Why Honor? Could it be Love? Luke 2:41-52

Being works in progress, God has given us His Spirit and Word to develop in us, Jesus – this is the goal of God - to reveal, instruct, lead and guide, correct, remind, warn, convict, affirm, and transform so that we might be conformed into Jesus – God’s word, His commands, express to us and establish in us the knowledge of God and His character and heart; His commands give boundaries for the young and inexperienced (and we are all that, all the time, in some area of our life); a working knowledge of the way of God is establishing that way in His children by the commands (Psalm 119; Prov 1-8).  God’s word forms Jesus’ character and way in the minds and hearts of His children; His Truth and Spirit produces liberty/freedom/love in lives of God’s children - especially as character is formed; much fruit-bearing in the lives of His children (Jn 15)

…about His commands, His word, His expression of affection and care… They are for our good; we can obey them, every one of them – as His Spirit enables and empowers us to do so.  So, when we obey His commands, we honor God, and when we honor God and obey God’s commands, in turn, God honors us… God honors those He loves and who love Him (and others…)

When we obey God’s commands, God honors us…

  • 1Sam 2:30 “Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.”

  • Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call on me, and I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

  • John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

…then when we honor others, then, we are honoring God – and this is love - Luke 2:41-52; John 15:12, 17; 1 John 2:7; 3:11; 4:7, 11

  • 2John 1:5 “And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.”

  • John 13:34-35; A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."

Love, true (agape) love of another has in it consideration… Rom 14:1-21; Thes 5:14; 1Pet 3

  • 1 Corinthians 9:22 19Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible… I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Galatians 6:2 “Carry one another's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the Law of Christ.”

  • Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

...and if we don’t think we need to grow in this area…

Luke 2:41-52  Jesus love was immature, ill-formed, not yet mature or complete - His love lacked consideration and  honor

41Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” f 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Love, consideration, humility, and honor are inseparable

  • Romans 12:10  “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” NIV  “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”  NLT

  • Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

  • Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

  • 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, be like-minded and sympathetic, love as brothers, be tender-hearted and humble.”

What does honor mean?

  • Assign value; to esteem, to see as precious; to fix a value, a price; to revere or venerate

  • As He did us by sending His Son


What does it then to honor?

  • To esteem, to count as precious, to revere - to respect or admire someone

  • According to the intrinsic merit of the one honored

  • To love denoting personal attachment – God has made us His children – attached to us

What does honoring demand?  

  • A right perspective of God, self, and others

  • A right attitude toward God, self, and others

  • A humble spirit before God, self, and others

  • A growing confidence in one’s position and identity in Christ confident of who we are to God


...that bears itself out in…

  • Love - an agape love (Matt 22; 1Cor 13; Rom 12:9-10) – as we have been loved by God…

    • A preferential love

    • A decided love

    • A committed love

    • A staying love

    • A love that chooses the good of, what is good for, the benefit of, the object of that choice or choosing to, love (the beneficiary)

    • A love that chooses the good of the one loved even if it does not (seem to) benefit the one loving

    • A love that forgives and keeps no record of wrongs - rejoicing in the truth, it considers the fragility of one loved when assessing that person’s being worthy of our, my, love.

  • Honor – as we have been honored by God – seen as precious and valuable worthy the price

When we honor...  we do what God has done for us, even when we were His enemy… (Luke 2; Romans 5)

  • We esteem and dignify

  • We encourage goodwill

  • We choose to love… even the unlovable

  • We bring life

  • We walk in peace - of soul, mind, and spirit

  • We are free - no longer controlled by fear or contempt or disappointment

  • We walk out our identity as God’s children

  • We are free to love and honor… as we have been loved and honored (Rom 13:8)

So why the command to honor?  That we might esteem those we might not otherwise respect and esteem

So why the command to honor?  That we might listen, respect, and value those, who, have our best interest in mind attempt to instruct, guide, protect, lead, form, shape, and facilitate into sound character, when we would prefer to go our own way, do our own thing, be our own person (at the expense of others, future selves, …

  • Character

  • Integrity

  • Humility

  • Wisdom of

    • Cooperation (respect, consideration, value of others, compromise, team/body - together)

    • Preparation (learning, forecasting, strategizing, character development, friend making, mapping of the way or ways…)

    • Delayed gratification (prudence, value, sound judgment, opportunity cost)

  • Those closest to us are

    • God and His Spirit

    • Our closest loved ones who hold places of honor

    • The fellowship of believers

So why the command to honor?  God knew, in all of this, we might be lured, by the enemy, into perceiving or believing that those who love us most (and therefore stand opposed to our fleshes’ desires) are actually our enemies.  (Adam and Eve’s rebellion, the Serpent's deception). So, the enemy taps into our fleshes’ desires, uses the glitter of the world around us and attempts to convince us that the “now” is better and more real than the “then or later” enticing us to defend “ourselves” from true love’s intrusion into our rights, wants, perceived needs, desires.

What or who are those “true loves”?  Those we might perceive as the enemy and therefore dishonor?

  • God the Father - who the enemy and our flesh distorts our view of as angry and unfairly vindictive

  • God the Son - who the enemy and our flesh distorts as being a gracious pushover who wants us to be happy or a nice guy, a historical figure who is not relevant for the day - who may or may not be God

  • God the Holy Spirit - who the enemy and our flesh distorts as distant, too mysterious, un-understandable, not really there…

  • Close family - who the enemy distorts

  • Close friends

  • The body of Christ

  • The word of God

So why the command to honor?  That it might go well with us… as we listen and honor those who are committed to our best, fighting off the false belief that my flesh is “me” and I am my flesh and the misperception that those who oppose my flesh are my enemy, when I honor those who love me, truly, I will then experience peace and contentment with God, self and others, joy in life and love.

What is Biblical prosperity?  What does it mean that “it will go well”?

  • Do we undervalue peace?

  • Do we undervalue humility and service?

There is wisdom in many counselors… many eyes and ears - humility postures us to see and hear what others bring - honoring them and keeping us safe

Who in our lives do we struggle to honor?  Why?  Who do I need to…

  • ...give grace?

  • … give the benefit of the doubt?

Of whom do I need to

  • …change my perspective, and with it, my attitude toward them and their role in my life?

  • ... remember that God has placed them in my life for a reason?

  • … ask forgiveness for treating them as though they were the enemy?

  • … forgive in order to honor?

Let us hold onto this truth

1John 5

3In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.