Summary: As Christians, we have responsibilities on earth (family, work, school, society, etc…), but we must always remember where we ultimately belong (we are citizens of heaven)!
When Jesus Christ was on earth, He was fully man and fully God! This of course is a mystery, but it is truth. This is similar to the truth and mystery of God is One but exists in Three Persons.
If Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God on earth, how was His growing up? God gives us a glimpse of this in our passage this morning. Only this passage in the Gospel of Luke describes the childhood of Jesus Christ. God placed it there for a reason. What can we learn from the childhood of Jesus Christ?
The story is about Jesus’ family going to Jerusalem for the Passover. Jesus, with His earthly parents Mary and Joseph, lived in Nazareth (show map), about 70 miles north of Jerusalem. The Holy City of Jerusalem is where the Temple of God was. Jesus was 12 years old in our story today. The age of twelve was normal for instructing a boy for entry to the religious community of Judaism.
2000 years ago, Jewish men were required by God’s Law to keep three annual festivals in Jerusalem, but only the Passover was strictly observed. Whole families would go up to Jerusalem, with an estimated 60,000–100,000 visitors, for the Passover Feast. People travelled in large groups for companionship and security on the way.
Please open your Bibles now to Luke Chapter 2. But before reading, let us pray our commitment to God’s Word……
Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God! How did He live His childhood? How did His parents handle the situation, being told that their son is the promised Messiah?
Let us learn by reading Luke 2:39-52…..
What’s the first thing we note in v39 (and also in v43)? Mary and Joseph were godly people!
And in v40, we note that Jesus grew up strong, wise, and full of God’s grace.
And what happened in Jerusalem when Jesus was 12 years old? Verse 41-45 tell us that Jesus stayed in God’s Temple in Jerusalem as His family went back home.
Jesus disappeared from His parents how many days??
1 day travel from Jerusalem, 1 day back to Jerusalem, they looked for Him for 3 days! Jesus was AWOL from His parents for over 5 days!
I wonder if Jesus slept or ate for those days?
The important questions we need to ask of course are:
Was Jesus disobedient? Were Mary and Joseph negligent?
To answer these questions, there are a few truths we need to note:
1. Jesus was transitioning to manhood (He was starting to make decisions on His own). Parents, let us note that this is normal for our kids. Allow your children to make decisions on their own unless……
Parents, we are to allow our children to make decisions on their own unless they are disobedient or will sin some other way!
2. The “caravan” to Jerusalem and back to home was large and mainly family; therefore, Mary and Joseph likely assumed that Jesus was with His cousins.
We don’t read it here, but since Jesus was already 12 years old, Mary and Joseph likely already had other children to deal with, who would still be very young at that time.
3. Mary and Joseph trusted Jesus.
For 12 years they have witnessed God’s miraculous work through Jesus Christ!
4. We note in v51 that Jesus was obedient!
Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus never sinned!
5. Jesus knew where He ultimately belonged!
Jesus stated in v49 where He belonged…..
And finally, knowing He is the Messiah, did Jesus confront the Jewish leaders and teachers?
6. Jesus was respectful of the people in the Temple.
We read in v46…..
This is all God tells us about Jesus’ childhood. But as noted for sure in v52, Jesus grew up in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men! Jesus was a perfect person, from baby to childhood to adolescence to manhood!
Jesus was a perfect person!
Why did God place this childhood story of Jesus in the Bible? There are at least two reasons. First, God wants us to note how Mary and Joseph handled the situation of being parents and being with God Himself. Let us also note that God Jesus Christ took the role of a child under earthly parents.
The other reason for this story in the Bible is God wants us to note the importance of knowing where and to whom we truly belong as Christians, as Jesus did.
Mary and Joseph were with Jesus Christ. They were told that Jesus was the Messiah Savior God! But how did Mary and Joseph handled the child Jesus? Mary and Joseph took responsibility as godly parents to Jesus!
And again, let us also note that, Jesus took responsibility as a child to His earthly parents!