Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas 2

Christmas 2
4 January 2015
Luke 2:40-52
Jesus in the Temple

O God, our Maker and Redeemer, who wonderfully created us and in the incarnation of Your Son yet more wondrously restored our human nature, grant that we may ever be alive in Him who made Himself to be like us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Last Sunday we ended with verse 40 of Luke’s presentation of the early life of Jesus. “And the child grew and became strong in Spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.” Fast-forward twelve years. Jesus makes a return trip. To Jerusalem. To the temple. To listen to the scribes and the Elders. And to ask questions. This is His habit. This is His method of operation. That is His MO, His Modus operandi. His profile.  There is nothing strange or odd in Jesus’ behavior.  We should not be surprised.

There are 41 events in the Gospels where the words amazed and astonished are used to describe people’s reaction to Jesus; where the people were either amazed or astonished in meetings Jesus. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 

This is the only boyhood story about Jesus. In this snapshot of Jesus’ life we hear how the scribes, the teachers and other the people present were AMAZED at his understanding of scripture. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

According to Luke, the boy Jesus ends up in the temple instead of heading home with his family after the Passover. When do parents start seriously thinking about getting their child a cell phone? At around the age of twelve. Because at the age of twelve, thirteen and fourteen kids begin hanging out together.  Anyone who has lived with a twelve- year- old can related to this story. It could have happened today just as it did two thousand years ago.

Mary and Joseph assumed Jesus was with his friends.  Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. (Vv.44-45) What they found was a pattern of growth that is necessary for us today.

Today is the first Sunday of a New Year.  Many make New Year’s resolutions. Today’s reading makes a perfect resolution for us as a Friedheim family. Make this resolve…

  1. That we might be regular in our worship attendance. “They found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teacher both listening to them and asking them questions.” – Luke 2:46

A.      The trip to the temple in Jerusalem was for Jesus an annual event.  “Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up according to custom.”

B.      Nothing would distract Him. His focus was complete. Mary and Joseph were frantic. Jesus was so focused that He lost all track of time.  "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

  1. That we might grow.

A.      “And the child grew and became strong in Spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.” – Luke 2:40 Jesus’ life was one of growth through submission, the ultimate example of losing your life only to find it. 

B.      “And Jesus increased in wisdom and statute and in favor of God and men.” – Luke 2:52 We just aren’t good at seeing those growth opportunities, but the Father loves us anyway. Christ loved you enough to submit to the cross. Jesus submitted where you could no. He is the one directing growth from the right hand of the Father.

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