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|T||he Boy Jesus at the Temple|
Luke 2:41-51 Historical Notes
41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.
43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it;
44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances.
45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.
46 Now so it wasthat after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously."
49 And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"
50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.
- Almost all the years of the life of Jesus were passed in obscurity.- After the first year of His birth the Bible passes over twenty-six years, except one brief incident with Jesus at the age of twelve visiting the city of Jerusalem with His parents on the occasion of the Passover.
Luke 2:41-51- Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Comment)
- It would be awesome to know more about the childhood years of Jesus (friends, thoughts, etc.)- The Apocryphal Gospels profess to tell much about His school days, His teachers, playmates, and many incidents almost blasphemously absurd. They relate how in a fit of temper He would strike down His companions with death, curse His accusers with blindness, and mock His teachers (Pseudo-Matthew 30).
GALILEE- There is much that we may know indirectly of His childhood days, by a close examination of the environmental conditions under which He grew.
- He was raised in Nazareth, a town in Galilee.- Galilee was the most beautiful and fertile section of Palestine.
- Lots of agriculture (Corn, grapes, olives, and fruits) also flowers- Animals (domestic and wild), great variety of birds,
- numerous springs and brooks and green pastures- A population estimated as high as three million (numerous villages and towns) industries flourished
- According to sources the people were generous, impulsive, simple in manners, full of intense nationalism, free, and independent of the traditionalism of Judea. There were lots of gentiles there.- Rabbis of Jerusalem held the Galilean in contempt (manner of speech, colloquialisms, lack of a certain type of culture characteristic of the Jerusalemite). Probably envy since Galilee was so beautiful.
- They were accused of neglecting the traditions and preferred the Haggadah to the Halakkah.- The Judeans were accustomed to say that no prophet ever arose from Galilee. But such was not the case, since Jonah and probably Nahum were born there and the ministry of both Elijah and Elisha was cast in that section though Elijah was born in Tisbeli of Gilead and Elisha in Abel-Meholah.
NAZARETH- The little town of Nazareth was one of the loveliest spots in Galilee. Situated on the southeast slope of a hollow peer shaped basin, which descends gradually from the elevated plateau 1500 feet above sea level and opens out through a steep winding way -the stem of the pear-into the plain of Esdraelon, a thousand feet lower.
- On the hill five hundred feet above the town, a most wonderful panorama opens to view of the beauties and historic scenes of the land.- To the north one sees the plateaus of Zebulun and Naphtali
- The mountains of Lebanon with snow-covered Hermon towering above them all- To the west the coast of Tyre and the blue waters of the Mediterranean
- Mt. Carmel, historic scene of the struggle of Elijah with the prophets of Baal- To the south the plain of Esdraelon (scene of many of the most memorable battles of Israel), and the hills of Gilboa where Saul and Jonathan lost their lives
- Mt. Ebal and the land of Shechem in the background- To the east, across the sea of Galilee and the Jordan Valley, Gilead and Jaulan with Tabor.
- What thoughts Jesus must have had sitting upon these hilltops- At the foot of the hill passed the Roman road, "the Way of the Sea," connecting the ancient city of Damascus with the Mediterranean sea-ports.
- Southward ran a road to Egypt and- A mile and a half away was the caravan route to Jerusalem
- The town itself was built of the white limestone from the quarries of the calcerous mountains which encircle the basin.- Most of the houses were of one characteristic type even with the rich and poor.
- A plentiful spring furnished the water supply for the whole population and was a favorite place- Nazareth did not have the best of reputations even in Galilee. Nathaniel of Cana was but speaking a common opinion when he said: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
- Remember how violent they were when He preached there in the beginning of His ministry?- It was an evil reputation to be called a Nazarene (Matthew said this was in accord with the prophecy of Isaiah 53) and pictures the Messiah as a "root springing up out of the dry ground."
- The best known of the names for the Messiah among the Jews was Tsamech or Branch, based on Isaiah's prophecy (Isa 11:1). The word Netzer is the exact equivalent. The title Nazarene not only stood for the reproach which Jesus bore, but was a fulfillment of Messianic prophecy. He was a Branch (Netzer) sprung out of David's roots.- All Classes of people for Jesus to observe (home, weddings, funerals, the carpenter shop, synagogue,
- His childhood days brought innumerable illustrations for His later teachings such as the leaven hid in three measures of meal, women grinding at the mill, sowing and reaping, the sparrow and the lily, the children in the market place playing at wedding and funeral, etc.- Educators say that the child learns more in the first three or four years than in all the rest of life.
- Nazareth was secluded by its natural location but it was not cut off from the outside world.- Sepphoris, the capital of Herod Antipas and strongest military center in Galilee, was only five miles to the northwest across the rolling hills.
- The Carpenter (architect-builder and woodworkman. He planned and constructed houses and manufactured domestic furniture and agricultural instruments).- He seems not to have lived long:
Mark 3:32 "And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You."MARY
- Mary, His mother, is known to us as the most highly favored of all women.- Loving character, pure, humble, student of the Scriptures
BROTHERS AND SISTERS- In the family of Joseph, there were four half brothers younger than Jesus and at least two half sisters.
- The names of the brothers are given:Mark 6:3 "Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" And they were offended at Him."
- Two of them most likely wrote the epistles of James and Jude.- They did not become disciples of Jesus during His ministry but only after His resurrection.
- They did not seem to be in favor of His work.- While He was ministering in Galilee and was working with such intensity that He scarcely took time to eat, they persuaded His mother to come with them and take Him home, saying that He had gone crazy.
- On another occasion later on, they cast in His face the sneering accusation of being a "Secret Messiah," because He would not manifest Himself in Jerusalem.HIS HOME
- There was no luxury in the home of Jesus. (two turtle-doves)- The house was square, built of stone or brick, with a single door, few if any windows, and a dirt or tile floor on which mats were spread for sleeping.
- The flat roof, reached by a stairway on the outside, was a place for gathering the family and visitors, especially in the evening hours of the hot summer nights.HIS EDUCATION
- The Jewish child's education began in his home.- In every Jewish household the child was taught a sort of elementary catechism, the Shema (Deut. 6:4, 9; Num. 11:13-21; 15:37-41), by his mother as soon as he could speak.
- The responsibility of instruction was not just of the mother; but the father was bound to teach his son the Torah.- Joseph probably possessed rolls of the law and the prophets.
- Passages from the Old Testament, especially the whole book of Psalms, short prayers, and select sayings of the sages were memorized.- The formal education in the synagogue school was begun at the age of six under the Chazzan, who kept the building and guarded the rolls of the law, the prophets, and other sacred writings.
- Cross-legged, the children sat on the floor around their teacher. These schools existed in all the synagogues scattered through the land; and attendance was obligatory.- The office of teacher was esteemed in Israel and the work was generally done with patience, earnestness, and discipline.
- From 6-10 years of age the child studied the Old Testament as his chief text-book; from 10-15 the Mishnah or traditional law; and after 15 in the Gemaras and theology.- In the study of the Bible the child began with the book of Leviticus; then came the rest of the Pentateuch; and after that the Prophets and Hagiographa.
- The inference from the evangelical narratives of Matthew (5:18 ) and Luke (16:17) is, that Jesus read the Scriptures in the original Hebrew- The familiarity of the Lord with the text both of the Hebrew and the Greek, would lead us to believe that the Nazareth home possessed a copy of the Sacred Scrolls in both Hebrew and in Greek. Or He would have access to the rolls in the Synagogue.
- Jesus spoke the Aramaic in His home, and the Greek which was commonly spoken especially in the larger cities of Galilee and Judea.- Most likely Jesus mastered all three languages Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
- Frequent quotations show His use of the Hebrew Scriptures, references to the Septuagint show His familiarity with the Greek, and expressions such as that on the cross: "Eloi, Eloi lame Sabacthani," reveal His use of the Aramaic.- He probably did most of His teaching in Aramaic
RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION- The rule of minute religious instruction in a Jewish home was well organized
- The Mezuzah attached to the doorpost, with the name of the Most High on the outside of the little folded parchment, which was reverently touched by everyone who entered or went out followed by kissing the fingers which had touched the name, was considered a divine guard over the home.- Many daily prayers,
- Hanukkah (the festive illumination of the house during a week in mid winter, in commemoration of the Dedication of the Temple by Judas the Maccabee).- The feast of Purim (celebration of the deliverance through Esther)
- Feast of the Passover (visit of the Death Angel and Israel's going out from Egypt)- The Fast of the Day of Atonement
- The Feast of Tabernacles- These made a big impression on children
HONEST CRAFT- In addition to the formal instruction of the synagogue school, every Jewish father was required to teach his son some honest craft.
- Saul of Tarsus learned tent-making.- We know that Jesus learned the trade of His foster-father and was after the death of Joseph called in Nazareth the carpenter.
- He never studied in the Jewish Academies. Only once do we find Him in the House of the Midrash in Jerusalem, the Theological Academy of the Doctors of the Law. That was when He was in attendance on the feast of the Passover at the age of twelve.JESUS VISITS JERUSALEM
- Once only was the veil lifted for a moment in Luke's account when Jesus, at the age of twelve, went on a visit with His parents to Jerusalem at the time of the Passover.- It was exactly at this age that the Jewish boy became "the son of the law," and entered on the privileges and responsibilities of an Israelite.
- It included attendance annually on the three most important Feasts (Ex. 34:22, 23).- It was the custom of Joseph and Mary, devout Jews as they were, to attend the Feast of the Passover, the most important of all the religious festivals of the Jews, every year (Deut. 16:1-8).
- It was not obligatory on the women to be present; but Mary was devoted.- We do not know if Jesus had ever before been with them on this annual pilgrimage.
- Even if He had, this visit was most important coming into full religious privilege as a son of the law.- There were three possible routes to Jerusalem:
- It was a four day journey- Many places of historical importance, victories, defeats, great heroes
- From Jericho, they must climb four thousand feet from the lower tropical level of the Jordan Valley up through the narrow robber-infested passes to Bethany and the Mt. of Olives, where they would get the first glorious view of the Holy City across the Kidron Valley- On their arrival they would find the city filled with the teeming multitude of those who had come up as they for the Passover.
- More than a million Jews from the outside annually poured into this city from all parts of the land- Archelaus had been banished to Gaul and substituted with a Roman Procurator.Herodians sprang up.
- Coponius the first of the Procurators was now in power- Annas, a crafty politician, had just been made High Priest.
THE TEMPLE- The Temple was easily the first and central attraction.
- It covered an area of twenty acres and could accommodate within its area 210,000 persons.- It stood out with its snowy white marble and glittering gold
- Entering the Temple area from the east or north, these pilgrims would pass first into the Court of the Gentiles, with its medley of races, its moneychangers, and those who sold the animals for the sacrifices.- Then they would pass into the Court of Woman on a higher level,
- And finally Joseph and Jesus would enter the Court of Israel where the sacrifices were offered.- Friday evening, the family, either separately or with friends, would celebrate the Passover meal, with prayers, formulas, and dramatic representation of the events of the memorable hour of departure from Egypt.
- "When they had fulfilled the days," does not necessarily mean that Joseph remained with his family through the remaining days of the week of the Passover in Jerusalem. The facts seem to indicate that they remained only the two days required by the law.- Many of the pilgrims would want to return to their distant homes as soon as the two days were fulfilled.
- The caravan was a company of many friends, the women in front and the men in another group behind- No doubt that Jesus was capable of caring for Himself being a son of the law.
- When the caravan halted for the night after the first day's journey, Joseph and Mary made the discovery that Jesus was not to be found.- Hurrying back to Jerusalem, they found Him on the morning of the third day sitting at the feet of the Doctors of the Law on the Temple Terrace.
- There the Midrash or Academy of Jerusalem established popular sessions on feast days and sabbaths, allowing all classes of Jews to sit as learners and propound questions.- Jesus had never had an opportunity to attend the theological academy and now had the privilege of hearing the explanations of the learned Doctors.
- He must have sat and listened for hours about various subjects.- Jewish tradition gives other instances of students who became masters of the law at the age of 12.
Luke 2:46-47 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.- Did He catch the deeper meaning of the Passover Lamb? Theologians have speculated as to when Jesus first became conscious
- "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" gentle and delicate rebuke. (Comment)- "While He was tempted in all points like other men it was always without sin."
Phil 2:5-115 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
1 Tim 2:55 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
Heb 2:99 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Heb 2:14-1814 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
"I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant - Jesus should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations." - Napoleon I Bonaparte (1809)
The Birth of John the Baptist
The History of the Birth of Jesus
NazarethGabriel Announces to Mary (Lk 1:26-38).
BethlehemThe Decree of Augustus Caesar and the Birth of Christ (Lk 2:1-7). The Second Visitors - Magi (Mat 2:1-12).
JerusalemJesus is Circumcised and Presented in the Temple (Lk 2:21-38).
EgyptOut of Egypt (Mat 2:13-23).
Jesus' Early YearsJerusalem
The JordanJesus is Baptized in the Jordan (Mat 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-23).
The WildernessThe Temptation in the Wilderness (Mat 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13). The Testimony of John (Jn 1:19-34).
The First PassoverJerusalem A House of Merchandise (Jn 2:13-25). Jesus Baptizes (Jn 3:22, with 4:2).
GalileeHe Departed Again to Galilee (Mat 4:12; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:14; Jn 4:1-3).
SamariaThe Woman at the Well (Jn 4:4-42). Physician, Heal Yourself! (Mat 4:13-16; Lk 4:16-31).
Sea of GalileePeter, Andrew, James, and John (Mat 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11).
GalileeAnd Jesus Went About All Galilee . . Teaching (Mat 4:23-25; Mk 1:35-39, Lk 4:42-44). Then a Leper Came to Him (Mat 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-45; Lk 5:12- 16).
JerusalemHealing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-47). And in His Name Gentiles Will Trust (Mat 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12) The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7; Lk 6:20-49). My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light (Mat 11:20-30).
CapernaumThe Woman With the Alabaster Flask (Lk 7:36-50). The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:22-37; Mk 3: 19-30; Lk 11:14-20). Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites (Lk 11:37-54). Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk 13:6-9). Many Such Parables (Mat 13:24-53; Mk 4:26-34).
Sea of GalileeJesus Rebukes the Storm (Mat 8:18-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25). The Herd of Many Swine (Mat 8:28-33; Mk 5:1-21; Lk 8:26-40).
NazarethHe Came Again to His Own City (Mat 9:1; Mk 5:21 Lk 8:40). Jairus' Daughter and the Woman With the Flow of Blood (Mat 9:18-26; Mk 5:22-43; Lk 8:41-56). A Prophet is Not Without Honor Except in His Own Country (Mat 13:53-58; Mk 6:1-6). Sent His Disciples Out With Power and Authority (Mat 10; Mk 6:6-13, Lk 9:1-6).
MachaerusJohn the Baptist is Beheaded (Mat 14:1, 2, 6-12, Mk 6:14-16, 21-29; Lk 9:7-9).
Near BethsaidaThe Disciples Return, Feeding Five Thousand (Mat 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-17, Jn 6:1-14).
Sea of GalileeThey Saw Him Walking on the Sea (Mat 14:22-36; Mk 6:45-56; Jn 6:15-21).
Do you also want to go away? (Jn 6:66-71). A Woman of Canaan (Mat 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30). Feeding Four Thousand (Mat 15:32-39; Mk 8:1-9). And He Was Transfigured (Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36). Speaks Again of His Death (Mat 17:22, 23; Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45).
CapernaumMiracle of the Coin in the Fish's Mouth (Mat 17:24-27). He Who is Not Against Us is On Our Side (Mk 9:38, 39; Lk 9:49, 50).
The Feast of TabernaclesJerusalem The Lord Appointed Seventy Others (Lk 10:1-16). Teaches in the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:14-53; 8:1-59). The Report of the Seventy (Lk 10:17-24).
BethanyThe House of Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42).
JerusalemI Was Blind, Now I See (Jn 9:1-41). They Picked Up Stones To Stone Him (Jn 10:22-39).
BethabaraBeyond the Jordan (Jn 10:40-42; 11:3-16).
BethanyJesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (Jn 11:1-46).
EphraimThe Declaration of Caiaphas (Jn 11:47-54).
JudeaThe Woman Who Was Bent Over (Mat 19:1, 2; Mk 10:1; Lk 13:10-35). Count the Cost (Lk 14:25-35). Exposes the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Lk 16:14-18). Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:1-10). Marriage and Divorce (Mat 19:3-12; Mk 10:2-12). Rich Young Ruler (Mat 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-22; Lk 18:18-24). Again Foretelling His Death (Mat 20:17-19; Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). Zacchaeus who was a Chief Tax Collector (Lk 19:1-10). Jesus Enters the Temple (Mat 21:12, Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45). The Blind and Lame Came to Him (Mat 21:14). The Withered Fig Tree (Mat 21:17-22; Mk 11:12-14, 20-22). The Parable of the Vinedressers (Mat 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19); The Parable of the Great Supper (Mat 22:1-14; Lk 14:16-24). Tested By the Sadducees (Mat 22:23-33; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40); Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees (Mat 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47). The Prophecy of Isaiah About their Blindness (Jn 12:37-50). He Saw the City and Wept Over It (Mat 23:37; Lk 19:41-44). The Sheep and the Goats (Mat 25:31-46).
JerusalemThe Last Passover (Mat 26:17-30; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20). The Hand of My Betrayer is With Me (Mat 26:23; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21; Jn 13:18). What You Do . . Do Quickly (Mat 26:21-25; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21-23; Jn 13:21-30). Jesus' Intercession (Jn 17). Betrayed and Taken (Mat 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-54, 66-72; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:2-12). He Sent Him to Herod (Lk 23:6-12).
CrucifixionJoseph of Arimathea (Mat 27:57-66; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:31-42).
The ResurrectionHas Appeared to Simon (Lk 24:34; 1Cor 15:5).
Road to EmmausAppears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12, 13: Lk 24:13-35).
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