Monday, March 19, 2012

Luke Bible Study Notes Chapter 2

Luke 2 
-In the days of Caesar Augustus a decree went out that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth, that is the Roman Empire. It was the first census taken while Quirinius (or Kyrenios) was governor of Syria. Luke again is detailed in his account and gives us historical insight that is helpful for our timeline for the events in Jesus Christ’s life. This event was crucial in the fulfillment of the prophecies given as to where the Messiah would be born (Micah 5:2). God was orchestrating events perfectly for the incarnation of His Son.
-Joseph went up (the elevation is what the “up” refers to here, we often think of “up” as north, but to the Jews they always referenced Jerusalem and that vicinity as going “up” to it) from Galilee, from Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem. Joseph was of the line of David; therefore, this is where he was required to go to register along with his espoused wife, Mary, who was also of the house of David. The Davidic fulfillment here should not be underestimated or overlooked. This is an incredibly important development in the fulfillment of Old Testament promises (2 Samuel 7). Here also we see the line of Judah and Jesus as the Scriptural fulfillment of Shiloh (Genesis 49:10).
-While in Bethlehem Ephrathah, the days were completed for Mary to give birth, which she did in a cave designed to house animals because there was no room in the crowded town at this time because of the census. She laid Him in a manger (a feeding trough) and clothed Him in cloths (interesting here in that the same word for these cloths is for the grave cloths that bodies were wrapped in, this could be a forward look towards His mission in coming). The cloths were traditional for swaddling a baby; a practice that is still prevalent in many parts of the world.
-In the same region there appeared an angel to shepherds who were watching the sheep by night. The appearance terribly frightened them, but the angel of the LORD calmed them and gave them the news of the Savior and where to find Him. Then a multitude of angels appeared and were glorifying God in the highest declaring peace and good will among men through this anointed One. The shepherds were more than likely keeping sheep for the massive amounts of sacrifices offered at the nearby Temple in Jerusalem. This again is a foreshadowing and relevant in the economy of Christ Jesus’ purpose for coming.
-The shepherds made haste to find Mary and Joseph and the newborn King. As they found them they related what had happened and all who heard it wondered at these things, but Mary treasured them and pondered them in her heart. As the shepherd went back to their lives and routines, they glorified and praised God for all they had heard and seen. Their lives were forever changed! *Application* When we truly encounter God and His life transforming power, we too are forever changed glorifying and praising His Holy Name.
-The scene now shifts to Jerusalem and the Temple area when Jesus was eight days old and ready for the lawful circumcision of the Jews. It was now that He received officially His Name of Jesus, which had been given by the angel before His birth. He was the first born and presented to the LORD as Holy according to the Law of the LORD. Here a sacrifice was made according to the offering required of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. This indicates Joseph and Mary’s financial state as being low in economic status because these were low income sacrifices that were allowed for by the Law. Jesus did not come from the crème de la crème of the world.
-Here at the Temple the family encounters two Holy Spirit filled prophets. The first was Simeon, who had been told by God that he would see the LORD’s Christ before his passing death. His remark was that he could now depart in peace because his eyes had seen God’s salvation that the LORD had prepared for all peoples “A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel (Luke 2:32).” Simeon blessed the entire family and prophesied over them some incredible things concerning the Christ. The other person was a woman, Anna, a prophetess from the tribe of Asher who had been a widow for many years laboring in the Temple with fasting and prayers. She was now 84 years old and began thanking God for the redemption of Jerusalem when she saw them.
-A time gap is between verses 38 and 39. Matthew in his gospel fills in some important events of this gap. Jesus’ family goes back to Bethlehem and eventually find a house to stay in. This is when the magi from the east come and visit with their gifts (Matthew 2:1-12). Also the family flees to Egypt for a period of time before it is safe to come back and live in Nazareth (Matthew 2:13-23).
-Jesus continued to grow in stature and wisdom and the grace of the LORD was upon him as a lad.
-When He was twelve, He went with His family, as was custom, to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration feast. As the family was returning in a caravan of people they realized that Jesus was not amongst them after a day’s travel. He had stayed back in Jerusalem listening and asking questions of the teachers in the Temple. All who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. *Application* My son has amazed people at his current age of twelve with his knowledge of aviation. He has been intrigued and devoted to this field from the time he was a small youth. It has been his focus and preoccupation in life. When I read this passage, I am reminded how much Jesus must have gravitated to His Father and His Word. By the time He was old enough to engage with these teachers He was well educated in what He was discussing. Of course He had no sin nature to distract from His mission and He was God. This helped His complete understanding no doubt. It is a challenge to us to get deep into the things of God and devote all we have to understanding Him and His will for our lives.
-The frantic parents of Jesus looked for three days for their Son before finding Him in the Temple. They were put out, but Jesus reminded them that this was His Father’s House and that He had to be there. I’m sure this was a moment of revelation for Mary and Joseph when they realized once again the supernatural nature of their Boy, but the Scriptures tell us that they certainly did not have complete understanding of the statement that Jesus made to them. Jesus did live in subjection to them as they went back to Nazareth and Mary kept all these things in her heart. “Jesus kept on increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52).” *Application* At the end of each day evaluate yourself with these four requirements…1. How did I become wiser? What did I learn today? There is always something that you learn in a day of life. Think about what that was. 2. How did I take care of my physical being today? Did I exercise properly and did I eat the right kinds of foods? Did I get the proper amount of rest for my body? Think about treating your body, which is the temple of God as He indwells it, well. 3. How did I grow in my walk with God today? Did I spend time getting to know Him better through His Word and meditating on His voice? See the spiritual nature of things in your life. 4. How did I improve my social life with others? Who did I talk to? Did I treat my neighbor as well as I treated myself? Did I recognize other people’s worth as being created in the image of God? Love your fellow man, and especially those you are closest to.
Verse to Memorize: Luke 2:52

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