Luke 2 -- 3
The Law required all Jewish men to appear before the Lord God in Jerusalem three times every year to participate in the feasts of worship. These included the Passover, with its accompanying Feast of Unleavened Bread; the Feast of Pentecost (also called Weeks); and the Feast of Tabernacles (also called Ingathering) (Exodus 23:17; Deuteronomy 16:16; Luke 2:41). The Passover Feast, which brought devout Jews such as Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem, was in memory of the Israelites' deliverance from Egyptian bondage through the blood of the Passover lamb hundreds of years before. But, for Jesus, even at the age of 12, it spoke of His greater sacrifice yet to come -- His death on the cross for the sins of the world. This accounts for His special interest in being about the business of His Father in the Temple -- sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers of the Law), both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers (2:46-47).
In all of the preparation for returning home to Nazareth, Mary and Joseph were each under the impression that Jesus must be in the company of others traveling in the caravan. Up to this time in His life, being perfect as He was, they had never had any reason to question His absolute obedience, submission, and cooperation. They assumed that He was in the company until that evening when they discovered He was not with them.
When they found Him Mary said: Son, why have You thus dealt with us? Behold, Your father and I have sought You sorrowing (2:48); she implied thoughtlessness on the part of Jesus. But this was not true. The reason for His being in the Temple was that He was now responsible to be about the business of His true Father. And He said to them, Why is it that you searched for Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business? (2:49). Jesus made it very clear who His real Father was.
His devotion to being about the business of His Father drew Him to the Temple; but His submission to the will of His Father also caused Him to return to Nazareth, and was subject to them (2:51). The One to whom all things will one day be subject willingly submitted Himself to His earthly parents.
In this age of rebellion, a growing number of young people are not taught or disciplined to be in subjection to their parents. Honoring and obeying God-ordained parental authority is the first commandment with promise (Ephesians 6:2). Responsibility for nurturing children in the faith rests upon both parents' submission to God. Many parents also rebel against restrictions which are placed on them on the job, at church, or in the community. These people are deceived into thinking they have a right to be independent of God-ordained authority.
Let every soul be subject to the higher powers (governing authorities). For there is no power (authority) but of God (by His permission). . . . Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (Romans 13:1-2).
For Luke 2:23: See Ex. 13:2,12. Luke 2:24: See Lev. 5:7; 12:8. Luke 2:32: See Isa. 42:6; 49:6. Luke 3:4-6: See Isa. 40:3-5.
Government Official: Rep. Jerry Lewis (CA) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KRIO-AM, Edinburg, TX · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Gordon Hyslop (in honor of their anniversary) · Country: Gabon (1 million) in west-central Africa · Major language: French · Religious freedom · 66% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 3% animism and ancestor worship · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede fervently in prayer for others (James 5:16).
Memory Verse for the Week: