Read Luke 2 -- 3
In Today’s Reading:
Birth of Jesus; shepherds' adoration; Simeon's and Anna's prophecies; return to Nazareth; Jesus among the teachers; ministry of John the Baptist; baptism of Jesus; genealogy of Jesus through Mary.
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 (called Weeks); and the Feast of Tabernacles (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. In all of the busy preparation for returning home from the Passover Feast, Mary and Joseph, supposing Him (Jesus) to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him. . . . After three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers of the Law), both hearing them, and asking them questions (Luke 2:44-46). For Jesus, even at the age of 12, this feast was symbolic of His death on the cross for the sins of the world. This accounts for His special interest in being about His Father's business in the Temple.
After finding Him in the Temple, Mary said: Son, why [have You] thus dealt with us? Behold, [Your] father and I have sought [You] sorrowing (2:48). Jesus explained to Mary His reason for being in the Temple, saying: [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.
Devotion to His Father's business 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 or to anyone else. Honoring and obeying God-ordained parental authority is the first Commandment with promise (Ephesians 6:2). Parents who are in submission to God have a threefold responsibility for spiritual training: by personal example, through daily devotions, and by regular attendance in a Bible-teaching church on the Lord's day. Pity the parents who rebel against restrictions which are placed on them on the job, at church, or in the community. Such people are deceived, thinking they have a right to be independent of God-ordained authority, but still expect their children to be obedient to authorities.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers (governing authorities). For there is no power (authority) but of God. . . . Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resiseth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (Romans 13:1-2).
Thought for Today: The certainty that God's Word will be fulfilled is the foundation of our faith.
2:7 swaddling = to wrap with cloth, implying special care is given to Him; 2:46 doctors = scholars, the Rabbis; 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. 5:7; 12:8. Luke 2:32: See Isa. 42:6; 49:6. Luke 3:4-6: See Isa. 40:3-5.
Government Officials: Rep. Jerry Lewis (CA) and Rep. Patrick Tiberi (OH) · Pray for one another · Country: Belarus (10 million) northeastern Europe · Major languages: Belarussian and Russian · Religious freedom · 48% Russian Orthodox; 22% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for unity of spirit with other believers (I Peter 3:8).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 13:2