Sharpen Your Sword.
Topic: The Gospels
Jesus Christ In The Temple – Lk. 2:21-40; 41-52.
The scripture to be studied today is one that seems to be exclusive to only the writer of the book of Luke as none of the other Gospels made reference to it. It is in reference to what seems like the first two occasions of the appearance of Jesus Christ in a location that was eventually going to be the epicenter of his mission on earth, that is the temple. On both occasions, he was taken to the temple by his parents, in obedience to divine instructions.
The first was on the eighth day after he was born and was due to be circumcised according to the divine instructions given to Moses. His parents in total adherence to the instructions of Jehovah had brought the baby Jesus before the Priest (Lk. 2:21-24), unaware that their action was also going to help the fulfilment of the prophecy in another person’s life. Apparently, there was a man named Simeon, who the Bible describes as a righteous and devout man – Lk. 2:25-28, 34-35. He had been waiting to witness the consolation of Israel and under the unction of the Holy Spirit had been promised that he would not die until his request was granted. The waiting however seemed to be forever and probably becoming tiring as it became evident in his comments when he saw baby Jesus – Lk. 2:29-33. In what seemed like a relief statement, Luke records that he pleaded with Jehovah to allow him depart in peace since his request of wanting to see the promised salvation of Jehovah for His people had been granted.
Being brought into the temple by his parents also provided the opportunity to have better clarity about the destiny of Jesus Christ as a prophetess named Anna who was the daughter of Phanuel, was on hand to provide additional information about the mission of Jesus Christ. Luke noted that she was only married for seven years and had remained in the temple since she became a widow, worshipping, fasting and praying day and night, until she was 84years – Lk. 2:36-38. Though both parents were marveled at the information they got about the child from both personalities (Lk. 2:33), they no doubt were better informed and positioned to guide baby Jesus along the path of his destiny.
Part of that guidance must have been their regular act of bringing him to the temple regularly except that the visit around the period of his twelfth birthday was slightly significant – Lk. 2:41-42. They had observed, though very late, that he was not among the crowd returning home after the celebration of that year’s Passover. He was later found in the temple listening and asking probing and amazing questions from the religious teachers, which helped improve his knowledge and prepare him better for his earthly mission – Lk. 2:43-49. His reason for this was evident in his response to his parents when he asked why they were surprised with his decision to remain in the house of Jehovah. He expected them to know that he would be in his father house, especially after all the revelations that they had received in relation to him from the day he was born. The boy had finally grown, not just into a man, but one with full understanding of the reason for his coming into the world and indicated his readiness to live and succeed in that destiny.
The writer of the book of Luke concluded both events with the observation that the boy Jesus was filled with wisdom, grew in stature and became strong, just as he enjoyed Grace and favour with God and men – Lk. 2: 40; 52. No doubt all these can be attributed to the foundation laid by his parents by the actions and decisions they took on his behalf, from the time of his conception to his birth and the present moment.
The Christian Today.
There is the need for today’s Christian to understand fully that the attainment of destiny goals is an accumulation of several positive and continuous steps taken on his/her behalf when such was not in control, in addition to those taken by the individual when in control. More importantly, the foundation of one’s destiny success is laid when such is yet to take control of life activities and the action or inaction of those in charge at this stage of life is very crucial. Where were you taken to when you were born? Who took charge of that part of your life when you were not able to take charge? What amount of knowledge did such possess about your divine destiny goals? How much of this information was used positively and otherwise? All these and more are questions that the Christian today need answers to in order to have a better understanding of the goings on in his/her life today. The foundation of most of the current happenings were laid during those very crucial stages of development.
The parents of Jesus Christ had sufficient understanding of the destiny objectives of their son and they did everything within their ability to lay the solid foundation which helped him achieve his destiny goals. Can you say the same of your parents or can you say you have done same for your children or your wards. Constantly bringing Jesus Christ to the temple provided the opportunity for him to ask questions that probably made him more aware of his mission on earth and provided better understanding of how best to achieve his destiny objectives. What were you exposed to and how much of that exposure is of advantage to you today?
The writer of the book of Luke observed that the totality of all those positive actions on the part of the earthly parents of Jesus Christ made him grow stronger and wiser and better equipped for success. Would you say you are growing well and better equipped for success in life? Can you link this growth to any steps taken on your behalf when you were not in control?
You will definitely need to answer all the above questions and more, honestly, and react appropriately, else you will continue to blame innocent people for the misfortunes that bad foundation laid for you has introduced into your life. Take a deep breathe and withdraw a bit from all those engaging events around you to have a better and holistic view of your life.
Ask all the necessary questions from the relevant personalities so you can have a better picture of what type of foundation was laid for your life.
Take a review of all the steps you have also taken as you were building on this foundation. If you are honest about this exercise, you will definitely be able to identify where you are coming from and how you found yourself in the position that you are currently.
It is not a time to apportion blames but a time to do the needful in order to put the broken pieces of your life today. Nothing happening today is a coincidence but a product of all those actions, positive or otherwise.
Take time also to review your foundation laying activities in the life of those for whom you had to, or you are still involved with, with the aim of determining how much of positivity can be found in those actions. You may actually discover that there is great room for correction or improvement, and it may not be too late to do the needful to save yourself and others from avoidable trauma and failures in life.
References: Exo. 12:1-27; Lev. 12:1-8; Judges 13:1- 16:31; Matt. 1:18 – 2:23.