Luke 2:40-52

INTRODUCTION: Have you ever gotten separated from your children? It can get pretty scary, not knowing where your child is. Your anxiety grows with the minutes that pass without finding her/him. Imagine the relief on your face when you finally find your child!

Luke tells about an episode in the life of Jesus when his parents got separated from Jesus, and then had to find him. Let's learn some lessons from this passage.



"And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him....And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."

A. Jesus grew physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
1. Physically - "the child grew and became strong in spirit"

2. Mentally - "filled with wisdom"

3. Spiritually - "and the grace of God was upon Him."

B. The results of his growth. He grew "in favor with God and men."
1. Modern man has emphasized everything about man, except for his relationship with God.

2. We are very concerned about our children's physical condition. Want them to have a sound body. We are very concerned about their mental condition. We want them to go to the best schools for an education. But we seem to have little concern for their spiritual growth.

3. It is not that we shouldn't be concerned about these things. But we should remember that the first two are useless without the third.

a. 1 Timothy 4:8- "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."

b. 2 Peter 3:18- "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen."


"His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover."

A. Notice that his parents went up every year at the Feast of the Passover.
1. Implies a strong commitment to spiritual training.

2. They had an appreciation for the Old Testament's admonition to train their children.

a. Deuteronomy 11:19-21 ""You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20- And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21- that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth."
B. This was a special Passover celebration for Jesus and his parents.
1. Luke 2:42- "And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast."

2. At twelve a Jewish boy became a "son of the Law"and an adult male according to the community! This would be Jesus' first Passover since he had become a "man" and would give him the opportunity to participate as a man in the worship.

3. This must have been thrilling for Jesus parents as well. Their son was no longer a child but now a man.

C. Have we made the same commitment to our children.
1. Ephesians 6:4- "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."

2. We need to commit to train our children spiritually. If not, we may raise a generation like those of Amos' day.

a. Amos 8:11-12 ""Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD. 12- They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it."

"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."

A. It is perfectly normal that Jesus would not have been missed immediately on the way back.
1. There were probably in a large group going back home. It would have been easy to assume that he was with an aunt, uncle, or friend.

2. But when it became obvious that he was missing they began to grow concerned!

B. A great need to be grateful for our children.
1. They treasured their child.

2. Psalms 127:3-5 "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4- Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. 5- "Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate."


"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."

A. Jesus remained subject to his parents, even though he had probably advanced beyond their wisdom and intelligence.
1. Luke 2:51- "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."

2. Jesus had reason to believe that he was smarter and wiser than his parents, but he still willingly submitted to the Law
requirements to submit to the Lord. 

a. Luke 2:47- "And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers."
B. He was subject to authority.
1. John 8:28, 29- "Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29- And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.""

2. Hebrews 5:8-9

A. He wanted to know more of his Father's will and desired to gather all the wisdom that he could.
1. Luke 2:46- "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." 
B. He understood that he had a mission to do his heavenly Father's will.
1. Luke 2:49- "And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?""

2. Just as Jesus understood what his purpose was, we too can know what we are all about.

a. Ecclesiastes 12:13- "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all."

CONCLUSION: Wouldn't it be great if we all "knew what we were about" like Jesus. Jesus knew that the entire responsibility of God was to serve Him.

Copyright 2000 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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