He Did Not Obtain A Degree

Jesus did not have an education. A formal one, I mean. Still, He succeeded.

He knew He didn’t have to have a degree.

So He didn’t study under the rabbinical schools of the day.

The reasons?

His mission did not require Him

Let’s set that right in.

Jesus had a mission. He was focused on that mission.

From the moment He had a consciousness and learned from the Scriptures and from the tutelage of His mother who He really was, He knew.

Twelve years old was He when His earthly “parents” brought Him to Jerusalem with them. They’re attending the annual feasts.

From then on He knew He must be about His “Father’s business (Luke 2:49).”

But He did not have to obtain any formal education to get into this business.

From the study of the Scriptures and from the tutelage of His earthly parents, He knew.

He did not need a degree.

His mission did not require Him.

Also, it was not His Father’s will

How did we know?

We know because Jesus always lived by His Father’s will.

“…I seek not My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” – John 5:30, ESV

If He did anything on earth that was contrary to the Father’s will, He would have qualified as a rebel.

If He qualified as a rebel, we wouldn’t have had a Savior.

We’d be doomed.

But we’re not.

“…take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33, ESV

Jesus did not obtain a formal education. He simply obeyed His Father’s will.

The rabbinical system of education was corrupt

Why would Jesus subject Himself under the tutelage of a corrupt system of education?

He would rather be home-schooled.

Indeed, He was.

But His homeschooling was never inferior. In fact, the child Jesus

“…grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon Him.” – Luke 2:40, ESV

All this wisdom He gained, not from that corrupt system of mainstream education, but from home-school.

Mainstream education was actually inferior

We know this because the “unschooled” boy Jesus, at 12 years old, was filled with more profound ideas than men four to seven times His age.

The boy Jesus was

“…sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.” – Luke 2:46-47, ESV

How couldn’t they be amazed?

He had an understanding more profound than theirs.

The depth of His answers was evidence of the superiority of His education.

He did not have a degree.

Well, He was only 12.

But still, He did not have a formal education.

And yet the kind of tutelage He had in just 12 years was already proven superior compared to the mainstream tutelage the rabbis had for 20 or so years.

You don’t have to have a degree

For the very same reasons, you didn’t have to. If…

  • You find yourself in a particular mission, and
  • God has called you to that mission (it’s His will), and
  • That mission doesn’t require any degree, then

…nothing needs to be stressed out more than the fact that you don’t have to have a degree.

So, don’t stress yourself.

But this radical mindset has quite been opposed

Yes, it is.

And it’s because people around you expect quite a lot from you.

They expect you to

  • graduate with flying colors
  • land on a high-paying job
  • help them pay the bills
  • buy them tickets and treats to trips around the world
  • retire with benefits
  • die with acronyms behind your last name.

Don’t be fooled.

If your purpose does not require you, don’t be fooled.

Not everyone is a Daniel; God has a specific purpose for you

Remember Daniel?

I guess if the Israelites had only been true to their mission, they would not have been exiled.

If they haven’t been exiled, you won’t find Daniel at the University of Babylon.

Now take note.

It was not Daniel’s prime purpose to study in that secular university.

If not for God’s providence, Daniel would not have been given the chance.

Daniel was only being true to God.

And God had faith in Daniel. He saw in Daniel someone who would not be lured by Babylonian secularism.

Daniel was safe to send to a secular campus.

And God may have a different plan for you.

Jesus did not have an education; should you?

If you seek to follow the example of Jesus, you only need to look at His principle.

If it’s the Father’s will, yes; if not, no.

So Daniel was not “sinning” against God when he studied at the Babylonian University. It was simply God’s providence, and God’s providence is one way He reveals His will.

God reveals His will in three ways

Providence, plus the other two, complete the list. God reveals His will through (see source):

  • His Word, the Holy Scriptures
  • His providential workings
  • the appeals of the Holy Spirit

And Jesus must have discerned how He was going to live His life through these agencies.

If He studied the prophecies in Daniel

—oh, just what a coincidence!—and Jesus surely studied them,

…then He must have known that He only had 33.5 years of life to spend on earth!

He had a work to do in His earthly home, and He had a work to do on behalf of the Jewish nation.

Jesus will not allow Himself to be corrupted by rabbinical teachings that He is going to thwart anyway by the time He begins to preach!

Why waste time on a corrupted tutelage when He simply had to learn fresh from the Father?

That was all He needed.

He did not obtain a degree; should you?

As you can see, it depends.

You can be a John the Baptist, Jesus’ forerunner, and stay in the wilderness in preparation for your lifework.

You can be a Daniel, God’s uncompromising prophet in a secular field which only God arranged him to be into.

You can be a Paul who, as a Saul, was schooled in “mainstream church school,” began persecuting Jesus’ followers for a misunderstanding of the truth, and was later converted upon a “pure” encounter with Jesus.

You can be anyone, but don’t be someone God has not called you to be.

No, you don’t have to obtain a degree.

Jesus did not obtain a degree.

Just stick to your mission.

And you will know. God will reveal. Keep reading and praying.

God Had Not Forgotten

God has a record book. No, I’m not referring to the book of life, or to the book of remembrance, or to the book of sin. He has another record book. It contains your prayers, and He has not forgotten them.

God has not forgotten your prayer

Did you ever lose a part of your faith when you were asking God for something and it seemed no answer was coming?

I almost did.

Oh, well, I guess I actually did. I guess I lost faith when I tried working out the answer to some of my prayers, on my own.

But I learned today that God does not forget our prayers. I’ve been learning this by experience, but just today I read what the Inspired Writings had to say about Luke 1 and 2, leading me to meditate more on the beauty of this truth.

How God revealed this beautiful truth to me

I read Luke 1 and 2 last Sabbath and decided to postpone perusing the rest of my Bible reading assignments from the ESV 40-Day Bible Reading Plan to see what Aunt Ellen, under the influence of the Spirit, had to say.

I grabbed my physical copy of The Vision Study Bible, and turned to Luke 1 and read the footer commentaries. I decided to pause reading through the commentaries to simply digest what I just read.

Vision Study Bible

It was beautiful and was totally worth the time.

Throughout his married life, Zacharias had prayed for a son. He and his wife were now old, and as yet their prayer had remained unanswered; but he murmured not. God had not forgotten. He had His appointed time for answering this prayer, and when the case seemed hopeless, Zacharias received His answer. – Manuscripts, p.1898, par.3

The quote is totally rich and it deserved my attention.

Aside from revealing the fact that “God had not forgotten” Zacharias’ specific prayer, it revealed other beautiful details such as follows:

  • Zacharias kept praying;
  • While his prayer remained unanswered, Zacharias did not murmur (read about the curse of murmuring here);
  • God had an appointed time for answering Zacharias’ prayer; which means:
  • Zacharias’ prayer that he be given a son is according to God’s will; and,
  • God allowed Zacharias to think of it as a hopeless case, and surprised him with His answer when Zacharias finally surrendered his plea to God.

Sometimes, we had simply had to surrender

Sometimes, we may just have to surrender our plea to God, just like Zacharias.

Zacharias might have never known whether it was God’s will for him and Elizabeth to have a son. One thing admirable about him is that he kept praying.

Of course, having a son is not a sin.

So, Zacharias persevered in prayer because he knew that what he has been praying for was something innocent. His heart was free of guilt while asking God for a son. It wasn’t something selfish—I guess having a son would even be an aid for any parent to forget self while nourishing a child.

And God was really planning to answer that particular prayer.

The only other thing in consideration was God’s timeline. God “had His appointed time for answering this prayer.”

So, the next thing God was intending to teach Zacharias was full faith in His timing.

God has a dated record book

It fascinates me to think of the fact that God has a record book for our prayers. Here’s the quote from the inspired writings of Aunt Ellen:

But the answer had come. God had not forgotten the prayer of His servants. He had written it in His record book, to be answered in His own good time. Looking at outward appearances, Zacharias and Elisabeth had buried their hopes, but the Lord had not forgotten. He knew of the long years of disappointment, and when His own name could best be glorified, their son was born. – Manuscript 27, p.1898, par.9

Wow. God has a record book for our prayers! I could imagine how one of my prayers would be listed there, and beside it there would be a future date on which the prayer would be answered!

“When His own name could best be glorified”

Not only does God answer at a specific time; His timing is purposeful.

Come to think of it. God’s timeline is not an arbitrary one! This means that when He assigns a date to answer your innocent, according-to-God’s-will request, He has a lot of considerations to make.

One, He considers giving you the best. Two, He also considers giving you your request at a time when granting that request already becomes humanly impossible.

That way, you would begin to trust Him more for the God that He is—not for the good that you are, i.e., if you are any good.

Aside from these though, He considers giving you more than what you have originally asked for.

How tender, how kind, how full of love and compassion, is the great heart of infinite love. God gave Zacharias as a son no ordinary person, but one who should hold a high place in His work, and from whom the light from heaven should shine in clear, distinct rays. – Manuscript 27, p.1898, par.9

God has given Zacharias John the Baptist as a son!

Extraordinary, indeed!

Extraordinary answers await those who trust

John the Baptist surely became a great blessing to Zacharias and Elizabeth. He was no ordinary son. He was the man who was the forerunner of Jesus, the Messiah.

What a privilege!

He will answer my prayer

I won’t take more time before giving you the takeaway message. It’s here.

By impressing upon me to read the inspired commentaries on Luke 1 and 2, God has given me such a timely reminder:

He will answer my prayer. He does have a record book. My prayer’s there. He has a date for it. And He can give me more than what is humanly possible. He can give me more than what I’ve asked for!

Indeed, it is never a coincidence that Luke 1 contains one of my all-time favorite Bible verses:

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37, KJV

Truly, nothing is impossible for me!

This means nothing is impossible for you, too.

So, let’s keep praying. God has never forgotten.