This week we re-watched last week’s video to help us launch into the second half of Luke chapter 2, which focuses specifically on Jesus’ dedication at the temple as a baby, and then the story of his teaching in the temple as a 12 year old boy.
You can watch the video for Luke Part 1 here!
Overview of Luke 2:22-52
Last week we were introduced to two Jewish families that were both visited by the angel Gabriel, who came to deliver to each a message from God. These families were both going to give birth to sons. One son would be named John, and he would grow up to prepare the people of Israel for the arrival of their Messiah. The other son was the Messiah himself, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and he would save his people from their sins.
This week we read two stories that gave us a better idea of the purpose of Jesus’ life, and how his parents, Joseph and Mary, were affected by the unfolding of God’s plan.
In obedience to the Jewish laws, Mary goes to the temple to perform her purification rituals after a certain time since she gave birth to Jesus. She is also there to dedicate Jesus to the Lord, as he is the firstborn in the family. While at the temple, an old man named Simeon is overjoyed to see them. He explains that God promised he would see the promised Messiah with his own eyes before he died. And here was the Messiah! Simeon praises God and proclaims that he can now die in peace. But also, he warns Mary that the purpose of this child’s life will bring division to the nation, and even agony to her own soul. Shortly after this, a prophetess named Anna appears, also an older woman and a widow, and she had spent most of her life fasting, praying and waiting for the promises of God to be fulfilled. She gives thanks to God and begins to speak of Jesus to everyone around her. This must have been an exciting time for Mary and Joseph, discovering that other godly people knew about their son, Jesus. But it also must have bothered Mary to hear about the division and pain that Jesus’ would bring to the nation and her own soul.
We read that Jesus grew up with God’s favor, becoming stronger and wiser. At the age of twelve, he travels to Jerusalem with his parents from their home in Nazareth, to observe Passover. On the way back, his parents realize that Jesus is not with them (they are likely travelling in a caravan with some friends and family). They turn around and frantically search for him for three days before finally finding him in the temple. He had been interacting with the priests and scholars, listening, asking questions, teaching and explaining the scriptures. Everyone was amazed at his knowledge and understanding. Aside from being terribly worried about his safety, Mary must have also had the hard realization that Jesus was slowly making the transition from being her little boy to being a man sent from God with a mission. Jesus responds to her worry with the question, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” From that day Jesus continued to grow in strength and wisdom, with God’s favor.
Join us next week as we watch the second video of our Luke Series! We will jump forward to when John the Baptist and Jesus are fully grown, and Jesus begins to publicly announce the good news of God’s kingdom to the poor; his mission from the start.
- Read through Luke 2:22-52.
- What did Simeon mean when he said that Jesus was appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed, so that thoughts from many hearts will be revealed? Also, what did he mean when he said that a sword would pierce through Mary’s soul?
- Think ahead from this section of Luke to when Jesus will be crucified. Why do you think Jesus had to be a suffering Savior? What did his death and resurrection accomplish?
- If someone gave you a glimpse of your future, or your child’s future, would it help or hinder your faith?
- Imagine if your family traveled somewhere and you ended up staying behind without your parents for 3 days. How would they react? What would you be doing? How is Jesus’ situation different than your imaginary story?
- Have you ever experienced a time when you had to let go of something you cherished? It could be a friend, child, spouse, or idea. Use that experience to reflect on Mary’s growing understanding of letting go of Jesus as he grows up.
- Do you have a sense of God’s mission in your life? What is it, and how does it relate to the gospel?