Archive for July 1st, 2017

Luke 2

Luke 2 begins with the birth of Jesus.  He is born in Jerusalem where Joseph and Mary had returned to register for the census, but there was no room for them in the inn.  There were shepherds keeping watch over their flocks outside town, and an angel came and told them to “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all  the people. For  unto you is born this day in  the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger”.  Can you imagine having angels come and tell you what had happened?  It would have certainly been anything but a normal night tending the sheep.

So what does a groups of shepherds do with news like that?  Remember, these were not the religious leaders.  They were common sheep herders, not all that high on the economic scale even during their time.  “And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger”. They went – immediately – to find the baby that the angels had told them about.  They didn’t waste any time at all.  They left their sheep (which was a no no) and headed off to find the baby.  This was a big deal.

Mary and Joseph take the baby Jesus to Jerusalem to be circumcised as per the tradition of the day, and as they take him for dedication in the temple, they are met by Simeon, a godly servant who was waiting to see the Messiah before he died.  “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart  in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel”.  Simeon immediately knows that Jesus is the coming Messiah, as does Anna, the prophetess who also immediately knows because of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus grows as any young child does.  “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him”.  God’s hand was upon Him.  His parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Feast of the Passover. “And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in JerusalemHis parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him”. Jesus didn’t communicate with His parents – so He was a normal kid in that respect.

But in other ways, He was a very different twelve year old.  “After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions”.  Three days is a long time to be searching for your child.  Mary and Joseph were beside themselves – “your father and I have been searching for you in great distress”.  Jesus couldn’t understand what the problem was.  Where else would He be?  But even though He is beginning to understand that He is a different man than every other, “he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them”.  Jesus is willing to follow God’s plan, which for now was to be son to Mary and Joseph and grow to become a young man awaiting God’s direction.

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