Luke's Messiah (05) - Promised Obedience
Luke’s Messiah (05) - Promised Obedience
Luke 2:39-52: And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. 2:40 And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. And His parents used to go to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 2:42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 2:43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. . . . 2:49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” . . . 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Obedience in our Place - God condescended not only to take on flesh, but to be part of an ordinary (if not despised) hometown. In the first century references to Jesus, his last name was not “Christ” but “of Nazareth.” But even from heaven Jesus gives this local identification in appearing to St. Paul: “I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 22:8). We must also embrace our community.
Obedience in our Time - Not only were Joseph and Mary faithful in worship (2:41), but Jesus (of course) was faithful. One of the pregnant phrases in Luke is that He continued “to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom” (v 39 also v 52). This means that Jesus, like ordinary boys, progressed through the stages of maturity. What is implied is that He did so faithfully. Did He do miracles in place of chores? Did He “just know” everything or did he study? The text says in the temple, He was “both listening to them, and asking them questions” (v. 46) which indicates that He matured without a supernatural crutch. We must also be faithful where we are.
Obedience in our Business - After anxiously looking (v 48), they found Jesus in the temple. This was an occasion (annually) to gain more wisdom from study and to begin the process of the “inspection” of the leadership of Israel (a theme throughout the Gospel). We must also be engaged in kingdom activity. The key is “your father” - e.g., "of all the years this is the year to listen to your father" . . . There was a process of sonship which began when he was twelve and that culminates in his baptism. Perhaps a better translation of v49 is that Jesus was “engaged upon my Father’s business” (Weymouth) since there is no term for “house.”
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more