Jesus’ Childhood – Matthew 2:1-23; Luke 2:39-52

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

April 14, 2013

Jesus’ Childhood

Matthew 2:1-23; Luke 2:39-52


We have seen in our previous studies that Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit without a human father and so is deity. He is also human for Mary is His physical mother. (See: The Incarnation and The Birth of Messiah)). Last week we saw that Jesus fulfills the prophetic requirement of having the legal right to King David’s throne through His legal father, Joseph. We also saw that by His physical bloodline through Mary, Jesus fulfills the prophetic requirements of being a physical descendant of King David and yet not a physical descendant of King Jeconiah who was cursed. (See: The Lineage of Jesus).

This morning we will see additional prophesies required of the Messiah that are fulfilled during Jesus’ childhood. We will also see additional evidence from the reaction of people to Jesus and the actions of Jesus Himself that He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. We will begin with events that occurred only a short time after Jesus’ birth. Turn to Matthew 2:1.

The Coming of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-2)

Matthew 1 ends with a simple statement that Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife, “and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Luke’s account gives us more details about the events that occurred at Jesus’ birth and immediately afterward. Matthew 2 begins with events that occur some time after those events.

Matthew 2:1 begins, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” Immediately we have several questions concerning these Magi. Who were they? Where did they come from? How did they know to come? Why did they come?

The first historical references to the Magi are of a tribe in the emerging Median nation in the 7th century B.C. They had developed a religious system which recognized a benevolent creator God. They also had a hereditary priesthood which mediated between man and God by virtue of a blood sacrifice. They also distinguished between different things being “clean” and “unclean.” For example, they considered lizards and insects to be “unclean.” These and other practices were similar to Jewish practice and a basis for them to get along with each other.

As the tribe of “priests,” they also gained considerable political influence within the Median nation. Elements of Zoroastrianism were added to the religion in the 6th century B.C. when Darius the Great, the Persian ruler, made Zoroastrianism the state religion. The Magi were anxious to maintain their religious and political favor, so they accepted Zoroastrianism, but they did so without changing much of their original philosophy or rituals. Late in the 6th century B.C., Cyaxares decreed the early Magi system to be the state religion. This increased the influence of the Magi again. Several of the Magi were considered to be experts in the interpretation of dreams and were attached to the Median court and thus they gained even more political influence. For example, Nergal-sar-ezer is mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah as one of the principal officials in the court of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Jeremiah 39:3, 13).

By the time of Daniel, the Magi were powerful figures in the empire due to their dual role as civil and political counsel combined with their religious authority as the priestly caste in the society. The prophet Daniel had a lot of interaction with the Magi (translated “Magicians” in the KJV & NASB). In fact, because of his ability to interpret the dream of Nebuchadnezzer when no one else could (Daniel 2), Daniel was made the head of the Magi in their civil & political role (Daniel 4:9). Nebuchadnezzar also declared at that time that the God of Daniel was “a God of gods and a Lord of kings . . .” (Daniel 2:47). He went on to say, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are true and His ways are just . . . “ (Daniel 4:37). With these declarations by the king and Daniel’s influence as their leader, we would expect them to become familiar with the foundations and prophecies of Judaism.

Many nations had come and gone by the time Jesus was born over 500 years later, but the Magi still had political influence in that area of the world which was now the Persian/Parthian empire. In fact, the Magi composed the upper house of the council of Megistanes whose duties included the absolute choice and election of the king of the realm. So the men who came to Jerusalem looking for “He who is born king of the Jews” were neither a band of curious academic men who just kept their heads in books, nor were they some strange group of mystical star gazers. These men were very important political dignitaries. They were, in a very real sense, king makers.

How did they know about the Messiah’s birth and when to come? Through Daniel’s influence, the Magi would have been aware of all the important Jewish writings up through at least the time of the Babylonian captivity and possibly beyond. It was because of this familiarity that they knew that some day a Messiah would come. There would be a future Jewish monarch who would rule the world by divine authority. They would have known about as much as the Jewish religious leaders should have known.

How did they know when to come? Because a sign was prophesied 14 centuries before in Numbers 24:17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, And a scepter shall rise from Israel . . . ” The Magi were saying, “we saw His star in the east.” This prophecy was now fulfilled. Whatever the star was, and we do not know what it was though there is much speculation about it, the Magi did recognize it as a sign and so they set off on their journey to find Him. They went to Jerusalem because the capital city is the logical place to search for a king. But this brings up the question, if they were so astute to recognize the star, why didn’t they know where to find the baby Jesus? They discerned the more complex prophecy concerning the star, so why didn’t they follow the prophecy of Micah 5:2 and go to Bethlehem Ephrathah in Judah where the Messiah was to be born. There could be several reasons for this, but the simplest is that they were arriving some time after Jesus was born. It would have been at least a few months and possibly as long as two years later. They would have had a reasonable expectation that the Messiah would have been recognized and been somewhere in Jerusalem where He would eventually sit on the throne of David.

Why did the Magi come? They told Herod that they came to worship Him (verse 2). The truth of that statement is seen later in the passage for when they did find Him, they did just that.

Trouble with Herod
– Matthew 2:3-8

Matthew 2:3-7 tells about Herod’s response to the arrival of the Magi and their request. 3 “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” Let me give you a very brief background on Herod so you will know why this news was so troubling to him and everyone else in Jerusalem.

First, Herod could not be a legitimate “king of the Jews” for he was of the wrong lineage and in fact an Idumean, a descendant of Esau’s line, not Jacob’s, and only partially Jewish at best. Herod had become Rome’s puppet king over the area through a long and complex series of political moves lasting over 22 years. Herod continued as king only because Roman power kept him there.

Second, Herod was a jealous man who had a habit of killing those he thought might be a rival for the throne. When he ascended to the throne, he killed forty-five of the most prominent citizens including close friends, his wife’s brother, his sister’s husband, his sister’s second husband, his mother-in-law, and his wife. All this occurred in his rise to power, 47 – 25 B.C. In the years of his reign, he would put to death those he perceived as a threat to his power. This included his sons Alexander and Aristoblus. The magi arrived at the same time a plot by his son, Antipater, to usurp the throne had been uncovered. Herod is troubled by another possible threat to his throne, and Jerusalem is troubled wondering how much bloodshed would occur this time.

Herod makes his plan. First, 4 “Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born” (Matthew 2:4). They tell him that it was Bethlehem according to the prophecy of Micah 5:2 (Matthew 2:5-6). Next, he schemes to find the “one born king of the Jews” through the Magi. Matthew 2:7-8, 7 Then Herod secretly called the Magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” Herod’s actual plan to was to kill Him, not worship Him, but the Magi did not know this yet.

The Magi Worship Jesus – Matthew 2:9-12

“And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh” (vs. 9-12).

Notice first that they see the star again and it leads them in some way to the place where they find Jesus. Next, notice that they do not find Jesus in a stable lying in a manger, but He is now in a house with His mother, Mary. The Magi do not arrive at the time of Jesus’ birth, but sometime later. Third, notice that neither Joseph nor the shepherds are present. The traditional Christmas creche scene is a myth created by forcing many separate events into one event.

They rejoice at seeing the star and finding Jesus and they bow down in worship of Him. Each of them also gave a gift and each present is significant in revealing Jesus’ identity, position and purpose. Gold is the gift for a king, and Jesus is King. Frankincense was used in the worship of God, and Jesus is our Priest, our mediator between God and Man. Myrrh was one of the spices used in burial, and Jesus was born to die in our place for our sins.

The Magi had come from afar to find the promised Messiah in order to worship Him, but the religious leaders in Jerusalem only five or six miles away didn’t even have enough curiosity to go find out for themselves. We still find a similar reaction among people today. There are many that have had little or no knowledge of Jesus as they were growing up, but they will follow what little they have heard in order to find Him. The opposite extreme are those that grow up in churches hearing much about Jesus, but they will not even put in a little effort to seek Him. Which response marks your life? Do you actively seek Jesus or are you complacent?

Escape from Herod (Matthew 2:12-18)

Herod lied to the Magi in order to find out from them where the “one born king of the Jews” was located so that he could then murder him. His plan might have worked except that God intervened. Matthew 2:12, “And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.” The Magi heeded the warning and found a route around Jerusalem to avoid Herod for their return trip back to their own land.

After the Magi left, God also warned Joseph resulting in another prophecy being fulfilled. Matthew 2:13-15. 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” 14 And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt; 15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream in the same manner he had earlier in telling Joseph to take Mary as his wife for the child she carried was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:20). The angel’s warning is direct in telling him to take his family and leave for

Egypt immediately for the life of the Child was in danger.

There are several things in this warning I want to point out. First, note the Child is placed in the position of importance. Usually, the parent is listed first with the child spoken of in relation to the parent, i.e., “a mother with her child.” Here, it is the reverse. The warning was for the protection of the child, for it was the child that was a threat to Herod and all other forces of evil. The mother is included as a continuation of the protection of the child for Jesus would need the care and nurture of Mary in Egypt.

Second, note this warning is prophetic. Herod had not yet given indication of his plans, but God knows the future as well as the thoughts and intentions of men. God warned the Magi and He warned Joseph of Herod’s intentions.

Third, God told Joseph to go to a certain place. Why Egypt and not just some place out of the area where Herod had control or influence? Verse 15 gives us the answer. The child had to go to Egypt so that a prophecy concerning Him could be fulfilled.

The prophecy is taken from Hosea 11:1 and reads, “When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.” The nation of Israel is referred to here as God’s son just it was in Exodus 4:22-23 when Moses told Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I said to you, ‘Let My son go, that he may serve Me.'” This passage is an historical reference to God bringing the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt some 700 years earlier. How could it then be a prophecy?

It is not a direct prophecy but rather what is referred to as a typico-prophetic prophecy which is a non-verbal prophecy in which something in the Old Testament (a person or an event) was a type (a picture, an illustration) of something in the New Testament, usually an aspect of the person or work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The writer may not have even known the statement would have a future prophetic fulfillment, as the case here, yet it is a type of prophecy. How do we know when there is such a prophecy? Only when the New Testament reveals it. Because types are veiled revelation, it takes divine testimony as given by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament to establish their identity. Those
who ignore this limit on prophetic types allegorize, spiritualize and typify the Old Testament by whimsy.

We know about this prophetic type and its fulfillment only because God reveals it through the apostle Matthew. I must also point out that since Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience, he would expect them to understand both the meaning of the book of Hosea, the source of the prophecy, and its reference to the Exodus. God has an enduring love for Israel even in their rebellion, and God will call them to serve Him. Messiah is testimony to God’s love for Israel, and He will call them back to serve the Lord.

The warning given by the angel of the Lord was centered on the protection of the Child. It was prophetic in nature and it was a call to go to a certain place in order to fulfill prophecy. Joseph was to remain in Egypt until God told him otherwise. The verb tense of the command indicates an expectation of immediate response until the task was completed. That is exactly what Joseph did without debate or hesitation. He gathered Mary and Jesus and left for Egypt while it was still night which gave them additional protection of leaving secretly. It was 75 miles to the border of Egypt and about 100 more to the city of Alexandria, the most likely place for them to go since a large population of Jews lived there. God’s provision is seen not only in the warning, but also in the gifts from the Magi which would have been able to finance the trip and stay in Egypt.

It is not known how long they stayed in Egypt except that it was until sometime after the death of Herod in the Spring of 4 B.C. It could have been a few months to a couple of years. However long it was, it was God’s method of protecting Jesus from Herod’s wrath

Herod’s wrath was revealed once he figured out the Magi were not coming back. Matthew 2:16-18, 16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.”

Herod was enraged (qumvow / thumo ) A strong word made stronger by the adjective “very” or “exceedingly.” The verb tense indicates he had lost control of his emotions to his senseless hatred and fear. Why was he so mad? Herod thought the Magi had “tricked” (ejmtaivzw / emtaidz ) him. The word carries the sense of being played the fool and so is translated as “mocked” in the KJV. Herod thought the Magi had made a fool out of him. In reality, the Magi were simply obeying God rather than man. Herod made a fool out of himself.

The proper definition of a fool, according to Scriptures, is a person who says there is no God, or at least lives as if there was not one. Herod fit that definition. When the Magi arrived, he had specifically inquired of the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah was to be born. Herod was aware of the claim being made about this child, yet he arrogantly and foolishly set Himself against God’s anointed One. If Herod had even thought about it a little bit, he should have figured out that the only reason the Magi would not have come back was if they had found out his plan to destroy the child, and if they knew, then they would have warned the family who would have long since departed to a safe place. Yet, Herod in his blind and foolish hatred did not consider this, or if he did, then even worse, he purposed to slaughter the innocent infants in the place of the baby he could not kill.

Herod’s slaughter of all the male babies two years and under was the evil attempt of a man to hold onto a throne that did not belong to him, and which he would not keep anyway since he was sick and old. He had no intention of fulfilling prophecy, yet Matthew says that is what he did. In Jeremiah 31:15 the prophet was speaking of the great sorrow that would soon be experienced in Israel when most of her people would be deported to Babylon. Ramah was a village almost six miles north of Jerusalem and was the place where Jewish captives were assembled for deportation to Babylon. Rachel weeping for her children represented all the Jewish mothers who wept over Israel’s great tragedy in the days of Jeremiah. This passage is also typico-prophetic. What occurred in the days of Jeremiah was a type, an illustration, of what would occur at the time of Christ of the mothers weeping for their children that were slaughtered by Herod. This slaughter was just one of many suffered by Israel at the hands of evil men. In just two generations (A.D.70), Jerusalem would see its temple destroyed and over a million of its people massacred by the troops of Titus. But that slaughter, and even that by Hitler in the 20th Century will pale in comparison to that which will come at the hands of Anti-Christ during the Great Tribulation.

Joseph understood and believed the prophetic nature of the warning he received and so he acted on it to protect his family from Herod. God has given many warnings in the Scriptures about both the results of sin and what will happen in the future. You can either believe it, obey Him and be prepared, or you can suffer the terrible consequences. The most serious warning concerns God’s eternal condemnation of the unrighteous. You can either believe and heed the warning by finding salvation from sin through faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ so that you are redeemed, forgiven and made righteous before God in Him with a promise of eternal life with Him, or you remain in your sins to be damned to everlasting Hell because of them.

Return to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23; Luke 2:39-40)

After Herod was dead, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream once again. Matthew 2:19-23, 19But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20“Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” 21So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

Herod the Great died in 4 B.C. a horrible death with a body sick and diseased. The historian Josephus described him as having “putrefied and maggot infested organs.” With Herod’s death, the immediate danger to Jesus was gone, so the Lord told Joseph to return to Israel. Since Herod’s son, Archelaus, was now the ruler over Judea and he was following in his father’s footsteps of senseless cruelty and slaughter, Joseph did not want to remain there. God spoke to him a fourth time in a dream to warn him, so Joseph settled in Nazareth in Galilee, which according to Luke 1:26-27 is where Gabriel had visited Mary, and according to Luke 2:4, Joseph and Mary had been there before going to Bethlehem.

Matthew declares in verse 23 that the move to Nazareth would enable Jesus to fulfill the saying of the prophets that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Matthew uses the plural, so more than one prophet had said this, but Matthew does not say which ones said it. In addition, there is no passage in the Hebrew scriptures that says this. Some who deny the Holy Spirit’s work in producing the Scriptures claim this is an error on Matthew’s part, but that also assumes that everything the prophets said were written down, and that is a very unreasonable ass
umption, and especially so for ancient cultures that kept oral histories. In this case, the Holy Spirit has led the apostle Matthew to point out the fulfillment of prophecies that he knew about even if we do not have the record of those ancient prophecies in our own time. The Bible has other references to prophecies or books for which we no longer have records. Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18 both refer to the book of Jasher which we do not have. Jude 1:14 refers to a prophesy by Enoch that is not recorded in the Old Testament. In Acts 20:35, Luke records Paul quoting a saying of Jesus that is not recorded in any of the gospels – “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Not everything was written down (John 20:30), and just because we do not have a written record today does not mean it did not exist and was known at an earlier time. The Holy Spirit is the One that is revealing the fulfillment of this prophecy through the apostle Matthew.

Luke 3:39-40 does not say anything about Joseph taking Jesus and Mary to Egypt. He simply points out that “they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” What Luke describes in the next section is an example of how much Jesus had grown in wisdom and grace by the time He was twelve. It also continues Luke’s theme of showing that Jesus is both Son of God and human.

Jesus in His Father’s House (Luke 2:41-52)

Luke 2:41-42, 41 “Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast.”

Joseph and Mary are faithful in striving to fulfill God’s commandments including participation in the yearly celebration of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread that occur every spring starting on the 14th day of Abib (Exodus 12). This required them to travel from Nazareth to Jerusalem, a distance of about 70 miles which would take them several days to walk. Since many others would also be making the journey at the same time, there were plenty of people to walk with and they usually formed caravans as protection against the dangers of travel such as robbers, wild animals, and injury.

This was one of the three feasts in which the men were required to appear before the Lord (Exodus 23:14-17). According to the Mishnah (traditions of the Rabbis), at age 13, a boy would go through his bar-mitzvah (son of the law) and become obligated to fulfill the commands of the law given to any man. This included attending the three feasts. The Mishnah also provided that a boy should attend Passover and the Feast a year or two earlier. Jesus was now twelve, so it is possible that this was the first time Jesus had gone to the Feast of Passover in Jerusalem, or He may have been many times before since His parents went every year. The women were not obligated to go and caring for young children would often keep them home. Our text does not indicate whether Joseph and Mary brought their younger children with them or left them with relatives or neighbors in Nazareth.

Luke 2:43-45, 43 “and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him.”

After spending at least eight days in Jerusalem, one day for Passover and seven for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they start on their journey home. That evening, after a full day’s journey, neither Joseph nor Mary know where Jesus is and they still do not find Him after searching for Him and asking their friends and acquaintances about Him. Before concluding that Joseph and Mary are irresponsible consider what it would be like to travel in a large caravan. The travelers are strung out along the road for a long distance. Joseph and Mary may not have even been together since groups of men would often walk together as would groups of the women with their children. Boys might be with the dad, the mom, friends or with other families. This can easily happen as demonstrated by the number of children that have been left here at the church when the parents assume the child went home with someone else. Parents get anxious when that happens and the same was true for Joseph and Mary which was then compounded when they got back to Jerusalem and still could not find Him.

46Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them & asking them questions. 47And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.”

Any parent here can understand the anxiety Joseph and Mary must have felt in looking for Jesus for so many days and not finding Him, and you can imagine the things that may have been running through their minds as they searched. Yet, at the same time, you wonder if they had forgotten Jesus’ identity. Jesus is the Son of God, the promised Messiah. Would not God the Father watch over Jesus to protect Him and ensure that all the prophecies would be fulfilled? Their trust in God wavered and with the uncertainty came the anxiety. But before we are too harsh on them, consider these two factors.

First, Jesus was also human and they had raised Him from a helpless infant. Like any parent, they could remember when he began to crawl, then walk and talk. They had taught Jesus the skills He had learned. Jesus had to grow in stature and wisdom like any child though He was also God in human flesh.

Second, the same principle applies to all parents regarding their children. Yes, we have to be diligent in raising them and protecting them from the dangers that are all around us, but the cure for anxiety is the same for us as it would have been for Joseph and Mary. We are to pray and then trust the Lord. As sated in Isaiah 26:3, “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in Thee.”

Jesus had spent several days with the teachers in the temple listening to what they said, asking them questions, and answering their questions. This was the common method of teaching, but they were astonished by Jesus’ understanding. They were astounded that a boy of just twelve years would have such comprehension and perception. In this we see the mix of deity and humanity in Jesus. Like any boy, Jesus was learning and growing, yet He was also far beyond anyone they had ever experienced.

Jesus’ answer to his parents in verse 49 is not disrespectful, but an honest question founded on the premise that they of all people knew His identity and therefore would have known what He would have been doing. 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

Perhaps it was the emotion of the moment that blocked them from understanding the point of Jesus’ questions. By calling the temple “My Father’s house,” Jesus is declaring His own recognition of His identity as the Son of God. We can miss the significance of that statement because we who are Christians are used to referring to God as our heavenly Father and so wrongly assume that is what Jesus is doing. However, the Jews did not refer to God as their Father, so this statement should have stood out.

Jesus unders
tood His identity as the Son of God, yet He humbled Himself to continue the righteous submission to the direction of His parents. He went back down with them from Jerusalem and then North back to Nazareth. Mary may not have understood Jesus’ statement immediately, but she did store it in her memory along with her observations of His behavior. These were important to her, and they would become more important in the coming years.

Luke concludes this section in verse 52 with a statement similar to verse 40, 52 “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Jesus was entering into adolescence and he would continue to grow mentally and physically with His character gaining Him the approval of both God and men.


The deity and humanity of Jesus is clearly seen even in His childhood. He was worshiped even as an infant by those who were seeking the things of God. God the Father directly intervened to protect Him from the dangers of evil men and in doing so fulfilled prophecy after prophecy. Jesus grew physically and mentally like any boy, yet He also exhibited qualities at an early age that demonstrated that He was more than just human.


Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.

Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times Mary, the Magi and Herod are mentioned. Talk with your parents about how Jesus demonstrated both humanity and deity as a child


Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Who is Jesus’ mother? Who is Jesus’ father? How did Jesus gain the legal right to the throne of David? Who are the Magi? How would they know about Jewish prophecy? Why did they go to Jerusalem? Why didn’t they go to Bethlehem first? Why did the coming of the Magi trouble Herod and all Jerusalem with him? What did Herod want the Magi to do and why? How did they know where to find Jesus? Where, specifically, did they find Jesus? Who was with Him? What is incorrect about the traditional Christmas creche scene? What is the significance of each of the gifts the Magi brought: gold, frankincense and myrrh? The Magi traveled a long distance to find Jesus, why didn’t the religious leaders join them in the short journey to Bethlehem? How are people similar to either the Magi or those religious leaders today? Why did the Magi avoid Jerusalem on the way home since that would have been the easier route? What are the significant points of the angel’s warning to Joseph? Why does Joseph have to go to Egypt and not some other place? What is a prophetic type? How is Hosea 11:1 typico-prophetic? How can you know when something in the Old Testament is a prophetic type? Why was Herod so enraged? What did he murder the male infants 2 years and younger in response? Who was this a fulfillment of prophecy? When did Herod the Great die? Why didn’t Joseph go back to Nazareth instead of Judea? How was that the fulfillment of a prophecy? Does the original prophecy have to written down in the Hebrew Scriptures in order for it to be fulfilled at a later time? Why or why not? What were God requirements for His people to attend the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread? According to Jewish tradition, when did a boy become a man? When was a boy expected to start attending the Passover? What about women? How could Joseph and Mary travel full day before discovering that Jesus was not with them? How long did they search for Him? Why were they anxious? Why were the teachers in the temple astonished at Jesus? What is the significance of Jesus’ answer to His mother after she found Him? How did Jesus demonstrate His humanity as a child. What during His childhood demonstrated His deity?


Sermon Notes – 4/14/2013

Jesus’ Childhood – Matthew 2:1-23; Luke 2:39-52


Jesus is the _________by the Holy Spirit, son of man by Mary, & legal heir to David’s throne by Joseph

During His childhood, additional prophecies are fulfilled and Jesus exhibits both His _________& deity

The Coming of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-11)

The Magi were a tribe in Media in the 7th century BC with a religion with many similarities to the _____

By the 6th century BC, they became religious and political ____________ in the Persian kingdom

Nebuchadnezzar made ____________their head after he had interpreted the king’s dream (Daniel 2 & 4)

They composed the upper house of council in the Parthian empire & determined who would be _______

They would have known about the promise of a future Jewish ____________through Daniel’s influence

They knew the timing of the Messiah’s birth by the sign of the ______in the prophecy of Numbers 24:17

They went to Jerusalem instead of Bethlehem because they expected the __________to be there by then

They came to ______________ the one “born king of the Jews” – the Messiah (Matt. 2:2)

The Trouble of Herod (Matthew 2:3-8)

Herod was troubled because he was ________and evil – and so Jerusalem was also troubled (Matt 2:3-7)

Herod was an _____________ and could not be a legitimate “king of the Jews”

Herod was jealous with a habit of ___________any perceived rival – including friends, relatives and sons

Herod tries to determine the exact ____________of the child through the Chief priests, scribes and Magi

The Magi Worship Jesus (Matthew 2:9-12)

The Magi rejoice at seeing the star again and finding _______________ with Mary in a house

The significance of each gift: Gold for a king, Frankincense for a __________ , Myrrh for His burial

The Magi traveled a great distance to find Jesus; the Jewish leaders would not even go a ________miles

Escape from Herod (Matthew 2:12-18)

God _____________ both the Magi and Joseph of Herod’s plan to murder Jesus

In the warning, the _________is placed in the position of prominence with the mother mentioned second

The warning is ________________

Joseph was specifically told to go to _______________which would fulfill the prophecy of Hosea 11:1

A typico-prophetic prophecy uses a person or event in the OT as a __________ of something in the NT

Prophetic types are only revealed by _______testimony in the NT – this one through the apostle Matthew

Joseph obeyed without debate or hesitation leaving that very _____- the trip financed by the Magi’s gifts

Matthew 2:16-18. Herod’s foolish jealously results in excessive ________when the Magi do not return

Herod slaughters all male babies ________ years in and around Bethlehem fulfilling another prophecy

Matthew cites Jeremiah 31:15 as a prophetic type of the _____________ by Herod

Return to
(Matthew 2:19-23; Luke 2:39-40)

Herod the Great dies a horrible death in the Spring of__________ and God tells Joseph to return to Israel

The move to Nazareth fulfills a prophecy that was not written down in the ________________Scriptures

Other examples of such prophecies / quotes – Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18, Jude 1:14, Acts 20:35

Jesus in His Father’s House (Luke 2:41-52)

They traveled the ~_____________from Nazareth to Jerusalem each Spring for Passover & the Feast

Boys 11 or 12 often began attending ____________and at 13 were required to attend (Exodus 23:14-17)

Luke 2:43-45. Joseph & Mary began their journey home not realizing Jesus was still in ______________

Luke 2:46-48. After three days of ____________search, they found Jesus with the teachers in the temple

They should have ________God, but they were used to protecting Him, all parents should ________God

The teachers in the temple were ______________ at Jesus’ level of understanding

Luke 2:49-51. His parents do not understand Jesus’ point in identifying Himself as the ______________

Jesus was still young and ________to His parents and continued to grow physically, mentally & socially


 Jesus grew physically and mentally like any human, but the worship of the Magi, the fulfillment of prophecy and His character showed that He was also _____________.

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