Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, 2022

 


The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



Bethany Lutheran Church, 
10 AM Central Time
The Vimeo player will appear below




The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Introit
Worship Him, all ye His angels: 
Zion heard and was glad.
The daughters of Judah rejoiced: 
because of Thy judgments, O Lord.
Psalm. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice: 
let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle 

The Gradual
The heathen shall fear the name of the Lord: 
and all the kings of the earth Thy glory.
V. When the Lord shall build up Zion: 
He shall appear in His glory. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice: 
let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Hallelujah!

      
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22

  

The Word Creates and Builds Faith
The Hymn # 264        Preserve Thy Word 
 
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #45     Now the Hour of Worship      


     

Prayers and Announcements
  • The roses are for  - January 27th - the anniversary of Gary and Alicia Meyer.
  • For those suffering from the difficulties of the lockdowns, job threats, anxiety, and depression.
  • Guy Johnson, retired police officer, Pastor Jackson's friend since grade school, hospitalized, ICU. 
  • Doctor's care - Pastor Shrader, Pastor K, Dr. Lito Cruz.
  • Our elected President and his supporters, our military justice system.

  Graphic by Norma A. Boeckler
            

KJV Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

KJV Matthew 8:1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.  10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.



Third Sunday After Epiphany

O almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all dangers and necessities stretch forth Thy mighty hand, to defend us against our enemies; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

This mint is called Bee Balm for some reason.


The Word Creates and Builds Faith

KJV Matthew 8:1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Here is an example of the Word creating faith. This leper was present to hear the Sermon on the Mount, and the words of Jesus filled this tortured man with faith in Jesus as divine. The leper's faith is revealed in his struggle to reach Jesus and to worship Him as God. As an outcast having nothing but rejection and avoidance, the leper understood more than modern Biblical critics, who deny this is a an actual sermon. But this disabled and tormented man believed in the Savior and said in humility - "If you will, you can cleanse me from this disease."

This is far from the modern fad of "name it and claim it," where people are instructed that they can have anything they want if they just tell God what they want and when they want it, like ordering from a menu. This shows lack of faith, not faith in Him. It sets people up for disappointment and unbelief. 

It is far better to trust God's will than our own, because God can see the future far in advance and knows what lies ahead. 

3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

People fuss about the ways in which Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. Details matter. Jesus touched someone who was untouchable and utterly shunned and avoided, for fear of the disease. What better lesson than to stop for this leper, with crowds surging around as they left, after the Sermon, Jesus touching the very man who repulsed them 

We can imagine a wide expanse around Jesus and the leper as they pressed to move as far as possible away from the untouchable. Even more people witnessed this because of the stage they set for fear of leprosy. A similar effect works today, if a child covers his mouth and a parent says "Let us through - he is sick to his stomach." Crowds will part and space will open up instantly.

The miraculous cure was immediately visible. The worst kind of disfigurement or weakness or disability changed into health. Jesus cured the leper with assurance - I will - and with the Word - Be clean.

Is this different from the Confession of Sin and Absolution? Not at all. In humility we confess our sins and Christ Himself - delegating to the worship leader - speaks the Gospel Word of forgiveness. 

4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

People miss the connection between the healing and going to the Temple. The temptation for the healed man is to stop along the way, go to friends, talk about the healing, and so forth. Who could resist? The leper was commanded to head to the Temple as a witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ and give the leaders an opportunity to believe in Him. Many different clear Gospel messages and warning were aimed at official Judaism, to give them the chance to know the Promises of the Old Testament were being fulfilled in their time.

5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

I know how this feels. A best friend, from all the way back to grade school, is in the ICU on a ventilator. The centurion is a Roman officer, there because the country is now a part of the Roman Empire. He addressed Jesus as Lord, even though he has great power as a Roman officer in control of professional soldiers .

7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 

Jesus, knowing the mind of the centurion, offered to come to the man's villa and heal the servant. Thus the Promise is already given, and sincere faith is the response given.

8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 

Once again, the humble attitude is expressed first. He is not worthy to have Jesus inside of his house, which is just the opposite of using his house as a symbol of power and wealth. Jesus does not need to be nearby, because the officer knows the meaning of command. The word of the centurion is law. No matter what he orders, it will be done by the men under his command. That is still true today. Unlike any other organization, the military operates by command, from the top down. Knowing Jesus is divine, the officer trusts the power of the divine command, the Word which so many neglect or despise today.

10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Like the Canaanite woman, this officer serves as a contrast, total trust in Jesus when Pharisaical Judaism rejected Him. The most likely ones to honor the Gospel Promises were resistant, but the outsiders were sincere believers.

That is true today, where the official, ruling Lutheran officials are the most likely to gather at Fuller Seminary, Purpose-Driven Drive, Willow Creek, and Andy Stanley's Babtist Church- and yet they are the least likely to know or like or read Luther.

The Biblical and text scholars of today, if gathered in a great conference, would be mostly Unitarian at best, and very likely to favor Hinduism over Christianity.

11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This passage is the truth of that era and ours. Those expected to follow the Scriptures are the most allergic to them, now that Christianity is established everywhere. Those who suffer real persecution value the Gospel the most.

13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

We cannot measure God's actions by the latest reports, news, predictions, experiences. We can carry out the divine plan, honoring what He has created in us (our special offices, duties) and for us - the basics of Scripture, worship, prayer, and healthy living.

Society truths have to be measured against Scriptural truths. Many times the official claims of the moment are little more than crowd control, the management rather than the truth of the news. We have that truth before us in the traditional Scriptures, translation (singular), text (singular), hymns, worship, and supplemental books. 


Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany, 2022. Water into Wine




The Second Sunday after the Epiphany, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


 



Hymn #586    Gerhardt - A Pilgrim and a Stranger                  
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
Introit
All the earth shall worship Thee: and shall sing unto Thee, O God.
They shall sing to Thy name: O Thou Most High.
Psalm. Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: 
sing forth the honor of His name, make His praise glorious.

The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth, mercifully hear the supplications of Thy people and grant us Thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual   
Gradual
The Lord sent His Word and healed them: 
and delivered them from their destructions.
V. Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness: 
and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. Hallelujah!
    
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
Hymn #39          Praise to the Lord the Almighty       
Water into Wine - The Ordinary into the Extraordinary

Hymn #456     Approach My Soul the Mercy Seat             
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
Hymn #54         Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah             

In Our Prayers

Prayers and Announcements
  • Doctor's care - Pastor Shrader, Pastor K, Dr. Lito Cruz, Randy Anderson. Alicia Meyer - flu symptoms.
  • Pastor Jackson, right eye surgery, Monday.
 
A Pilgrim and a Stranger is from Paul Gerhardt, next to Luther, the greatest hymn-writer of all time. Gerhardt was a children's tutor and became a beloved pastor in Berlin. However, he was forced out of the parish because he would not concede anything to the Calvinists. He finally got a small parish. He lost his wife and all his children but one. He wrote Sacred Head Now Wounded and many other great hymns.



KJV Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

KJV John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins [GJ -10 gallons per firkin] apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Norma A. Boeckler


SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY

Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee, that of Thy grace Thou hast instituted holy matrimony, in which Thou keepest us from unchastity, and other offenses: We beseech Thee to send Thy blessing upon every husband and wife, that they may not provoke each other to anger and strife, but live peaceably together in love and godliness, receive Thy gracious help in all temptations, and rear their children in accordance with Thy will; grant unto us all to walk before Thee, in purity and holiness, to put all our trust in Thee, and lead such lives on earth, that in the world to come we may have everlasting life, through the same, Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen. 



Water into Wine - The Ordinary into the Extraordinary

KJV John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

Introductory:

The conclusion of this miracle notes that this was the first miracle performed by Jesus - and His disciples believed. The miracle is especially important for two or more reasons. One is that it involved all the disciples, so they could verify to each other that this actually happened - the details proving it a miracle and not a fraudulent display . Secondly, Mary and the disciples being there with Jesus meant He honored marriage - and early Christianity did so as well. Only later did paganism influence pastors to believe they should live without being married and be monks, as if that were a higher calling. That was already true when Western Rome fell and Augustine was the famous bishop and theologian. This one miracle anticipates the anti-marriage law that took over and also the elevating of Mary beyond reality and the truth.

People are inclined to reduce individual episodes like this into one or two sentences. The Gospel of John is especially generous with details of great importance in Christianity. Because the Holy Spirit is so stingy with words, we need to consider each verse, sometimes each phrase, to understand the complete message. This miracle proves the Lordship of Jesus over all earthly matters - and the disciples believed - but it also supports marriage as God's will, the actual place of Mary as the mother of Jesus, and an example of God transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

God created marriage through His Word - the Logos, and Jesus honored marriage by His presence with His mother and the disciples there. This one miracle explains quite a few important ideas. Official Roman Catholic teaching has Mary commanding Jesus to do her will, and also serving - priest-like, offering Jesus as the sacrifice of the eucharist. This corruption of the relationship between Jesus and Mary began after one conference (Theotokos - Ephesus, 431 A.D.) And as we can see, the corruption blossomed ever since. As Luther commented, one error can lead to an entire nation falling prey to false doctrine. Similarly, Calvinism separated the Spirit from the Word, which provided a steep path into rationalism and the Unitarian denial of the Trinity.

Luther suggested that Mary was substituting for the couple's parents, since she stepped into the wine shortage problem. The lack of wine suggested that this was a wedding feast limited by a lack of money, since wine was a staple and not just a sip for a toast to the bride and groom. The disciples were all there, so that increased the demand, but they bore witness to this miracle. Some are going to say, "Then why did they have doubts and fears, and worry about their future glory?" They are mirrors of our failings, since we know about all the miracles and the greatest one of all - defeating death and granting eternal life to Christian believers. 

3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

There are two parts to this wine solution, on the part of Mary. One is that she took the problem to Jesus, believing He would solve the problem. The second is that she remained undaunted when He appeared to dismiss her request. That is an important parallel to the Canaanite woman, who kept asking Jesus and kept getting apparent rebukes from Him, thus showing her utter trust in Jesus. Mary is another example. She first asked then assured the stewards that Jesus would take care of matters.

4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

Jesus addressed His mother as "Woman," without any modifiers. He did the same at the cross, addressing her as "woman" but referring her to the beloved disciple John as a "mother to him." Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother. Like many passages in the Fourth Gospel, this one anticipates and shreds the elevation of Mary while honoring her faith in Jesus. The point of the miracle is Jesus' power through the Word, not Mary being in charge over Him.

People are inclined to think, "Why should I pray about something so trivial. I am nobody in the Kingdom of God, and this is too minor to take to God." But so was the lack of wine, and Jesus took care of the problem without being told how to do it. It is a sad spectacle that pastors and lay leaders tell God what to do - and give Him a deadline for getting it done. I saw the prayer on the Episcopalian bulletin board - "We are praying to God for a 10% increase in membership and offerings each year,  for the next three years." (The pastor just got back from Fuller, where he was taught this nonsense.)

6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins [GJ -10 gallons per firkin] apiece. 

Firkins are named in "The Music Man," which was produced in our lifetimes. 

So they had 120 gallons - or more - of storage possible. 

7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 

These details matter because there have always been con artists with their pre-set tricks. Many basic magic tricks are now taught on video, where the magic comes from special tools or misdirection of the eye. In this case, the pots were empty, but filled to the brim with water from the well, as Jesus directed. He and his disciples did not touch anything. He then ordered the stewards to take some of the liquid to the toastmaster.

9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

The toastmaster did not know the origin of the water turned into wine, he called for the bridegroom, to teach him some wedding etiquettes. This is subtle humor, which is often found in the Fourth Gospel. The toastmaster is angry with the broom, and neither one knows what has happened.

10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good [noble, the best] wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good [the best] wine until now. 

In the language of two men utterly baffled, the miracle is told in words that describe what has happened. They ran out of wine for the wedding, but instead of bringing in cheaper wine, they provided the best wine. This is the term used by Jesus in John 10 - I AM the Good Shepherd (the ultimate or best or noble; Greek is subtle, the word for good suggests being useful; this means the Shepherd above all shepherds).

Nothing is more ordinary than water, so this transformation from water to the best wine is very much worth thinking about. The Fourth Gospel involves a lot of symbolism, as the Bible does in general. Physical signs are good for reminding us of the spiritual message they teach.

What is more ordinary than marriage. People despise marriage and run away from it. And no matter what the couple's love might be, there will always be the ordinary - friction about money, raising the children, and goals in life. No matter how difficult things can be, God has blessed marriage among believers many times over. Those who believe in Christ also know about sin, contrition, and forgiveness. Partners (whether business or marital) cannot continue when there is a lack of forgiveness. And forgiveness is a great blessing from God, where all past problems are set aside and drowned in the sea of God's grace. Luther wondered about how long Adam and Eve argued about the forbidden fruit - whose fault was it?

God does more than transform marriage. He transforms the worst difficulties into the greatest gains, individualized for each person. How many people have said, "That disaster led me into the greatest part of my life." The biggest mistake we make is thinking that we have been plagued with a bad deal. Cannot God turn that ordinary into something extraordinary? This first of all the miracles Jesus performed - tells us yes.


Sunday, January 9, 2022

The First Sunday after the Epiphany, 2022

 



The First Sunday after the Epiphany, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
 




The Hymn #537      Every Morning Mercies New                         
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne: high and lifted up.
And I heard the voice of a great multitude, saying, 
Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Psalm. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands: 
serve the Lord with gladness.


The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19

O Lord, we beseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people who call upon Thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual             Romans 12:1-5

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things: and blessed be His glorious name forever.
V. The mountains shall bring peace to Thy people: 
and the hills righteousness. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands: serve the Lord with gladness. Hallelujah!

The Gospel                                 Luke 2:41-52   
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #73    Lift Up Your Heads (3rd tune)

The King of Kings Is Drawing Near

The Hymn #196         I Am Content
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #651        Be Still My Soul


Prayers and Announcements
  • The Bible Book, Second Edition, is nearing completion.
  • Eye surgery, tomorrow and next Monday, Pastor Jackson.
  • In treatment - Doc Lito, Pastor K, Pastor Shrader, Chris Shrader, Callie and C, and the three boys - Aaron and their Mom especially.
  • Randy Anderson is doing very well after his surgery.
  • A vastly improved Logitech camera will arrive tomorrow, and various platforms other than Vimeo will be explored. You may see various tests on the Ichabod blog. Do not be alarmed. 
  • Note that KJV precedes Scripture citations most of the time. Several pointed out that it is a good way to distinguish the Majority Text and Translation, both of which are abandoned by the denominations, colleges, and seminaries, all the way down to ELDONA.


KJV Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

KJV Luke 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.




The King of Kings Is Drawing Near

KJV Luke 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

Background:

These two introductory verses should not be overlooked or taken for granted. Luke was mocked by the rationalists for not being accurate, making up titles, and therefore questionable facts.

Where facts can be examined (since most of history is buried), Luke is exactly correct. An example is "ethnarch" - which was supposedly invented by Luke. But it turns out that the title was used in the city where he used it. 

More importantly, the little details about Jesus are especially noteworthy, and we should not rush past them to get to the famous verses. He parents went to Jerusalem every year, bringing Jesus. Mary did not have to attend, but it was expected of men who could make the journey for Passover. 

Luke was a close companion to Paul and praised for his work and his faithfulness to the apostle. Luke was with Paul when the apostle was executed.

We have an important detail about Jesus in the opening. He was with Joseph and Mary on these trips (which explains how they went back without Him) and He was 12 years old. Routine trips do not have the same anxiety level that a first-time visit has. That was especially true with traveling with the extended family and friends. 

Another detail is the irony of the King of Kings being there so many times. There were three great disturbances to announce His coming as the Messiah:
  1. The Star of Bethlehem.
  2. His Presentation at the Temple
  3. Talking with the elders.
As He taught in the parable of the yeast in bread dough, the Gospel leaven began early and was offered in various ways, so Israel could receive her King.

Jesus was 12 years old, a young man, old enough to have questions about the Scriptures and to discuss them. But this was far beyond what anyone could expect.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it

The opening gives us the reason why the parents left without Jesus. Everything was normal and expected, and the entire group headed back home together. But Jesus stayed behind. The parents were not anxious about Him because boys that age like to travel and talk together, comparing experiences, just as parents do. My family belonged to a club that had a little shack on the shore of the Mississippi River. We could take out rowboats (with permission), walk along the shore, pretend to fish, even swim sometimes as a group. Adults sat around the fire and cooked food for the meals. I was "lost" once because no one knew where I was. A cat adopted me and stayed on the dock with me, some distance away, to be petted. My mother found me in a stage of great excitement and said they had been looking for me a long time. Their fears were a crippling accident, a water episode, or perhaps the Ransom of Red Chief. 

These things develop from lack of fear, and they are just as common today as they were in ancient times. 

44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 

We should note how much is said in a few words. Joseph and Mary were not anxious about Jesus because they assumed, based on experience, that He was with friends and relatives. That would have been normal, not exception. They turned back when they realized their assumption was wrong.

How many parents can say they had the same experience? One pastor's wife was moving into the parsonage when their little girl became lost. Her mother ran up and down the neighborhood looking. She said, "What an introduction to my new neighbors!" I said, "They will always remember you as the mother with her hair on fire." She laughed and laughed.

So now the anxiety was completely fired up. Joseph and Mary headed back, fearing and hoping at the same time. 

46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found [eureka] him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 

Those three days were torture, because hope turns to fear and dread when a search must be continued. Worse, the journey from Jerusalem - built on the side of a mountain - was going back uphill all the way, an arduous journey anyway but worse when frightened. Relief and anger were bound to be combined - with anger first.

Jesus was sitting there, oblivious to His parents concern, listening to the professors and asking them questions. His calm at seeing them was polar opposite to their emotions.


47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

As Lenski has written, He was not teaching the elders, but answering and asking questions. That alone had a great impact. As we were taught in sales, questions determine the conversation. The right question would open the teachers up to their own Scriptures. His responses showed they were in agreement.

It takes unusual comprehension to answer and ask questions and astonish these men. In rabbinic lore, asking and answering questions was basic to teaching. 

48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 

The miraculous nature of this meeting between Jesus and the teachers is ignored in grief and anger of Mary. This is not saying the parents burst into the conversation but said this when there was a chance, most likely away from the teachers.

There are three errors pointed out by Mary -
1 - You have ignored our feelings.
2 - We have been looking for you, and it is clear Jesus would know how long this took.
3 - We were full of sorrow the entire time.

The build up of anxiety seemed to make the parents forget His divine nature. There are many examples in the Gospels where the individuals either had the right idea (the woman with the flow, who touched His robe) or the wrong idea (the disciples telling Jesus to dismiss the Canaanite woman). Also - the disciples - we have no food (boat) and there is no way to feed the multitude in the dessert! (No?)

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 

They could not grasp that Jesus had to take the opportunity to begin the leaven of the Gospel in the Temple itself, among the most influential men in the nation. That eventually stirred up murderous intent but also faithful following (Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea). 

51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

We are often like Joseph and Mary, wondering in anxiety how things could be so difficult. Parents have this issue. So do all those who look at this nation and its rejection of basic law and the U. S. Constitution. The Savior is not oblivious. His wisdom and power are so far beyond ours that we must pay attention to Him and not to the soothsayers of our world.