Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 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. (Luke 4:14-16)
The Custom Of Jesus
Very little is known about the childhood of Jesus. Luke describes in detail the birth of God’s Son and the first few weeks, but with the exception of the trip to Jerusalem at the age of twelve, nothing is written about the life of Jesus until He is thirty years of age. When Jesus begins His ministry, the devil seeks to tempt the Son of God as he did the woman in the garden. Jesus does not fall prey to the cunning craftiness of the adversary. Following the time in the wilderness, Jesus returns to Galilee and goes home to Nazareth, where He does something that He has done frequently and with great persistence. The Son of God goes to the Synagogue. When Jesus was twelve years old, He astounded the teachers at the Temple, both listening to them and asking questions. Everyone was astonished at His understanding and answers. Joseph and Mary find Jesus in the Temple and taking Him back to Nazareth; Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. Part of this increase in wisdom and favor with His Father came from His custom of going to the Synagogue on a regular basis.
It is hard to understand how the Son of God needed to learn things as a mortal man. There were many aspects of the life of Jesus that were remarkable, but for the first thirty years, Jesus was as humanly normal as his brothers and sisters. He had to learn how to walk, put sentences together, and figure out what one plus one equaled. Since Joseph was a carpenter, it is most likely Jesus followed in the same profession learning how to use a hammer and saw. From early childhood, Jesus learned the stories of old about Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and the prophets. Going to the Synagogue on a regular basis, Jesus would hear the reading of the Law. When He was old enough, Jesus would take one of the scrolls and read for the assembly. As a young man 25 years of age, He took on greater responsibilities for the family. He would be part of the family as they went to the Synagogue together.
Jesus had a custom of going to the Synagogue. What does the Son of God need to go to the Synagogue if He is Divine? As Jesus grew to manhood and as a thirty-year-old man, His understanding and awareness of who He was increased, but He still went to the Synagogue. He knew the value of listening to the Law being read and the discussions that followed. The Synagogue was a place of worship central to many communities. Jesus took advantage of the opportunity to be in a place of worship. He went to the feasts according to the Law of Moses, offered sacrifices according to the Law, and kept the Law perfectly. Being the Son of God did not void His responsibilities or obligations. Going to the Synagogue was a vital part of the growing process for God’s Son.
There is a correlation between the worship of the Synagogue and the church Jesus would build. When the church first began, one of the immediate responses of the early saints was a need to gather together to hear the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, remember the sacrifice of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper, and pray. This continued to be the pattern of the New Testament church because this was the will of God for His people. Under the Law of Christ, a weekly gathering of saints was prescribed as mandatory. Assembly with the church was not an option but a divine commandment. Two thousand years removed from the early church, many look upon Sunday worship as a part of their lives if it becomes convenient. Jesus had a custom of going to the Synagogue, and He was the Son of God. When a person does not make it a custom to gather with the church each first day of the week, they disregard the example of Jesus and the word of God. Children who grow up with parents who seldom darken the church building doors will reap the whirlwind of lost children because it was not their custom. When Daniel was told not to pray to the Lord, he went into his room and did what he did from early childhood – pray. Sadly, many children today never pray and have no such custom. When the heart becomes hardened to neglect the assembly of the saints, they establish a custom that will destroy their souls and jeopardize their children’s lives. Be like Jesus. Make the right custom.