It is common where we live in South Africa to see a business of mongoose. A group of such animals is called a “business” because of the way they stand up on their hind legs. A local belief says that the animals stand to show importance in order to conduct business. In actuality, they are standing to spy out the land for potential threats. I remember as a child reading the story, “Rikki, Tikki, Tavi.” The story centers on a mongoose who protects a child from a venomous snake. I moved to Africa knowing that these amazing creations of God were snake fighters, but I didn’t know that they were gigglers. They communicate with each other by making noises that sound like giggling.
When Jesus was 12 years old, He traveled with his parents to Jerusalem for Passover. Because of the large number of people traveling together back to Nazareth, Mary and Joseph didn’t realize right away that Jesus was missing. They looked for their Son among relatives and friends, and then traveled back to Jerusalem in search of Jesus. They found Him in at the Temple. The Bible says in Luke 2:46 that Jesus was sitting among the teachers (present, watching, and experiencing), listening to them (hearing and understanding), and asking questions (respectfully inquiring and interrogating). When Mary asked about Jesus’ actions, He told His earthly parents that they should have known He would be about His Father’s business.
In Jewish tradition, when a boy is 12 or 13 years old, he is considered mature. He is responsible for his choices and actions. He is dealt a stricter punishment when sin occurs, and is considered age appropriate to experience fasting for 24 hours. He is ready to be about his Father’s business.
We need to be about our Father’s business. As Christian women, it is more important that we concern ourselves with the business of God than anything else. We can get distracted by the business of our neighbors, our employers, our church, and even the business of ministry, but the most important business is God’s business.
In Luke 2:47 we learn that those present in the Temple were amazed by Jesus’ wisdom and understanding. In the Greek text it indicates that Jesus was able to explain deep spiritual truth. His ability to communicate spiritual understanding caused others to respond and give audience to the Son of God.
When we are about our Father’s business (sitting, listening, and asking), we can have confidence that the Lord will impart to us wisdom and understanding. He will also give us the ability to explain spiritual truth in a way that others will listen and take notice.
I find it interesting that a mongoose fights snakes and giggles. I know that doing God’s business involves fighting in heavenly places. I also think that there is amazing joy in living for Jesus and fulfilling His purposes. I want God’s business to be my business.