LUKE 2:39-52 – LEARNING TO BE HUMAN – UNIQUELY LUKE

Before my mom and dad died, I could not honestly say, I know how you feel! Now, I can.

Before I became a pastor I could not honestly say, “I know how you feel.” Now I can.

Before I became old, I could not honestly say, “I know how you feel.” Now I can!

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus can honestly say, “I know how you feel!”

He left Heaven for our sakes. Believe it or now He had to learn how to become human! This is the theme of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is presented as the perfect human being, who lived among the people of His day, and then became the perfect sacrifice for our sins!

In these 14 verses we learn about the first 30 years of His life. He was learning to be human. And in these verses, we can make some personal applications for ourselves.

LEARNING THE PROCESS – Luke 2:38-41

Vs. 39 – Did Luke know about the visit of the Wise Men and the trip to Egypt. If he did his homework, and I’m sure he did, he would have known. Matthew told it because of his theme of Jesus as King. Luke didn’t because, his theme was the humanity of Jesus. My guess is that Jesus was somewhere between 2-4 years old when they returned to Nazareth. He would have grown up learning to walk, talk, play, and learn with other children his age. He had brothers and sisters and attended the local synagogue. He probably started learning the carpentry business from his earthly father. He was treated like a normal kid and probably even heard unkind accusations that his real father was a Samaritan. Jesus had a normal upbringing in the poorer class among other families.

Vs. 40 – Jesus grew to be strong and wise, and experienced God’s grace in his life. God favored Him because He deserved it. In his mercy He favors us when we don’t!

His power for ministry through the Work of the Holy Spirit came later. Yes, Jesus was sinless, but as a child he worked no miracles and learned the way we learn.

Jesus set aside the independent use of his attributes as God the Son, to come to earth and be one of us. This was necessary, for Him to do what we couldn’t do, live a perfect life without sin, and thus be a worthy sacrifice for us. Philippians 2:5-8

Vs. 41 – Joseph and Mary’s custom was to go to Jerusalem for Passover every year. It was one of the required feasts. Mary was not required to go, but she went anyway. With Joseph they modeled godliness for their children.

Jesus knew what it was to be taught by Godly parents, he learned the disciplines of faith through His parents. It is possible his grandparents were involved also, perhaps even a godly aunt or uncle. There probably would have been classes in the synagogue. He learned through the example and teaching of others.

APPLICATION #1We must learn responsibility in community/family from the teaching and example of others! As Christians, we part of God’s family. God given us each other to learn from, plus teachers and elders. Ephesians 4:11-16, Hebrews 10:24-25

ESTABLISHING HIS PURPOSE – Luke 2:42-50

Vs. 12 – Jesus was just a year away from becoming a “Son of the Law” at age 13. The custom was for the boys to go and learn before they became adults spiritually.

By now, Jesus probably understood that the Passover was a picture of himself, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. John 1:29

Vss. 43-44 – They stayed for the whole Passover, which was one day, plus what was called “The Feast of Weeks.” 8 days. Jesus stayed behind, which was not a sin. Jesus was not missed because they traveled in Caravan, they assumed that Jesus was with them.

Vs. 45-46 – Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem, another full day. They found Him in the temple towards the end of the third day. This would be on one of the porches, where the teaching would take place.

When they found Jesus, he was sitting at the feet of the noted Rabbis of the day, not instructing them but learning from them. The style of learning of the day was both teachers and students asking and answering questions. Remember, he was human and learned the ways we do.

Vs. 47-48 – Jesus’ answers were far above that of any 12-year-old the rabbis had ever encountered before. Remember Jesus’ mind was clearer than all because it was unstained by sin. Mom and his earthly dad probably walked in, while he was giving an answer to the rabbis and were also amazed.

Mary was both relieved and exasperated at the same time, as any parent might be. I imagine her blurting out to her son for all to hear, “Son how could you do this to us! You put us through so much turmoil!”

Vs. 49 – Jesus’ answer was not defiant. He was not disrespectful to his parents. He was surprised that they didn’t know where to look for Him!

Jesus knew his identity and was present in His Father’s House and going about His Father’s things, or business. Jesus’ #1 goal was to be in the presence of God always and do His will.

Vss. 50-51 – His parents didn’t understand, but Mary “pondered them in her heart”, reflecting on them.

APPLICATION #2If we are God’s children we should live in God’s presence and seek to do His business.

If we have been born again into the Family of God we are God’s children. We have a new nature that enables us to prioritize and seek God’s presence. We should have a desire to live in God’s presence. It takes time, but it should be our desire! John 1:12-13, John 3:3-7, Ezekiel 36:25-27, John 15:7-11, Galatians 2:20, Philippians 1:21

DEVELOPING HIS PERSONALITY – Luke 2:51-52

Vs. 51 – Jesus knew His purpose, to be about his Father’s business, and the next thing He did was to go home and grow up. He was still subject to Mary and Joseph’s authority, and then lived in obscurity until it was God’s time for Him to present Himself to Israel!

Vs. 52 – Jesus spent the next 18 years interacting with his contemporaries, learning carpentry, and becoming a carpenter. He would have experienced the joys and sorrows of human life, seeing people He loved pass away, and celebrating with family and friends at weddings, religious celebrations, and undoubtedly, Passover! God use this time to prepare Him for the greatest ministry anyone ever had.

He grew:

  • Intellectually
  • Physically
  • Spiritually
  • Socially

APPLICATION #3 – We are to strive to grow to be more like Jesus all our lives.

This will affect our mental, physical, spiritual, and social interactions! 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Philippians 3:10-15, Philippians 3:20-21