My wife teaches K-8 inner-city students and often decries their lack of self-discipline and morality. Most of her fellow teachers are similarly disgusted with our youth and consider them a lost generation.
But, I'm not so pessimistic. I feel that if the youth of today had the right role models, they would strive to be like them and change their ways. There are mentoring programs across the country to help inner-city kids become successful. Many churches have youth programs for disadvantaged youth.
It's unfortunate that the Bible stories about Jesus don't have any accounts of his years as a teenager. There's just one story about him being a precocious preteen who talked back to his parents after he ran off without telling them where he was going. What kind of example is that for teenagers?
If the true story of what Jesus did during his teenage years were known, I think it would inspire them because the Bible says that Jesus, as a man, experienced every temptation but remained sinless. Thus, as a teenager, Jesus experienced raging hormones and all the temptations that teens are subjected to. But he overcame. The Jesus in the gospels is viewed by teens and most adults as the perfect Son of God, who was far above them in attainment and far removed from the cares and temptations of the world. They don't think of Jesus as an older brother who has gone through the same stage and matured spiritually and who can help they get through by his example and his grace.
Mary Magdalene is another figure from Jesus' life whose story could be inspiring for teenage girls. She overcame her life as a rich call girl to be one of Jesus' most devoted followers. Some say that her relationship with Jesus was more than that of a master and disciple. Two authorities on this topic are Steve Miller and David Lewis, who will be giving a two-week online webinar on April 6 and April 13 entitled The True Relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene as the Foundation of the Holy Grail at http://www.heartscenter.org/MeruUniversity/MU1404JesusandMaryMagdalene/tabid/862/Default.aspx#.UzisS6hdWE6
In this course Steve and David will prove that Jesus was indeed married to his devoted disciple, Mary Magdalene. Both Mary Magdalene and Jesus were initiates of the highest order. Her parents were also initiates and lived among the Essene Community. Jesus was tutored by the Essenes. Steve and David will take a closer look into this true branch of the Great White Brotherhood and introduce various characters from among the Essenes who influenced Jesus and Mary Magdalene to fulfill their amazing destiny together.
Steve and David will also explore past embodiments of Mary Magdalene. In addition to her role as devoted follower of Jesus and as Igraine, King Arthur’s Mother and key player during the time of Camelot, they will explore her life as a spiritual leader among the Cathars, and one lifetime as a saint of the Church. In both roles, she was devoted to Jesus and worked to maintain the truth of his mission and message.
In her final embodiment, she was again a messenger for Jesus, as the 20th-century fiery and charismatic evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson. Sister Aimee both captivated and perplexed the Christian community of her day, as a world witnessed the healing of tens of thousands of souls, in Jesus’ name, through her.
Today, as the Ascended Lady Master Magda, she is working with Lady Masters Portia and Nada to empower women everywhere to claim their rightful position in society. She is a champion of true women’s rights movements, especially women’s spiritual rights as equal to men in every way.