Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: Christ Predicted In His Childhood
(Isaiah 49:1-3; Luke 2:40-52)
  1. Introduction
    1. One question asked about Christ's earthly life is why there were so many "silent years" in it: we know nothing about Jesus from early chilhood until He was about 30 years old except for one event at age 12!
    2. Isaiah predicted there would be a time of obscurity for the Messiah and explains why this would occur. >From these predictions, we learn the credibility of our faith as well as draw a practical application:
  2. Christ Predicted In His Childhood, Isaiah 49:1-3; Luke 2:40-52.
    1. The Isaiah scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls consists of all 66 chapters of Isaiah's prophecy, and is written as a single literary unit credited to Isaiah. It is dated by paleontologists around 150 B. C., or approximately 146 years before Christ's birth, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 3, p. 320.
    2. This scroll predicts Messiah would be kept from public exposure for some time since His words, being so convicting of sin, had to be given at just the time they would produce the best results, Isaiah 49:1-3:
      1. Though the One mentioned as the Servant on the surface appears to be Israel because of the wording in Isaiah 49:3, we know the Servant is not the nation as the Servant must call the wayward nation back to God, cf. Isaiah 49:5b. The Servant then is Messiah called Israel as He does what Israel was supposed to have done -- draw the Gentile nations back to God, cf. Isa. 49:6, cf. Bib. Know. Com., O.T., p. 1103.
      2. This Messiah, very early in His earthly life, would be instructed by God, Isaiah 49:1.
      3. His words would be made like a sharp sword by God to critique the wicked, and like a polished arrow to be hidden by God, Isa. 49:2. These similes reveal the Messiah would have words so acute and penetrating (sharp sword), even to people far away (the arrow and the Gentiles) that God would hide him until His ministry would produce the desired, crisis result, Young, Isaiah, V. III, p. 269.
      4. The Messiah would be encouraged by God's words that He was God's servant in whom God would "display my splendor," Isaiah 49:3 NIV.
    3. These predictions were precisely fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth as follows:
      1. We know from the account of Luke 2:40 and 52 that the child, Jesus increased strong in spirit and in stature, and was filled with wisdom with the grace of God upon Him. This fulfills Isaiah 49:1.
      2. In Luke 2:41-47 sandwiched between these descriptions of Jesus, we read of His appearance at Jerusalem's temple at age 12 to finesse His understanding of the Law before the doctors prior to his bar mitzveh at age 13, cf. Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus, the Messiah, vol. I, p. 235-236. It was thus important that Jesus clarify any questions He had in preparation for this coming of age step.
      3. Well, Jesus both heard and asked the doctors questions, and all hearing Him were astonished at his "combinative insight'" and "discerning answers'", Ibid., Edersheim, p. 247. This fulfills Isa. 49:2.
      4. When Jesus' parents arrived (Luke 2:48), He explained His need to be preoccupied with "my Father's business," Luke 2:29. This reveals His awareness of His Father's concerns, fulfilling Isaiah 49:1.
      5. Jesus then submitted to His earthly parents, leaving Jerusalem and the doctors of the Law behind to return to obscurity in Nazareth. Thus He was hidden by God 18 more years in fulfillment of Isa. 49:2!
      6. Thus, Jesus already sensed the Father's leading at age 12, and His words were already sharp and penetrating as Isaiah 49:1-2 predicted Messiah's would be.
      7. At the outset of His public ministry, God's words, "This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mtt. 3:16f) precisely fit the theme of God's encouraging words to the Messiah in Isaiah 49:3.
      8. Since Luke records this childhood incident of Jesus in his Gospel to the world, the sharpness of His words indeed, as an arrow that reaches far away, have since reached throughout the world unto men!
Lesson: Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the Isaiah scroll's prophecy about the "hidden" childhood years of the Messiah due to the incisive, explosiveness of His powerful words that would reach unto the nations!

Application: (1) Jesus is the Messiah via prophetic fulfillment, so our Christian faith is credible. (2) We should also learn to wait upon God to expand our ministries if we feel we are too confined, for only He knows when we will have the best impact to fit His plans as He did for His own Son!