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The Boy Jesus in the Temple


Jesus at the Temple!

Text: Luke 2:41-52 

We are looking a familiar portion the Scriptures, and a well-known story.  It is the visit of the young Jesus to the temple at Jerusalem.  It is the only Biblical reference to the childhood of Christ, for the next time we read of the Lord he is being baptised at Jordan by John the Baptist. V41-42   Notice:-

1) The Desire to be in God’s House!

When we look at this text the first thing that we see is the desire of Mary and Joseph to be in the place of worship!  Consider how hard would it have been for Mary and Joseph to make this annual journey of worship, as commanded by the Lord in His Word?  There would have been great obstacles!  

  1. Financial Sacrifice! They were poor artisans!  Joseph was a humble carpenter, and would have to leave the carpenter’s shop, and make do without income, a great sacrifice!  The worship of God has ALWAYS involved a sacrifice!  
  2. Geographical Sacrifice!  To get to Jerusalem was a long journey, and one that must be taken on foot!  Surely the distance would put them off?  Doesn’t it put many Christians off today?   
  3. Safety Sacrifice!  The journey was dangerous.  We have no such danger.  We travel to church in peace and we worship in peace.  There are parts of the world where it is not so.  

For Mary and Joseph there could have been a temptation to remain at home!  Mary & Joseph had a child dwelling in their own home who could teach them more about God, who was after all, Immanuel – he was God Incarnate, but they still wanted to meet with God’s people as He had commanded!  What a temptation there is to say, “I can enjoy the presence of Christ in my own home, so I don’t need to go to church or prayer meeting!”  Psalm 87:2 The Hebrew author reminds us, “We must not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.”   

But now the feast is over and the worshippers are making their way back to the towns and villages from which they came.  Luke 2:41-43  Mary and Joseph begin the long journey home, safe in the company of the travellers who would be going by the same route.

2. Their Terrible Realisation!  But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance

What an awful mistake… they went a whole day’s journey before they discovered that Jesus was not in their company!A whole day’s journey had been completed without a 12 year old child.  Let’s just dwell on that for a moment…

  • Personally, how often do we go a whole day without the Lord?  How many of us can truly say that we never leave Jesus out of a single day of our lives?  You think, ‘just one day with no Bible reading and no prayer – now that can’t do any harm!’  
  • How often does that single day’s neglect lead to a spiritual coldness?  You know that you can’t lose your salvation, not if you are truly saved.  But you can lose out on your fellowship with the Lord and you become a cold, lukewarm Christian who is no longer enjoying His presence!

The two people who you would least expect to lose the Lord were the ones who lost him!   The same principle is very true of the Christian’s life.  Let us resolve that we will not go a single day’s journey without Jesus!  Eventually they began a search…

3. Their Sorrowful Return!  And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.?    behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing

When they found him not at their quarters at night, they turned back again, next morning, to Jerusalem, seeking him. There is even a lesson for us in this!  

  • Sinner! Unsaved soul! Those that would find Christ must seek till they find; for he will at length be found of those that seek him, and will be found their ample reward.    Deut. 4:29
  • Cold Christian!   Rev. 2:4-5

Those that would recover their lost acquaintance with Christ must go to Zion, to the church of Christ, the place which he has chosen to put his name; to attend upon his ordinances, in the preaching of the Gospel! They sought Him SORROWING! If we are to seek the Lord we must seek him with sorrow in our hearts because of our sin and rebellion.

4. Their Perplexing Reunion! 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.

  • Where did they look? after three days The Bible tells us that they sought him for three days before they discovered his whereabouts.  Were they looking in all the wrong places?  Many a youth at Christ’s age now would have been playing with the children in the temple, but Jesus was not there!  
  • Where Jesus was seated!  they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors He was sitting with the doctors in the temple. Jesus was not standing as a trainee rabbi to be examined or instructed by them, he was among them, teaching them and they allowed him to sit among them as a fellow or member of their company – of their own rank and status.  V46-47 
  • What Jesus was doing!  I must be about my Father’s business?  It was his task in the world, to do his Father’s will, and finish his work.  While Mary had plenty of evidences of who Jesus was, and what his task was, perhaps she was still a little confused at how that would work itself out in his life.

So, what great lessons there are for all of us in this narrative of the young Jesus, from Luke’s history of His life?  May the Holy Spirit apply them to our hearts!

© Bob McEvoy January 2021

© Bob McEvoy January 2021

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