7 Things Every Teen Should Know
What would you write down as the seven most important things in your life that would describe yourself? What if you could learn seven things about Jesus that marked his life as a teen and young adult? You are probably thinking, “But the Bible doesn’t say anything about Jesus as a teen.” Are you sure about that?
There are seven things that we can learn in Scripture about Jesus when He was a teen. Once you learn these seven things, you can use them as a path to follow in Christ’s footsteps.
JESUS INCREASED IN WISDOM
In the gospel of Luke there is a short verse describing Jesus after He was twelve years old. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom…”
The pursuit of wisdom was important for Jesus as teen, and it needs to be a priority in your life. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.”
Everyone needs wisdom, and however much you have, you need more. Proverbs 16:16 says, “It is much better to get wisdom than gold. It is much better to choose understanding than silver.”
So how do you get wisdom? You can find it in the Bible. That is one of the many reasons it is important to read and study your Bible. You can also gain wisdom from spending time with wise people. If you hang around with the foolish you will become foolish but will become wise when with the wise. You can also ask God to give you wisdom. In James 1:5 it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
JESUS INCREASED IN STATURE
The second thing we learn in the Bible about Jesus as a teen is also from Luke 2:52 which says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature…”
Increasing in stature is not just about growing taller but becoming more mature. During the time of Jesus, 12 or 13-years-old was the threshold for beginning to transition into adulthood. You’re certainly not an adult at 12 but you should start your transition around that age. Don’t wait until you are 18, or 21, or even 30 to begin changing your perspective and walking in maturity.
The apostle Paul mentions going through this transition as a child. He says in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” He tells us three things that need to change in your life as you transition from being a child to an adult. He says to put away childish things which are childish speech, childish understanding, and childish thinking.
This is a major problem today with so many young people refusing to grow up and embrace maturity. It is sometimes referred to as the Peter Pan Syndrome, or adultolescence, or kidults, or failure to launch. “Adulting” is now a common word used in our culture to describe an adult behaving in adult ways. Reach for maturity like standing on your toes when being measured as a child. You want to be taller than you are now, more mature.
JESUS INCREASED IN FAVOR WITH GOD
The third thing we learn about Jesus during His teen years is also found in Luke 2:52 which says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God…”
My friends Alex and Stephen Kendrick, who make Christian movies, often say that the favor of God is your greatest asset. The Bible talks about ways to increase in favor with God. Psalms 5:12 says, “For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.”
Being righteous gains God’s favor but how do you become righteous? It starts with being made righteous through believing in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. This is called “imputed righteousness”. It is not yours; it comes from Jesus. It is an internal righteousness, but it also gives you the ability to do what is right. This is the righteousness that King David is writing about in Psalm 5:12. This is not about religious performance but about the way you live based on faith, and a sincere desire to please God.
Proverbs 14:9 says, “Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.” Being upright means you are a person who does what it right and you do not pursue sin or take it lightly. Another way to gain favor with God is through gaining wisdom, which I already mentioned earlier. Proverbs 8:35 says, “For whoever finds me [wisdom] finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD.”
JESUS INCREASED IN FAVOR WITH MAN
The fourth thing we learn about Jesus as a teen is also found in the same verse where we have discovered the first three. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
This is not about peer approval. It means that Jesus was a favorite among adults when He was young. It matters what your parents, your pastors, your teachers, your boss at work, and other adults think about you. A well-known verse for young people is found in 1 Timothy 4:12 which says, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
You will gain favor with adults when they see these six characteristics in your life. They notice when you are thoughtful about what you say, when you careful in your conduct, and when you are loving towards others. Adults take notice when you have self-control in your emotions and disposition (“in spirit”). Strong faith is not just for the old, but you can be known for your faith when you are young. Purity has to do with sexual purity, both in mind and body. The plague of porn today is causing so much impurity and young people are losing favor with God and man. We are living in a hyper-sexualized culture and you’ll need a focus on Jesus in your generation to lead you on the narrow path.
JESUS WAS SUBJECT TO HIS PARENTS
We learn in the gospel of Luke that Jesus was subject to His parents. Luke 2:51 says, “Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.”
Jesus understood the importance of being in submission to proper authorities in life. He was the perfect Son of God, who had imperfect parents, yet He honored His Father by submitting to His earthly parents. The fifth of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
This command is repeated in the New Testament when the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:1-3 which says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER, which is the first commandment with promise: THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU AND YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.”
Satan was deceived by thinking rebellion would lead to superiority. He deceived Eve into believing that rebellion would lead to superiority. He continues the same tactics today. Jesus gives you the right example to follow.
JESUS LEARNED A PROFITABLE SKILL
The sixth thing we learn about Jesus during His youth is that He learned a profitable skill. He learned the craft of carpentry from his father Joseph. He kept busy and learned to work hard to be a contributor and not just a consumer.
Speaking of Jesus, we read in Mark 6:3, “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary…”
This is a time in your life to learn what it means to have a good work ethic. What is a good work ethic? It is being reliable, productive, hardworking, and persevering. It requires being teachable and keeping a good attitude about work. It’s not just about getting a job done but doing it as unto the Lord. The Bible teaches us about the importance and value of work.
JESUS ATTENDED SYNAGOGUE EVERY SABBATH
The seventh thing we learn about Jesus during these years before He began His public ministry is found in a statement in the gospel of Luke. In Luke 4:16 we read, “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”
This was the beginning of His public teaching ministry at the age of 30. Yet this tells us that He was already in the custom of attending synagogue on the Sabbath day, which was a weekly gathering of Jews. All religious Jews would attend synagogue each week and Jesus was not an exception.
The synagogue system was far from perfect, in fact it had some seriously flaws. Yet that didn’t keep the perfect Son of God from attending each Sabbath. It was His custom, and it should be your custom to follow His example and attend church on a regular basis.
You cannot make the excuse that your church or the people in the church are flawed. Jesus went to a flawed church every Sabbath and He was perfect, but you and I are not. Your parents may make you go to church, but you need to embrace it in your own heart.
Here are the seven things every teen should know and follow as an example.
1. Jesus increased in wisdom
2. Jesus increased in stature (maturity)
3. Jesus increased in favor with God
4. Jesus increased in favor with Man
5. Jesus remained subject to His parents
6. Jesus learned a profitable skill
7. Jesus regularly attended synagogue