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

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part VIII: Clarifying How Christ's Youthful Activity Showed He Was The World's Savior
(Luke 2:39-52)
  1. Introduction
    1. Luke not only provided information given prior to Jesus' human capacity to convey it that He was God's worldwide Savior, but Jesus' unique activity in His childhood uniquely exposes His special identity.
    2. Jesus' activity at age 12 reveals He then fully realized His unique calling and identify as God Incarnate, and how He unnaturally functioned in full awareness of that fact testifies to the reality of that identity:
  2. Clarifying How Christ's Youthful Activity Showed He Was The World's Savior, Luke 2:39-52.
    1. To appreciate Jesus' activity in the temple at age 12, we must understand Jewish customs (as follows):
      1. Jewish boys became "sons of the commandment" at their Bar Mitzvah at age 13, being then viewed as full members of the religious community, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Luke 2:42.
      2. However, "This age was often anticipated by one or two years in the matter of going to the temple," Ibid. It was thus not unusual for a boy at age 12 to be getting into a theological discussion with the Doctors, for if he had questions about the Law, that was the appropriate time to get them answered.
    2. Accordingly, following Jesus' dedication at the temple at one month of age, Mary and Joseph eventually returned to Nazareth in Galilee where Jesus grew for the next 12 years to become strong in spirit and filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him, Luke 2:39-40.
    3. When Jesus was 12, the year before His Bar Mitzvah, he went up to Jerusalem with His earthly parents to the Spring Feast of Passover, fully anticipating His coming Bar Mitzvah a year later, Luke 2:41-42.
    4. After Mary and Joseph had fulfilled their Biblical responsibilities to attend the feast, they returned with their other relatives, presuming Jesus was with the company along with the other children, Luke 2:43-44a. Apparently, large groups of extended families would travel together to and from the Jerusalem feasts.
    5. However, after one day of heading back home, and not finding Jesus among the relatives, His parents naturally became upset because of His absence, so they returned to Jerusalem to find Him, Luke 2:44b-45.
    6. They searched the city and found Jesus after the third day sitting among the teachers of the Law in the temple, both hearing and asking them questions, Luke 2:46. He was only doing what a typical 12-year-old Jewish boy was supposed to do in preparation for His Bar Mitzvah ; however, His understanding was so great, He had numerous questions that took days of interaction with the experts to address them!
    7. We have a idea of the kind and degree of understanding Jesus displayed as depicted in Luke 2:47:
      1. The Greek New Testament word for the KJV's "understanding", sunesis means "combinative insight," the ability to combine truths in one part of Scripture with another, Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah , 1972, vol. I, p. 247. This is one of the abilities of a Bible expositor!
      2. The word for the KJV's "answers", apokrisis implies "discerning answers," Ibid.; U. B. S. Greek N. T., 1966 ed., p. 211; Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament , 1967, p. 93.
      3. Thus, at age 12, Jesus could integrate the parts of Scripture with the rest of it with precision, an ability only Bible expositors possess! No wonder the teachers of the Law were amazed at Him, Luke 2:47!
    8. His parents were amazed Jesus was thus preoccupied when they were upset at missing Him, and His reply confused them: He wondered why they did not know He had to do His heavenly Father's work, 2:48-49.
    9. This reply reveals that God the Father had already been speaking to Jesus as predicted in Isaiah 50:4-5; Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, vol. III, p. 298-299.
    10. Yet, His earthly parents did not understand this, so, in respect for them as the Law directed (Ex. 20:12), Jesus returned to Nazareth with them, submitting to them uncharacteristic of a 12-year-old, Lk. 2:50-51!
    11. Until He began his ministry 18 years later, Jesus stayed submissive to His parents though growing far beyond their insight, and in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man, Lk. 2:52; 3:23; Jn. 2:1-5!
Lesson: The (1) great insight of the 12-year-old Jesus, (2) His having already had verbal contact with God the Father and (3) His uncharacteristic, extensive submission to His earthly parents regardless of His vastly superior insight to them show Jesus was the Sinless Son of God, the Savior of the world!

Application: May we believe in the Sinless Son of God to be saved from sin ourselves! (John 3:16)