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The Boy Jesus
Luke 2:46-52
The Father's business, not our desires, are Jesus' top priority
Published September 27th, 2018
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Jesus' parents expected Him to attend to them, but He had to about His Father's business, for His Father's glory. - and yet afterward Jesus honored His parents and grew in renown, mirroring His redemptive Gospel mission.
Luke 2:46-52
Then, after three days they found Him in the temple,
Then, after three days they found Him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
That is , sitting in the midst of the teachers,
both listening to them
Both listening to them
and asking them questions.
and asking them questions
And all who heard Him a were amazed at His understanding
so that all who heard him would be amazed at His understanding
and His answers.
and be amazed at His answers.
When they saw Him, they were astonished;
Therefore when His parents saw Him they were also astonished;
and a His mother said to Him,
and therefore His mother said to Him,
“ 1 Son, why have You treated us this way?
"Son, why have You treated us this way?
Behold, b Your father and I 2 have been anxiously looking for You.”
Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You. "
And He said to them,
And Jesus responded,
“Why is it that you were looking for Me?
"Why is it that you were looking for Me?
Did you not know that a I had to be in My Father’s 1 house? ”
For , did you not know that I had to be in my father's house? "
But a they did not understand the statement which He 1 had made to them.
But they did not know this, nor understand the statement he had made.
And He went down with them and came to a Nazareth,
Afterward, He went down with them to Nazareth,
and He continued in subjection to them;
and He continued in subjection to His parents,
and b His mother c treasured all these 1 things in her heart.
and as a result His mother treasures all these things in her heart.
And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and 1 stature,
and moreover Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature
and in a favor with God and men.
and furthermore in favor with God and men.
Luke 2:50
50 But a they did not understand the statement which He 1 had made to them.
Luke 9:45
45 But a they 1 did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it ; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement .
46c-d: You would think that a 12 year old boy sitting in the midst of prestigious religious teachers would either be turned out, or would simply sit, listen, and know his place - not interact with the discussion. But Jesus was different. Luke says He was both listening to these teachers and asking questions. 47a-b: And not only this, but as a result of Jesus' interaction with the discussion, Luke says that all who heard were amazed at His understanding, His wisdom. Can you imagine, being a learned scholar of your religion, and having a 12 year old boy sit there and not only keep up with you, but actually display even more understanding than you?... ... Of course the thing is these men didn't realize from this that Jesus was the Messiah, which we may be able to explain in verse 50. Even still, I think it's clear Jesus' point in being there was to amaze - both the teachers and His parents. Why else would be be there? He's God in the flesh, He has no need to learn theology from men does He? 48a-d: In verse 48 we see Jesus' parents are so amazed to see that he's stayed behind to discourse with the Jewish leaders, that Mary actually rebukes Him - remember this is after an angel spoke to Mary and Joseph in Matthew and told them Jesus was literally conceived by the Holy Spirit, but evidently they still hadn't discerned the whole picture. 49a-c: So if Jesus' point in doing all this wasn't to amaze people into believing in Him as the Messiah yet, since that time was not yet at hand, then what was his point? Well in verse 49 I think he answers that. He says His parents shouldn't have been looking for Him, because He says he had to be in His Father's house. ... And so I think this is the answer. Jesus' point in joining this discussion was to go about His Father's business and astonish everyone involved into glorifying His Father. See Mary thought that Jesus' needed to be with her and Joseph and attend to their needs, but Jesus was more concerned with astonishing the teachers and His parents with his wisdom so that they might give glory to His Father. If Jesus is willing to make his own earthly parents' wishes subordinate to His Father's glory, don't you think you and I are a bit selfish when we expect Him to look after all of our comforts all the time, rather than recognizing that we are but a small part of the worldwide, history-spanning meta-narrative of God's glory and redemptive plan for mankind? ... He takes care of us and stays with us yes, but our happiness or perceived needs simply can't supersede God's glory or His drawing of souls unto Himself. 50 : And you know what makes our sinful hearts the most angry? It's what verse 50 tells us - that not only will Jesus put pur desires on hold for His Father's story , but often we won't even understand what He's doing . His parents didn't understand why He was in the temple, and they didn't understand when He said 'I had to be in my Father's house.' ...Why didn't they understand? Well look at Luke 9:44-45. In verse 44 Jesus is telling His disciples, again people very close to Him, that He must be handed over to the authorities to be killed, but verse 45 tells us they didn't understand. And not only that, but they didn't understand because it was concealed from them, because they weren't supposed to understand yet. It's not God's primary aim for us to comprehend everything right away, it's to bring us into the glorying of, the worship of, His name. ... So in this story, did it work? Did Jesus' purpose come to pass? 51-52: Well look at verses 51 and 52. In 52 Jesus keeps increasing in wisdom In 51 we see that after the temple incident Jesus 'continued in subjection to His parents, he humbled Himself and honored them, remember the 4th commandment (Jesus kept all the laws), and as a result? Mary treasured these things in her heart. Treasured the fact that Jesus had the power of God in Him to the point that He could discourse with prominent rabbis, and yet still humbled Himself and served His parents. This is The Gospel - this is why we must give glory to God. Look at Philippians 2:5-8. " Have this attitude [fn] in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [fn] grasped, 7 but [fn] emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [fn] on a cross" This little story of boy Jesus gives us the essence of who He is. He came in the full power of God and primarily to glorify God, and yet simultaneously humbled Himself to serve us - serve us by dying for us to redeem us from our sins on the cross. And so as Mary did I think we ought to do as Jesus intends us to - to treasure these things in our hearts - to treasure Him in our hearts, and be amazed to the glory of God.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.