WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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GROWING IN WISDOM
(The boy JESUS)
After Mary and Joseph had fulfilled all of the requirements (circumcision and dedication) of the Law of GOD following JESUS’ birth, they traveled the 65 miles back home to Nazareth from Jerusalem, where JESUS grew up healthy and strong. HE was filled with wisdom beyond HIS years, and GOD placed HIS “grace” (“charis”), or, “special favor” upon HIM (Vs.39-40).
Exodus 12 details all of the instructions for the original “Passover Observance”, that was given by GOD to Moses and Aaron, while the Israelites were still in bondage in Egypt. The purpose of this observance was to remind “GOD’s chosen people” of the day of their release from 400 years of “chattel slavery” at the hands of the Egyptians. This “Passover Day Festival” was to be followed by a seven-day “Feast of Unleavened Bread”, every year, from that time forward.
In JESUS’ day, and even now, devout Jews still adhere closely to this tradition. The entire eight-day celebration was later combined, and, as a whole, is now referred to simply as “Passover”. Every year, just as GOD had decreed, Joseph and Mary took their entire family to Jerusalem for the Passover festivities, and here in Luke 2, taking up at verse 41, Scripture tells us of the account of Mary and Joseph’s trip to and from the Passover celebration when JESUS was twelve years old.
In verse 43, after the celebration was over, they began their three-day trek, back home to Nazareth. After nearly a day of travel however, they realized that young JESUS was not with them, among their caravan of family and friends. Franticly they hurried back north to Jerusalem to search for JESUS, and when they arrived there, they began searching all over town (except in the Temple) for an entire day and were unable to find HIM.
On the third day, they finally decided to look inside the Temple, where they found the young lad sitting among the religious leaders discussing deep things concerning the Scriptures. All of the religious leaders, and Mary and Joseph too, were amazed at JESUS’ understanding of GOD’s Word, and HIS answers to the questions they proposed to them. In fact, this account tells us that HIS parents were “struck out of their minds” (“exeplagesan”) and did not know what to think about what they were seeing and hearing (v.48).
Then Mary said to JESUS, “Son! Why have YOU done this to us? Your father and I have been frantically searching for YOU everywhere”. In JESUS’ response HE reveals to HIS parents, for the first time, that HE knew the difference between HIS earthly parents, and HIS true FATHER in Heaven. HIS response of “Didn’t you know I’d be in MY FATHER’s House?”, at that time, was not fully understood by Joseph, or Mary. However, as usual, Mary stored what JESUS had said to them, in her heart.
In verse 51, in contrast to this earlier revelation of JESUS’ coming deity, we now get a glimpse of the “true humanity” of JESUS. Here Luke tells us that the trio (Joseph, Mary, and JESUS) returned home to Nazareth, and JESUS remained obedient to Mary and Joseph, despite HIS knowledge of HIS unique kinship to GOD (as HIS only begotten SON).
JESUS continued to grow and “cut HIS way forward” (“proekoplen”) as a 100% human being, spiritually, mentally, and physically, and HE found favor with, both, man (HIS appointed earthly authority, including Joseph and Mary), and GOD (HIS FATHER in Heaven) WHO had permitted HIM to come to earth on a sacrificial mission to save all mankind.
In fact, this passage, perhaps, stands out more, because of its emphasis on “JESUS’ humanity”. And, even though JESUS was beginning to realize, more and more, the significance of WHOM HE was, HE still wisely chose to live in submission to HIS earthly parents, as HIS FATHER in Heaven would want, and HE grew up as a typical Jewish boy would in those days.
As Christians, it is just as important to believe JESUS was a “100% human being” while living here on earth, as it is to believe that HE is now “100% GOD” living in Heaven. In HIS humanity, HE wisely represented to us, the greatest example of what we ought to be, as GOD’s “figurative representatives”, here on earth. And, as our GOD, HE is our ETERNAL LORD and SAVIOR, and our “only bridge” into the Kingdom of Heaven. HE is the one and only “HYPOSTATIC UNION”, and also history’s one and only “Theanthropic Person”. And wisdom “requires” that we know and comprehend both of these undeniable facts.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website