Summary: In today's lesson we learn about the full humanity 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.”
Luke has 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 regarding Jesus. Simeon and Anna each testified about the true identity and mission of Jesus.
Today we will examine Luke’s summary statement about the return of Joseph and Mary and Jesus to Nazareth. However, in this summary statement we learn a great deal of very important information about Jesus’ growth as a child.
Let’s read about the return to Nazareth in Luke 2:39-40:
39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. (Luke 2:39-40)
Occasionally I come across photos of celebrities when they were young children. Sometimes one can match the childhood photo with the celebrity, and sometimes not. It is interesting to see what the celebrities looked like when they were children.
Luke gave us a similar snapshot in his Gospel. After describing Jesus’ birth and the events immediately following his birth, and before Jesus began his public ministry, Luke gave us a glimpse of Jesus’ childhood. It is an important picture of Jesus as a child.
So, today, I want to analyze Jesus’ growth as a child in Luke 2:39-40.
An analysis of Jesus’ growth as a child in Luke 2:39-40 will teach us about the humanity of Jesus.
In Luke 2:39-40 we learn that:
1. Jesus Was Led By His Parents (2:39a)
2. Jesus Was Raised in Nazareth (2:39b)
3. Jesus Grew As a Child (2:40a)
4. Jesus Received God’s Favor (2:40b)
I. Jesus Was Led By His Parents (2:39a)
The first thing we learn about Jesus’ growth as a child is that Jesus was led by his parents.
Luke said that they, that is, Joseph and Mary, performed everything according to the Law of the Lord (2:39a). Jesus was led by Joseph and Mary, who were godly and faithful parents.
As I mentioned earlier, Joseph and Mary had Jesus circumcised on the eighth day. They named in “Jesus,” in accordance with the name given by the angel before he was conceived in Mary’s womb. Forty days after Jesus’ birth, Mary, along with Joseph and Jesus, went to the temple for her purification and Jesus’ presentation to the Lord. And all of these things were done according to the Law of the Lord.
Keep in mind that Joseph and Mary did all of these things even though it meant a great inconvenience and cost.
God-assigned duties are not always easy to do. They will often require effort and even sacrifice on the part of parents. But if they are duties that God has required of us, we must do them if we are to obey God.
Parents, let me remind you of vows that you took at the baptism of your children.
First, you were asked: Do you acknowledge your child’s need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit? Only Jesus was born without sin. All other children, including yours, were born with sin. Of course, as your children have grown up you have seen evidences of that sinful nature, haven’t you? And surely, you recognize ever increasingly that your children need the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit.
Second, you were asked: Do you claim God’s covenant promises in (his or her) behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for (his or her) salvation, as you do for your own? Unlike some denominations, we do not believe that baptism saves children. Every child must put his or her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to receive the gift of eternal life. So, Dad and Mom, are you teaching your children the gospel? If I were to ask your children to explain the gospel to me, would your children be able to do it?