Saturday, January 4, 2020

Christmas 2

Christmas 2
05 January 2020
Luke 2:40-52
Jesus in the Temple

It is a new year and a new decade. As we recall Jesus’ trip to Jerusalem we will see that as Jesus developed, His mind also increased in knowledge and understanding. It is fitting for us to begin this New Year recalling the words of that familiar hymn, “With the Lord begin Thy task Jesus will direct it.” To that end let us pray, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of these hearts be acceptable to You O Lord our Rock and our Redeemer.“– Psalm 19:14   

Luke’s presentation of the early life of Jesus reads as follows, “And the child grew and became strong in Spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.”-v.40 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 pattern. 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. –v.41

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.” –v.48

When do parents start seriously thinking about getting their child a cell phone? When they become teenagers. 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.

According to Luke, the boy Jesus ends up in the temple instead of heading home with his family after the Passover.

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)

Although this is the only boyhood story about Jesus

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.
2.      That we might grow.

1.      “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.” That’s ninety miles. From Decatur to Anderson. And they would take this trip every single year.

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. –Vv. 49-50

2.     That we might grow.

A.          And the child grew.

1.     Became strong in spirit. As he began his ministry Jesus will return to Nazareth where he was raised and brought up.  "And was his custom he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given him. He unrolled the scroll found the place where it was written..."The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." - Luke 4:16-21

2.   He was filled with wisdom. According to the 1st Commandment "we must fear, love and trust in God above all things."  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom - all those who practice it have a good understanding." Psalm111.10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom - knowledge of the holy one is insight." Proverbs 9.10  

3.   The favor of God Was upon Him.  It’s a new year. A new decade. Opportunities await us. - As we look to the future may our prayer be that of Moses as he writes in Psalm 90, "Let the favor of a the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands." v.17.  

May this be our focus as we enter this New Year; whether you find yourself in your job, within the family circle, at school, on the farm, -while waiting in line or moving ahead - may this be our motto and prayer for 2020, "establish the work of our hands."

Transition: When Jesus sets the table, then the favor of the Lord our God will be upon us.

B.        As Jesus grew there was an increase...

1.     In wisdom and stature. We mark the progress of our students academically socially, physically, emotionally. There are certain benchmarks we hope to obtain in our business. Already there are plans being made for new planting and harvest season.

There are always opportunities for growth. A New Year is an excellent opportunity to set priorities, goals objectives. Will you meet them? Only time will tell.

2.    Truth be told we each desire or at least enjoy the praise and favor of men. We wish to be liked as well as respected. We each want to be noticed. It's a good day when someone has paid attention. We each desire to be valued. Jesus receives the favor of both God and men.

Jesus' recognition of God and men is found in His life of service and sacrifice. "But Jesus called them to himself and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Matthew 20:25-28

Jesus came with a single purpose. To give his life as a ransom for you. In his love, mercy and pity Jesus stooped down to welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve.  By His guiding hand begin this New Year confidently in Jesus' name.

"Thus Lord Jesus, ev’ry task be to You commended;
   May Your will be done, I ask, until life is ended.
   Jesus, in Your name begun be the day’s endeavor;
   Grant that it may well be done To Your praise forever."[1]

Words- 1,360
Passive Sentences-11%
Readability- 75.8%
Reading Level – 5.7
Woodcut “The Boy Jesus in the Temple” by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden [The Book of Books in Pictures]) copyright ©WELS Permission granted for personal and congregational use.

[1] With the Lord Begin Your Task stanza four, Lutheran Service Book copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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