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LUKE 2:46-52

"Jesus in the Temple!"


 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:



"And it came to pass, that after three days they (Mary and Joseph) found Him (Jesus) in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.  And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.  And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.  And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?  And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them.  And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart.  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."  Luke 2:46-52




LESSON 1 ... JANUARY 18, 2005:

Our first verse "locates" this great event for us.

Joseph and Mary and Jesus have been to the Temple in Jerusalem.  Jesus was age 12.  However, upon leaving, the adults (after three days) discovered Jesus was not with them!  They immediately returned to the city and found the Lord.

"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions."  Luke 2:46

What a wealth of information this verse contains!

The verb found is "heurisko," meaning to hit upon or light upon or discover.  It's an Aorist (completed action) verb.  Jesus was apparently "lost" to His parents only this one time!  Never again.  ("Heurisko" gives us the word occasionally used in English "eureka!"  It was supposedly shouted loudly by Archimedes the Greek philosopher when he had solved a great puzzle!  He ran through the streets of his city yelling "Eureka!  Eureka!)

But LOOK where they found Him!

A 12 year old Lad ... not playing with friends or running around town flippantly ... but IN THE TEMPLE!

Don't tell me that young folks can't have a spiritual appetite!

They can and some of the do!

That was the great thing going for crooked old Jacob!  He was a rascal ... but He had a hunger for things spiritual!  And He eventually filled that hunger and thirst at the fountain of the Almighty God!  Jesus later said:  "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."  (In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:6)

Think of this!  The One Who is the Essence of the Temple ... sitting in the Temple at age 12!

Don't understand?

Who is the fulfillment of that brazen altar at the gate of the Temple?  Jesus on the Cross is!

Whose Word is it that washes us clean (as water) once we become soiled (after salvation)?  The Word of the Lord!  Everything Jesus said is Scripture!

Who is the Bread of Life (the real Truth behind that table of bread in the Holy Place)?  Jesus is!  Listen to Him in John 6:35 --- "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

Or Who is the Light typified by the Candlestick near the Golden Altar? Again, Jesus!

Who makes intercession for us today ... lifting His prayers to the Father by Whom He is now sitting ... making daily intercession for you and me?  Jesus!  Jesus!  Jesus!

And Who is the Mercy Seat?  Jesus, Who shed His precious Blood!

Who, as the Ark of the Covenant, has the Law of God in His heart?  Jesus!

Who, like Aaron's rod that budded, arose from the dead?  Jesus did!

THE real living Temple sits within the precincts of the now decaying literal building called the Temple!

How lovely!

John, in the opening chapter of His Gospel, virtually calls Jesus the Temple!  Let me show you what I mean.  "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."  (John 1:14)  See that verb "dwelt?"  In Greek it is spelled "skenoo" and means to pitch a tent or to "tabernacle!"  Jesus is God's Tabernacle come to dearth! (And this Temple is based on the Tabernacle in the wilderness, you know!)  Jesus IS The Temple!

Jesus Himself said something one day that made the Pharisees hate Him even more! He declared:  "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."  That disturbed these ritualists greatly!  They understood Jesus to have blasphemed the Temple!

Then John explains ... "Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?  But He (Jesus) spake of the temple of His Body."  (John 2:19-21)

Jesus just called Himself the Temple!

Today we have seen the Reality sitting amidst the shadows.  The Genuine (Jesus) conversing among the fakes (the Pharisees)!  Pure Gold among tarnished alloy!

Jesus in the Temple.

I really want to write it: JESUS in the Temple!

Lord willing, more tomorrow.

We invite you to come again ... with a Bible in your hand!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Let me "print" here verse 46 for you since it's our "text" again today.

"And it came to pass, that after three days they (Mary and Joseph) found Him (Jesus) in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions."

The Lord is in the middle ("midst" = Greek "mesos" ... in the very center) of the "doctors" of the Law.  The noun "doctors" ("didaskalos") means teachers literally.

This really reveals the fact that Jesus had an abnormal interest in Scripture!  (Even at age 12!)

When he said to the devil (during the 40 day temptation in the desert) "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," He really meant it!  (Matthew 4:4)

Our Lord was like Job I believe.  Job who said:  "I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food."  (Job 23:12) Wow!

He, like Jeremiah of old, could declare:  "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts."  (Jeremiah 15:16)

Or the Psalmist who repeatedly said such things as:  "Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors."  And ... "Behold, I have longed after thy precepts."  Psalm 119:24 and 40

What love for the Bible!

And then notice this please.

While many preachers (and some good ones too) believe that here Jesus enlightened and corrected these esteemed doctors ... debating with them the finer points of Scripture, I see no such thing occurring in this verse!

The verbs the Holy Spirit has Dr. Luke use ("hearing" and "asking") are both present participles, indicating on-going dialogue ... but in no way indicating argumentation of any sort. 

Jesus sits here as learner!

(Talk about meekness!  Almighty Omnipotence sitting at the feet of mere men!)

He Who had experienced the Virgin Birth ... perhaps discussing Isaiah 7:14!

He Whose "goings forth have been from of old," reviewing Micah 5:2!

The real Star out of Jacob ... talking about Balaam and Number 24:17!

No disrespect here from The Youth to the Elders!

He is too holy, too godly!

And just in case you don't think He yet knew Who He was ... read Psalm 22:9-10 where Jesus says to His Father:  "But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.  I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly."  He well knew!

What an Example He is!  (As well as Saviour and Redeemer!)

There's more in this verse (much we'll never see this side of Glory probably) ... but it will have to wait until tomorrow (Lord willing).  We've already had about as much as we can digest for the time being!

Come again ... with the Bible opened and in your hand!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus sat there in the Temple.

He was only 12 years of age.

The "doctors" of the Law sat around Him.

These are men who belonged to such groups as the Scribes and Pharisees and Saducees.

Jesus "heard" them and "asked" them questions during those three short days!

What was their reaction to this unusual Child?

Luke carefully tells us.  "And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers."  Luke 2:47

The noun "understanding" is a little Greek term (spelled "sunesis") which means "to send" ("hiemi") "together" ("sun").  It is a word that implies a running together or flowing together of thoughts in one's mind!  These men were amazed at young Jesus' very "thoughts!"  At His ability to comprehend the things of God!  (His Deity was already obvious!)

And the companion noun in our verse, "answers" is in Greek "apokrisis" which means a judging ("krino") from ("apo") a situation, analyzing it, and then responding properly.  Jesus conducted Himself in such a way to reveal His great Wisdom and Discernment.

His God Ordained Ability to handle the Scriptures was evident ... even to these men who had given their lives to the finer points of the Law!

So much so that "all that heard Him were ASTONISHED!"

That verb is astounding!

"Astonished" translates "existemi," which literally means "out of" ("ex") plus "to stand" ("histemi").  Putting it together, Jesus' Words made them "stand out of" themselves!  It knocked them out of their senses!  One lexicon says "to be beside oneself!"

It is translated "amazed" 6 times in our Bibles and "astonished" 6 more times and "to be beside oneself" 2 times!  Plus once it is "to wonder!"

I'll have to tell you today ... that's the effect He has on me too!

I am still "astonished!" 

That word alone is interesting!  (It has a Latin background: "ex" = out of ... plus "tonare" = to thunder)  Shocked out of one's composure!  Amazed!

Our English word "ecstatic" carries much the same meaning.  (Again, Latin: "ex" = out of ... plus "stasis" = to stand)  To stand outside oneself! Stunned!

Jesus simply had that effect on people!

Even His enemies had to admit:  "Never man spake like this Man."  John 7:46

The very Centurion who oversaw Jesus' crucifixion, not a religious man, said of Him: "Truly this Man was the Son of God."  Mark 15:39

And Pilate, His "judge," said:  "I find no fault in this Man."  Luke 23:4

It all reminds me of the words of an old hymn.

"I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden
He prayed: 'Not My will, but Thine.'
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.

O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!"


All I can say is: "Amen!"

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus is sitting among the Doctors of the Law!

That's exactly how Luke describes Him:  "Sitting in the midst of the doctors."  Luke 2:46

These men, Pharisees and Scribes and Sadducees, has "mastered" the content of Mosaic legislation.

If there is some distinction between the major two terms, it is this:  Scribes were public expounders of the Law while Lawyers were basically private instructors.

These men had tremendous influence over the people of Israel.

But ... what kind of men were these "doctors?"

Luke in our immediate context gives us no information.  But the Bible, elsewhere, tells us plenty!

Jesus, in Matthew 15:14, tells us that this was a crowd of "blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."  Spiritually blind!  In fact they were downright superstitious!  For example, the Scrolls of Torah (Scripture) could not so much as have a "fly" land on them!  Its outer covering had to be embellished with silver and gold ornaments.  (Plus a hundred other "rules!")  Yet they crucified the Lord of Life, Jesus the Messiah toward Whom those Scrolls pointed!

They were zealous in reaching more "dead" converts also!  Listen to Jesus again. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."  Matthew 23:15  (Wow!)  They wanted to "win" people to their cause, a wrong cause!  Paul later said about them: "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."  Romans 10:2

They were filled with self-righteous pride too!  All they did ... their offerings (alms) and fastings and prayers ... were done in public and to impress others!  They wore visibly those "phylacteries" of Scripture on their heads ... but not in their hearts! "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."  Matthew 23:5-7

They were selfish and money-grabbers also!  Elsewhere Dr. Luke tells us:  "Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation."  (Luke 20:46-47)  They stole ("devoured") widow's possessions!  They figured out "tricky" ways to avoid giving their elderly parents money and support! "But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free."  Mark 7:11

They were mean!  Jesus called them "wolves in sheep's clothing" and "a generation of vipers."  This is the very crowd that yelled "Crucify Him!  Crucify Him" regarding our precious Saviour!

And I might even add this.  They were often immoral!  When they "caught" the woman taken in adultery, Jesus said to them:  "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."  (John 8:7) The implication here is that THEY had committed the same sin!  (I wonder if Jesus might have written the names of some of THEIR "girlfriends" in the ground!)  Listen to Paul Biblically accost them:  "Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?"  Wow!  Josephus says they were this wicked too!

Yet Jesus sat there ... asking them questions concerning the Law!  The Holy One of God sitting in such hypocrisy!  Purity among pollution!  Sinlessness among sensuality! 

I strongly suspect certain questions He asked might have made some of these "doctors" feel a little uncomfortable!  Guilt always flinches in the face of Innocence!

BUT ... do you reckon some might have been there that were spiritually discerning enough to "sense" a Presence in their midst, The Presence?  The Presence of God!

Was Nicodemus there that day?

Was Joseph of Arimathaea? 

Were other "priests" present?

Jesus had a "burden" for these men I believe!

These who had a form of godliness ... but denied the power thereof!

Jesus, the Divine Son of God, even at age 12 knew Who He was ... and "hungered" to see men (even these men) saved!

And you know what?  That's WHY He stayed in the midst of such people ... sharing the Truth of God's Word so eloquently!

And you remember the results!

Before Jesus' earthly ministry was over, Nicodemus got saved!

So did Joseph of Arimathaea!

So did many priests!  (So says Acts 6:7  "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.")

What a Saviour!

Truly as Jesus said of Himself ... "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."  Luke 19:10

Jesus, The Soul Winner!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




When Mary and Joseph returned (after three days) to find Jesus, her first words were:  "And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing."  Luke 2:48

Upon finding Him at the Temple, and upon hearing His conversation, they were "amazed!"  (What a word this is!)  In Greek it is spelled "ekplesso."  ("Ek" means out of!  "Plesso" means to hit or to strike!  Put it together:  To be hit and knocked out of one's senses!)

This word is entirely different from the verb "astonished" that we studied a couple of days ago ... but the meaning is nearly the same!

Folks were just "taken" by His striking Person!

The verb "dealt" is just "poieo," to do or to make.  She asks, "Why have you treated us this way?"  Yet assuredly, Jesus had done nothing wrong!

The most surprising expression in the verse however is "thy father and I!"  Joseph was NOT Jesus' father!  And Mary knew that very well.  But this very term ("thy father and I") proves something.  Luke has carefully taught us (chapter 1 of His Gospel) that Jesus was Virgin Born!  Mary was "overshadowed" by the Holy Ghost! Joseph is left out of the conception process altogether.  I believe that Doctrine was 100% accepted by the Believers of that day!  So much so ... that Luke did not have to keep doctrinally wording every reference to Jesus' home life like this:  "Mary His Virgin-When-She-Conceived Mother and Joseph her legal husband now (but not then) ... said to the 12 year old Son ...."   No, not at all!  Everyone knew His earthly origin! Virgin Born!  God come to earth!  Eternal Son!  They could use everyday terms such as "thy father and I" and no real Believer would misunderstand!  Jesus had no earthly father!

The verb "seek" (in Greek = "zeteo") means to look for ... but also to ask for!  They asked everyone they saw the whereabouts of Jesus!  (It would thrill me today if someone who is reading these lines is seeking Him as well!  You will find Him in the Word of God!  Read John chapter 3 or John 4 or John 8!  Or carefully notice Romans 10:9-10 or John 5:24!  Listen to the Lord speak through Jeremiah --- "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."

Then let's study that last verb, "sorrowing."  The word "odunao" is only used 4 times in the whole Bible!  It's from "duno" ... to go down!  It means sorrow or grief in the sense of depression!  Being "dejected!"  (Twice in Luke 16 the word is translated "tormented.")

It's not the last time Mary will sorrow in her life!

But God's will is being done this great day in Jesus' 12 year old earthly life!

Jesus is "in the Temple!"

More about that soon, Lord willing.

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 6 ... SUNDAY, JANUARY 23, 2005:

Jesus' first recorded words are found in Luke 2:49.  "And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?"

He was speaking to Mary His Mother and Joseph too.

She had just called Joseph His Father!

He has just corrected her!

Jesus IS The Son of God!

Our Lord was surprised that Mary and Joseph didn't immediately know where He would be ... and what He would be doing!

"I must be about My Father's business!"

The verb "must" (in Greek = "dei") means necessary!  Jesus just HAD to be dealing with the affairs of His Father!

And the term "My Father's business" is expressed like this in Greek:  "en tois tou patros mou dei einai me."  Literal grammatical rendering:  "I Myself must be (it's required) in the (things) of The Father of Me!"

Already Jesus, at age 12 according to His humanity, had committed Himself to full-time dedication to His Father's Interests!

What saturation!

What consecration!

What totality of commitment!

Again, these are Jesus' first recorded words in Scripture!  "And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?"  He put the Father first in His life!

And what were (according to John's Gospel) His very last words (prior to His death on Calvary)?

"It is finished!"  John 19:30  (Whole verse:  "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.")

What was finished?

Why, His Father's business, of course!

From first to last ... that's all Jesus could think about!  Pleasing His Father!  (See John 8:29 where the Lord says --- "And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.")

Jesus had a "single eye" for His Father!

So should we!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 7 ... MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2005:

Jesus, at age 12, went to the Temple.

Now that was not His first visit there.

We know He was taken there by Mary and Joseph when He was an infant!  (Luke 2:22 and 27) Even then they were just following the Law of Moses.

And, if Joseph followed the Law in other ways, which we know he did, he additionally obeyed the precept that required every Jewish male to go to Jerusalem three times a year for worship!  (Exodus 23:17 ---"Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.")

And it is likely that Jesus, as He grew older, would have accompanied Joseph (often the wife went also) and others in the extended family too.

Therefore I say that Jesus has been in this Temple several times before ... but never with THIS Biblical emphasis placed upon the visit!

And ... as we all know, He went to this Temple again and again throughout His public ministry!  (Not counting the times He may have been there during His earthly years between 12 and 30.  That's 18 "silent" years in His life!)

But what if I told you the dear Lord is coming to the Jerusalem Temple again one of these days?

You might say, Preacher Bagwell, there IS no Temple in Jerusalem now! (And, you're right!  But ... there will be again some day!)

And Jesus is coming back (a second coming)!

Not just to "rapture" the Church away either ... but 7 years later, to set His feet upon earth and defeat the enemies of God at Armageddon and go to the Holy City (Jerusalem) and sit on the Throne of David and rule from the Temple! ("Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." Zechariah 14:1-4)

What a theme!

Jesus ... in Jerusalem ... in The Temple!

But ... wait a minute!

There's even a more precise prophecy about all this!

About the Saviour coming to the Temple.

It's in Malachi 3:1 and says --- "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts."

That has happened (numerous times in the past already) ... and will happen yet again the the future!  I mean it will literally happen on this earth in Jerusalem, Israel!

Jesus in (not the Temple) ... but in HIS TEMPLE!

That makes Luke 2:46-51 all the more important!

Oh, the significance of Jesus sitting there that day hearing and questioning those doctors of the Law!

It looks to me like Jesus loved the Temple, the House of God in His day!

You might think, Preacher, I don't understand what you've said today.  Well, that's the same reaction our Lord got from Mary and Joseph too.  Read about it in verse 50 of Luke 2.  "And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them."

I guess it can get complicated.

But mark it down, Jesus will again be in the Temple of God some glorious day!

He just belongs there it seems!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




What might have been going on that day at the Temple?

That day described for us here by Dr. Luke?

I mean ... in the background.

The "focus" of our text is Jesus.

He sits (the position of a learner) and hears and questions the doctors of the Law.

But what's that noise we head?

Why, it's the "bleating" of sheep!

There they go!

A man directs them to ... the area of the altar!

Now we know!

These are among the sacrificial sheep, lambs to be slain that day in the worship of Almighty God!

Not only was a lamb offered every morning and again every evening (the morning and evening sacrifices) for hundreds of years ... but thousands of times throughout each day as well!

How ironic!

Sitting here is THE LAMB (John 1:19)!  The Lord Jesus Himself!

And yonder go the little lambs, innocent as they are, to slaughter!

What a picture it must have drawn to any discerning eye present that day long ago!

Listen to Isaiah 53:7 --- "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."

And 1st Peter 1:19 tells us that we are redeemed ... "With the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." 

And even in Heaven above ... John said "I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain."  That Lamb is Jesus!  (Revelation 5:6)

Quiet, please!

I'm trying to hear Jesus ask a question!

And I sure could hear better if those lambs weren't so noisy!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




As Jesus, then 12 years old, sat in the Temple that day, I wonder if anyone realized what was happening!

The doves that were perpetually present in that holy place surely preached a sermon to someone!  Like the doves around the Temple ... so will this Child be filled with the Heavenly Dove "without measure!"  Jesus did all His early work under the power of that Spirit!

And I do wonder if there were any lame men or beggars around that day?  Of course there were.  And Jesus, just a few years later, will return to this place and heal such men and women!

And was the "clanging" of money changers heard even then?  Did the youthful Lord notice them?  (You can be sure!)  Their "time" is coming!

And all the priests coming and going would have been amply evident!  They must have been everywhere.  And each was a human failure.  He had to offer sacrifice for his own sins ... before ever dealing with the sins of the people whom he served!  But there sat there that day, yet but 12 years old in His humanity, One Who would serve as Great High Priest (not like Aaron, but Melchizedek) eternally in the heavens!

And where was that cornerstone?  Over yonder under the foundation ... or sitting here among the doctors of the Law?  Peter answers that one for us.  "Unto you therefore which believe he (Jesus) is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner." 1st Peter 2:7

In fact, Jesus is the Fulfillment of all the Temple!

He is the Sacrifice on the altar!

He is the Bread of Life!

He is the Light of God!

He is the Offerer of Incense!

He is the Mercy Seat!

He is the Ark of Safety!

He is very God of very God!

And the scrolls those men were using ... each spoke of this coming Lamb of God!  So said Jesus a little later:  "Search the scriptures; for ... they are they which testify of Me."  John 5:39

Yes, He was sitting there that day ... but very few knew Him!

And He may be speaking to someone this very day!

Do you know Him?

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The last verse in our text says:  "And He (Jesus) went down with them (Mary and Joseph), and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart."  Luke 2:51

Jesus, along with His Mother and Joseph, departed from the Temple.

They "went down" to Nazareth.

That verb is "katabaino" and means to walk down to a place.  ("Kata" the prefix here, is a preposition meaning "down."  And "baino" ... "to walk" ... is from the root noun "basis" which means the "base" of anything or its "foot.")

Anytime someone leaves Jerusalem in the New Testament ... to go anywhere ... they are said to be "going down!" (Notice Luke 10:30 --- "And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.") That is true geographically (because of the mountains around the capital city) ... but also spiritually!  To leave God's House and go to Jericho, a type of the lost world, is a big mistake.  No wonder this man fell among thieves!

Of course in Jesus' case He leaves the Temple ... but to return there again and again throughout His Ministry.

The city where He was reared, Nazareth, means (according to some lexicons) "the guarded one."  There the Father placed Jesus for His younger earthly years ... no doubt for protection and growth ... much as He sent Israel to Egypt for the same reasons.

I would today say that if you are in the center of God's Will ... you are well "guarded" too!  "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."  Psalm 34:7

Jesus being "subject" to Mary and Joseph is interesting.  The verb is "hupotasso" and means to take one's proper place under the authority of another!  It's really a military term.  The Son of God willingly made Himself subject to human authority in that godly home environment.

What a lesson for young people yet today!

Mary "kept" these facts in her heart!  The verb is "diatereo" and means she guarded ("tereo") them thoroughly ("dia"), no doubt pondering them often!  "Pondered" in Luke 2:19, used of Mary, is "sumballo."  She threw ("ballo") all these thoughts together ("sun") in her mind and meditated upon them reverently!

Maybe Luke 2:52 sums these fact in a way I can't.  In that precious home sitaution we are told: "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

That sounds just right ... in fact, it's perfect!


                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 11 ... FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2005:

As I recently read Luke 2:51 I had some strange feelings.

"And he (Jesus) went down with them (Mary and Joseph), and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart."

Jesus, at age 12, just departed from the Temple ...probably for at least a few months. He most certainly would have returned there three times a year with Joseph (and maybe Mary) every year of His life until adulthood. Deuteronomy 16:16 gives us the command. "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles."

But what "triggered" my thoughts was a sad passage in Matthew’s Gospel. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple ...." (Matthew 23:37 through 24:1)

Here Jesus departs from the Temple for the final time!

He will not return. At least until His Second Coming! And then ... it will be a different building!

He had been insulted, doubted, blasphemed, and ridiculed in that place!

This Temple was so "special" to the Jews that some of them actually looked upon it as some kind of "good-luck charm!" It had taken on a "superstitious" air with thousands of them!

After all, nothing could happen to Israel (and particularly to Jerusalem). The Temple was there!

Listen to Jeremiah rebuke them for this. "Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these." Jeremiah 7:3-4 (They believed that just saying those words ... any words with "Temple" incorporated into the phrase ... would keep them safe!)

But as the Temple hierarchy (Priests, Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees) during those dark years drove Jesus away ... they failed to realize one thing! And it’s a thing Jesus told them earlier in His Ministry: "But I say unto you, That in this place is One greater than the temple." (Matthew 12:6)

"One GREATER than the Temple!"

That One is Jesus!

These poor folks chose the temple over the Saviour!

The building over the Builder!

The ritual over the Reality!

The shadow over the Substance!

And ... folks are still doing this today!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




At home in Nazareth Jesus lived an exemplary life.

Scripture says of Him:  "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."  Luke 2:52

"Increased" is a good word.  In Greek it is spelled "prokopto" and literally means to cut ("kopto") forward ("pro") or to progress or advance.  It is a picturesque term describing a pioneer who is blazing a trail through the jungle!

As a verb it is only used 6 times in the whole Bible, our text here being the first. 

"Wisdom" is the Greek noun "sophia."  It indicates skill and discernment and intelligence and spiritual acumen.

"Stature" is "helikia" and means maturity in years or size even height.

"Favour" is our old friend "charis."  It's the word for grace!  (It's from the root for "rejoice," or "be cheerful.")  As Jesus grew He was viewed with delight and good-will and pleasure by both God and men! According to Daniel 1:9 God gives us our friends! "Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs."  Wow!  Jesus was respected by all as He grew through those early years.

I know a Daddy who prays our text verse for his children daily!  Just as Jesus increased in these four areas of life (wisdom, stature, favor with God and favor with man) ... so can our sons and daughters!

He asks God to bless his children with wisdom and the fear of the Lord (the basis of wisdom) and godliness in life.

He then beseeches the Lord for the physical well-being of each son or daughter. That they may grow in stature.

Thirdly he intercedes for the child's relationship with God!  Through the shed Blood of Jesus we can all intimately know the Father!

And lastly he prays for their social and interpersonal development.  (Favor with men!)  Lord, bring the right friends into their lives and keep the wrong ones away!

I'm thinking that if the Holy Spirit highlighted these four areas of Jesus' perfect young life ... they must be very significant.  We can claim victory in the same areas for our children!

Our magnificent Saviour was unique in every way.  Not just in His Death, Burial and Resurrection!  Not just in His Ascension or Second Coming either!  And not only in His Virgin Birth and Incarnation!  But even in His Youth and early years leading to maturity!  Truly He is "altogether lovely!"   (Song of Solomon 5:16)

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




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