pretty well. We know his parents took him to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. We know that when they headed home Jesus was not with them. We know it took 3 days for them to find him. But during those 3 days, Jesus spent time in the temple, “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2.46). Although I’ve read this story many times, this time it struck me how important learning was even to Jesus, even as a 12-year-old boy. There are at least 3 things we can learn from Jesus about how to learn.

    First, Jesus was in the right place and with the right people for learning what he needed to know. Since his interest was in spiritual matters, what better place to be than in the house of God, the temple, sitting among the teachers of God’s word? It’s a principle we all understand: surround yourself with the people who can teach what you are seeking to know. So, if you are desiring to know more about God and His word, follow Jesus’ example: surround yourself with the people of God who will teach you the word of God.

    Second, being in the right place among the right people is a good place to start, but we are also told that Jesus was listening to the teachers. Not everyone who is in the right place even with great teachers does that. Yet, even as a 12-year-old boy, Jesus was learning by listening. We may think it strange that as a boy Jesus needed to learn about God and His word, but we are told at the end of this story that Jesus “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2.52). Jesus gives us the example that learning at any age involves listening. Don’t be among the masses who are seeing but don’t see, and who hearing but don’t hear (Matthew 13.13). Pay attention when people speak about God!

    Third, we learn from Jesus that learning involves asking questions. Can you imagine the scene where a 12-year-old boy was asking questions of the priests and teachers in the temple?! We are not told what kinds of questions Jesus asked, but we are told that all who heard him were amazed (Luke 2.47). The value of asking questions of your Bible teachers at home, in small groups or at church is immeasurable. In your classes, don’t be shy. Learn from a 12-year-old boy to ask questions.

    Some things we learn from kids are hilarious; but other things are truly life changing. Learn from Jesus to put yourself in the right place to listen and ask questions!

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at

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