Between the birth narratives and the beginning of his public ministry at age 30 (Luke 3:23), only one event in the life of Jesus is recorded (Luke 2:41-52). But from that event come some important lessons. The application points come from a sermon I heard many years ago by Dan Winkler.
- Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem every year for the Passover celebration (Luke 2:41; Deut. 16:1-6). Luke records one such trip, when Jesus was twelve years old (42).
- When the week-long feast was over, Mary and Joseph began the trek home believing that Jesus was somewhere in the crowd. Unbeknownst to them, he had stayed behind in Jerusalem (43).
- They had traveled a full day before they realized that Jesus was not with the caravan; so they returned to Jerusalem to find him (44-45).
- It took them three days of searching before they found him in the temple “sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions” (46). Luke adds that the teachers were amazed at his ability to handle himself in the discussion (47).
- Mary’s sharp response is completely natural (48). Jesus’ answer to her was confusing to them (49-50).
- Luke summarizes the rest of his years of growing up: he continued to be subject to his parents (51) and he steadily grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially (52).
Teach Your Children the Value of Worship (Luke 2:41-42).
- Note frequency with which Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. It was their “custom” (habit).
- Do our children know how important the weekly worship assembly is? Do they have to ask each week, “Are we going to worship today?” or is it just understood that when the church meets, we will be there?
Teach Your Children How to Listen (Luke 2:46).
- Part of what Jesus was doing in the temple was listening to the temple teachers.
- Listening is indispensable to learning. Yet some children (and not a few adults) seem always to feel the need to express themselves, but not allow others the same privilege.
- Consider these passages on the importance of listening: Prov. 18:13; 10:19; 13:3; 17:27; 21:23; Luke 8:18; James 1:19.
Teach Your Children How to Study (Luke 2:47).
- Jesus amazed the temple teachers with his understanding of the Law. We might be tempted to explain that with a simple appeal to divine miraculous ability. Perhaps it was parental training.
- Mary and Joseph evidently took Deuteronomy 6:6-9 seriously. We should do same (cf. Eph. 6:4).
Teach Your Children to be Obedient (Luke 2:51).
- Jesus was “subject” to His parents. He understood his role in the home. He respected the roles of Mary and Joseph (cf. Eph. 6:1).
- If children are not taught EARLY to respect the authority and roles of their parents, how can we expect them later to respect the authority of their teachers, the state, the elders, or God?
Teach Your Children to be Involved in God’s Business (Luke 2:49).
- Jesus felt a sense of obligation toward his Father – “I MUST be about the [things, affairs, house] of my Father.”
- Our children should learn from us that there is no greater work than the Lord’s work.