Expository Sermon on Luke 2
by Maylan Schurch
Bellevue Seventh-day Adventist Church 10/12/2019
©2019 by Maylan Schurch

(To watch the YouTube video of this worship service, click the link just below. The sermon begins at the 1:00:57 mark.)

Please open your Bibles again to Luke, chapter 2.

While you’re turning there, here are some reminders about what will happen after I conclude my brief remarks here. We will be leaving the sanctuary for a few moments for our traditional footwashing service.

Some of you might be new to this way of remembering what Jesus did for His disciples just before they had their “Last Supper” together. Jesus was trying to teach His twelve friends about humble service to each other. Our denomination has decided to take Jesus at His word when, after He had washed their feet, He told them:

“Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” John 13:12 – 15

You are all invited to take part in this meaningful ceremony—and in the communion service afterward—no matter what faith you may be from. It will happen in three other areas of the facility. The women will go to the youth room down at the end of the hall. The men will go to the Junior Room downstairs in the educational wing. And if your family would like to participate together, you may go up the steps to the fellowship hall.

Three important notes about when you return. First, please seat yourselves as much as possible in every other row, and toward the centers of the pews, so that the deacons can more easily distribute the bread and the pure, unfermented grape juice.

Second, we’d like to remind you that at the very conclusion of the service two of the deacons will be dismissing you by rows.

Finally, two other deacons will be at the door collecting an offering for the Helping Hand fund, which is used to aid members with emergency financial needs.This week I was thinking how, when you come to think of it, the 12-year-old Jesus’ adventure in Jerusalem was almost like a communion service. After all, this was Passover, and years later He would introduce the first Lord’s Supper on Passover Eve. And that 12-year-old visit was certainly a time of communion – communing with others about His Heavenly Father.

I was thinking this week that as we prepare for communion it would be helpful to watch the young Jesus here in Luke 2. I think we can learn several things from Him about what it means to Him.

Jesus began life as a child dedicated to the Lord. And watch what happens as He grows:

Luke 2:40 [NKJV]: And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Somebody might say, “Well, you might expect this, because Jesus was the Son of God.” But it’s possible for others to have this same experience. Look back at Luke 1, verse 80:

Luke 1:80: So the child grew and became strong in spirit . . .

But this time it’s not talking about Jesus. It’s talking about the young John the Baptist. And this is exactly the same phrasing, the same Greek words, that are used about Jesus. ‘Way back in 1 Samuel 2:26 it says, “And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.”

Does that sound familiar? That’s what was said of the young Jesus after His Jerusalem temple adventure. Look at Luke 2:52:

Luke 2:52: And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Isn’t that interesting? Do you see a pattern developing here? Samuel, and John the Baptist, and Jesus, were all people who developed a deeper and deeper communion with God, becoming more in tune with God, on the same page with God. And the symbols of communion we will be partaking of this morning, this ceremony Jesus Himself earnestly wanted His disciples to “do in remembrance of Him,” as we take these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood into ourselves, we are acting out how closely He wants to come to us.

Verse 52 says that Jesus increased in wisdom. Do you and I need to increase in wisdom? And if so, how can we do that?

Proverbs 9, verse 10, is one of those twice-stated Proverbs where the first half explains the second half, and vice versa. The verse says, ““The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Do you see the two halves? The first half talks about “the fear of the Lord,” which is a bit intimidating. But the second half of the verse says that “the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

So the fear of the Lord must be that deep, spine-tingling respect that you very rightly feel toward your Creator. How can we help but be in awe of the One who created us so well! David put it perfectly in Psalm 139:14: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” Not just “wonderfully made,” but “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

I believe that the less we take God for granted, and the more we recognize how holy He is, and how creative He is, this is when our hearts become humble enough to open up to true wisdom, the better we will understand Him and the closer we will want to draw to Him.

And of course this deepening wisdom, this deepening desire for communion with God, brings other qualities along with it. Watch what happens as Jesus lingers behind in Jerusalem after His parents have left.

Luke 2:41 – 44: His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 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; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances.

You see, this young Boy’s growing wisdom had made Him absolutely trustworthy. He evidently had never run away before. They’d never had to worry about that. And since He was not only in great favor with God but also with people, Jesus must’ve been the most delightfully sociable child. He must’ve constantly been visiting his friends, staying overnight at their houses, so much so that his parents didn’t really worry when He didn’t come home to supper at night. They knew that He was with people – the right kind of people – and that He would be okay.

And as we’ll be taking the communion emblems in a few minutes, our deepening wisdom about God will cause us to be trustworthy – and sociable — too, learning more and more to enjoy the company of other people, and less and less likely to violate their trust.

But to their horror, Mary and Joseph discovered that no, the boy is not with friends, not with relatives, nowhere to be found. So they hurry back to Jerusalem, and eventually, somehow, discover where He is.

Verses 45 – 47: So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 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.

Notice, they didn’t find Jesus sitting thoughtfully in a corner, simply watching everything that was going on. No, they found Him being sociable again, dialoguing with spiritual leaders, seeking wisdom from them, and offering them His own ideas.
And when Mom and Step-dad rush through the door, He tells them what His real priority is:

Verses 48 – 49: 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.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

Do you see that word “business”? That’s not in the original Greek. Many modern translations will say something like “Do you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” But that word “house” is not in the Greek either! Instead, Jesus is saying that it was necessary for Him to be concerned with anything related to His Father—not just His house (the temple), and not just with His “business,” but with anything and everything which concerns God.

In other words, Jesus wanted to be so deeply involved with His Heavenly Father that whatever God told Him to do, He would do. Whatever God told Him to say, He would say. And later He would tell people who were listening to Him that He only said and did what God had told Him to say and do.

And finally, in the space of time between the upper room in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus would use a vineyard to show how close He wanted His disciples to remain to Him. He would say, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” And He would pray to the same Father whose house He hurried toward as a Jewish boy in Jerusalem, and He would pray “that they all may be one, just as We are one, I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one.” (John 17:21 – 23)
So in a few minutes, as you reach out and pick up that humble little square of bread, and then drink that tiny sip of grape juice, pray that the Lord will come to be within you as spiritually as these emblems enter you physically. That’s what I’m going to be doing.

Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest. May this food to us be blest. Amen.