World Wide Words records the history of a number of common phrases used today. It traced a phrase back to October 9, 1891. The phrase came from a popular joke. A girl found a parrot that was guaranteed to be a good talker. She persuaded her uncle to buy it for her. The joke continues,
“A gentleman was boasting that his parrot would repeat anything he told him. For example, he told him several times, before some friends, to say ‘Uncle,’ but the parrot would not repeat it. In anger, he seized the bird, and half-twisting his neck, said: ‘Say ‘uncle,’ you beggar!’ and threw him into the fowl pen, in which he had ten prize fowls. Shortly afterward, thinking he had killed the parrot, he went to the pen. To his surprise he found nine of the fowls dead on the floor with their necks wrung, and the parrot standing on the tenth twisting his neck and screaming: ‘Say ‘uncle,’ you beggar! say uncle.’”
My Uncle Bob taught me the concept the hard way. I would say, “Hi, Uncle Bob.” For some reason, that was not enough. He wanted to hear me say “Uncle” again as his massive hand was crushing my young paw or as he found certain pressure points. Saying, “Uncle” clearly meant, “I give up, I surrender.”
Do you remember someone who would make you scream “Uncle?”
Jesus never needed to say, “Uncle,” but He regularly gave up His will and surrendered His life to God the Father. Jesus was, is, and will always be God, yet He submitted to the Father’s plan.
1. Age Twelve
Even at an early age, Jesus focused on pleasing His Father.
Luke 2:41-51 records every parent’s nightmare, “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.”
How long did it take Joseph and Mary to find Jesus?
What was Jesus doing?
What word describes Jesus’ attitude in Nazareth?
Jesus committed His Spirit to God at an early age. He then even submitted to the Father by being submissive to His earthly parents.
2. The Garden of Gethsemane
Matthew 26:36-44 describes another time when Jesus chose God the Father’s will,
“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I go over there and pray.’ And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.’ And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’ And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.”
Luke 22:42 adds, “Saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’”
What did Jesus ask of the disciples? Why?
What was Jesus’ battle? What did He choose?
3. The Cross
From childhood to death, Jesus committed His life to the Father. Luke 23:46 says,
“Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last.”
The word “commit” is also found in 1 Peter 2:22, “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”
When it comes to committing our life, there are two options. What are they?
The baptism and miracles could also be discussed on how Jesus constantly committed His life to God the Father.
Jesus committed to doing the right thing in every situation. He always went beyond managing to do good; He did what was best. He chose perfection because good would not be good enough.
The next important step is to examine our own lives. Several verses remind us to commit our lives to the Lord fully.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Sacrifices implied death. What is meant by being a “living sacrifice?” How?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5
Which verses speak most to you? Why?
In what area do you need to surrender to God right now?
“Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me,
O Lord, faithful God.”