Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jesus, the plan of God to rescue mankind from eternal damnation (2:7). Angels declare the heavenly birth (2:9-14). Jesus presented in the Temple (2:21-24). Simeon and Anna speak (2:25-40). Jesus speaks (2:41-52). John prepares the way (3:1-22).
The Law required all Jewish men to appear before the Lord God at three major feasts every year: The Passover, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread; the Feast of Pentecost; and the Feast of Tabernacles (Ex. 23:17; Deut. 16:16; Luke 2:41). The Passover Feast, for Jesus, spoke of His death on the cross for the sins of the world. Thus He had real concern in being about the business of His Father — sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. All . . . were astonished at His understanding and answers (2:46-47). In the midst of the doctors implies that Jesus was sitting in the place of authority, for teachers would sit surrounded by their students and would ask and answer questions.
Up to this time in Jesus' life, being perfect as He was, Mary and Joseph could expect His absolute obedience to their parental roles. So, they assumed that He was in the company returning with them to Nazareth, until they discovered that evening that He was not. When they found Him, Mary's words, Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing (2:48), implied that Jesus was inconsiderate. But He said unto them, How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business? (2:49). This commitment to the Word of God paralleled His testimony later in life when He said: I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me (John 5:30). But Jesus returned with them to Nazareth, and was subject unto them (Luke 2:51).
In this day of rebellion, a growing number of children are not taught to be in subjection to their parents. Honoring and obeying God-ordained parental authority is the first Commandment with promise (Eph. 6:2). All who ignore God-ordained authority, including parents, employers, and government leaders, will experience disappointments and suffering because they have cut themselves off from the blessings of God.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers (governing authorities). For there is no power (authority) but of God (by His permission). . . . Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (Rom. 13:1-2).
Thought for Today:
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10).
2:7 swaddling clothes =linen cloth wrapped around an infant; 2:46 doctors =the rabbis who were the instructors in the Law; 3:1 tetrarch =ruler of a fourth part or one of four rulers of a country or province.
For Luke 2:23: See Ex. 13:2,12. Luke 2:24: See Lev. 12:8. Luke 2:32: See Is. 9:2; 42:6; 49:6. Luke 3:4-6: See Is. 40:3-5.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Lee Rutherford • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Jerry Lewis (CA) and Rep. Patrick Tiberi (OH) • Country: Haiti (7 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: French and Creole • Religious freedom • 75% Roman Catholic; 17% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your hands in surrender and praise as you pray (Ps. 63:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:19