At the end of chapter 2, Luke provides two stories from Jesus’ early years: his consecration to the Lord as well as his question and answer time with teachers of the law, both set in the Jerusalem temple.
As devout Jewish parents, Joseph and Mary took Jesus to be circumcised. Circumcision was an indicator of the covenant that God had made with Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 17:10). It was intended to be a distinguishing characteristic to show their devotion to God. According to Colossians 2:9-12, Jesus provides his followers a different type of circumcision – a spiritual one. Jesus provides the way for us to put off our sinful nature and to be set apart by his salvation. Do our lives indicate that we have been changed by Jesus?
Mary and Joseph followed Gabriel’s instruction and named their son, Jesus. His name literally means Jehovah saves. Jesus came to save people from the destruction of their sin and to provide the way to eternal life with God (John 3:16-17). Have you asked Jesus to forgive your sin and accepted His gift of eternal life for you? If not, what is preventing you from doing so today?
Simeon and Anna, devoted ones who served at the temple, saw in Jesus the long-awaited Messiah and Savior of the world. Later, experienced religious teachers recognized that the 12 year old Jesus had a profound understanding of God’s word. Indeed, others recognized he was special – the very Son of God.
In the midst of it all, Jesus was a boy who “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (v. 52). He gave us a great example for how we need to develop intellectually, physically, socially and spiritually – to be all that God created us to be.