Summary: We examine Jesus' first recognition of his own identity in Luke 2:41-52 and learn about the deity of Jesus.
We are studying the life of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke in a sermon series I am calling, “To Seek and To Save the Lost.”
The first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel deal with what is called “The Infancy Narrative.” That is, they deal with the predictions of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, their births, and then what happened to Jesus following his birth.
Luke described the birth of Jesus, which took place in a stable in Bethlehem (2:1-7). Then he told us about the shepherds visiting Jesus on the night of his birth (2:8-20).
Joseph and Mary continued to stay in Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus. Eight days after his birth, Jesus was circumcised and named “Jesus,” in accordance with the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb (2:21). Forty days after his birth, Mary, along with Joseph and Jesus, went to the temple for her purification and Jesus’ presentation to the Lord, as it is written in the Law of the Lord (2:22-24).
While they were in the temple precincts, Joseph and Mary and Jesus met two very godly people who gave an astounding testimony about Jesus. Simeon and Anna each testified about the true identity and mission of Jesus (2:25-38).
Then Luke simply mentioned the return of Joseph and Mary and Jesus to Nazareth (2:39), which almost certainly took place after the visit of the wise men (Matthew 2:1-12) and the family’s flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15). He also made a very important statement about the humanity of Jesus (Luke 2:40). We examined this text last time in our study of Luke’s Gospel.
Today we will look at the only biblical story about Jesus prior to the start of his ministry at the age of thirty. And in this text Luke made a very important statement about the divinity of Jesus.
So, please follow with me as I read about the boy Jesus in the Temple in Luke 2:41-52:
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 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, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 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.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 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.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:41-52)
Pastor John MacArthur tells us in his commentary on Luke’s Gospel that history has recorded some truly amazing children, child prodigies who performed astonishing feats. Early in the eighteenth century Jean Louis Cardiac, known as the “wonder child,” was said to have recited the alphabet at the age of three months. By the age of four, he read Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and translated Latin into English and French.
Christian Friedrich Heinecken, known as the “infant of Lubeck,” was a contemporary of Cardiac. He reportedly knew the major events recorded in the Bible by the time he was a year old. At the age of three, he was familiar with world history and geography, as well as Latin and French.
No doubt the most famous child prodigy of the time was the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The young Mozart began playing the keyboard by ear at the age of three. By the time he was six, he had begun composing his own pieces. At that same age Mozart, along with his older sister, began touring Europe, giving both private concerts for the nobility, and also public concerts. At eight, he composed his first symphony.
The noted nineteenth-century philosopher John Stuart Mill was also a child prodigy. Under the rigorous tutelage of his father, John learned Greek at the age of three. At the age of eight, he began learning Latin, geometry, and algebra.