7 Lessons we can draw from the Christmas Story | Holiday special 4

From what we have observed, Christmas is one of the best times in our lives that we celebrate. There are numerous reasons why we celebrate the Christmas story, knowing first and foremost Christmas is about Jesus Christ!

What we can glean from the Bible are important truths that help us take shape an even greater story. It is hoped that these guide you into this holiday season!

1. God’s Forgiveness is available to all

We see in Isaiah 11:1-2, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”

We hear in the song, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” that “God and sinners reconciled.” This is the amazing truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He provides Salvation and eternal life, and this comes from the benefit of forgiveness of sins. We see the ministry of reconciliation that God came in the form of man, Jesus Christ, to “Save His People from sin.” What an awesome thing we have in Christ!

2. God is in control of leadership of the world

Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

Our God, who has made the earth, stars, universe, heavens, and more is our commanding leader overall! Peace is within the Prince of Peace, and He alone provides rest for our souls. God regards our lowliness as well, and provides us forgiveness. He is our Great Shepherd (Psalm 23).

3. Christ Jesus is our Shepherd

Psalm 23 describes Our Lord is Our Shepherd. Ezekiel 34:15, “I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.”

Christ Jesus came to impute upon us peace, and lead and guide us through Life more abundantly. The hope of eternal life can be for all people, and we do hope we can spread it evermore to so many people.

He provides us our daily provisions, He gives us rest for our souls (as we noted above), He helps us by delivering us from evil and death, and gives us goodness and mercy forevermore.

4. God grants peace as we wait upon Him

Just as prophesied in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Then, we see powerful truth in Romans 16:20, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” Also note 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.”

When we reflect upon God, we allow His Spirit to speak to us. We reflect on the wonder of God, our Creator, and all the beautiful things He has created! It’s truly amazing.

5. God can powerfully perform the impossible

Matthew 19:26 says, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

God really can do the impossible, for with Him, all things are possible. He can help in almost any situation, save us from trouble, and help improve our lives. This is something we must truly believe, for He can truly help us. Since He can help us, we know we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

6. God is our utmost provider

God provided the Passover lamb for us, who was born in to this world, the redeemer, Jesus Christ: “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together” (Genesis 22:8).

This is proven in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

7. Heaven is going to be so awesome

Knowing we had this great and merciful Savior from Heaven come, we better believe so many great things are awaiting us for our eternal destiny in Heaven!

John 14:1-3 tells us the first magnificent truth, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told* you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 then tells us that we cannot imagine the awesomeness, but must know that it is so overwhelmingly awesome… “But as it is written*, Eye hath not seen, nor* ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Now, we discover one of the most awesome things in Revelation 21:3-4, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

We will have new bodies eventually… 1 Corinthians 15:40 says, “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” Then also in 1 Corinthians 15:54, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

What will it look like (kind of)… Revelation 21:18-23, “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

Overall, Salvation, eternal life, Christ Jesus coming, and all great things that pertain to life and godliness – How Awesome!

Book of Ezra in the Bible

“Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.” –Ezra 10:1

King Cyrus of Persia had hoped that the prophecy by Jeremiah might be fulfilled, so he made a proclamation, which involved building a house at Jerusalem (in Judah). The chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, as well as the priests and Levites, went to go build the house of the Lord. Vessels were brought and placed in the house of his gods. When the seventh month came, people gathered themselves as one in Jerusalem, and an altar was built to offer burnt offerings as it is written in the Law of Moses. They praised and worshiped God in the house.

The prophecy was that King Cyrus would be a shepherd performing His pleasure, to which, he shall say to Jerusalem be built, and to the Temple would the foundation be laid. He is to also subdue nations before him, and the power of kings will be weakened so that he is made to be conqueror.

In chapter 7, we see Ezra’s genealogy. We also see the priests, Levites, and Ezra going up to Jerusalem, which involves the commission of Artaxerxes to Ezra. Ezra also blesses God for his favor to the people. In chapter 8, we see Ezra’s companions returning from Babylon. He sends Levites to Iddo to be ministers for the Temple, keeps a fast at Ahava (for a safe and prosperous journey), and committed the treasures to the custody of the priests. After Ahava, they go to Jerusalem, where the treasure is weighed in the Temple. Lastly, the commission is delivered to their adversaries, and they further the house of God (by making sacrifices).

After Ezra prayed and confessed, it was proposed by Shechaniah that those who had married strange wives should put them away with their children – to which, they had sworn to do so. A proclamation is made through the land for a meeting at Jerusalem in three days – to which, they attended. At exhortation from Ezra, all had agreed to do it, and there were persons set up to see it done. The work was completed in three months, and a list of names of them are given who married strangely and now put away – which were of the priests, Levites, and other Israelites.

Synopsis

The Book of Ezra, written by Ezra himself around 450-420 BC, is a continuation of where Second Chronicles left off. This book deals with the first return of the exiles to Jerusalem resulting from King Cyrus, and the second return of the exiles to Jerusalem led by Ezra. Many main events that occurred involved the return of the exiles, restoration of the temple/reconstruction, and Ezra’s work.

Cyrus ruled in Persia for a while before conquering Babylon in 539 BC. After this conquest, he gave the Jew permission to return to Jerusalem. The Jews, according to Jeremiah’s prophecy, were released from the Babylonian captivity and were allowed to return and rebuild their nation. Many people had chosen to remain in Babylon; it appears, however, Cyrus wanted as many to return as possible. He even provided for many of the exiles to return, and helped people rebuild their lives overall, it seems.

The primary leaders were Zerubbabel and Joshua over the returned exiles. The total number returned was around 50,000. Many people, when returned, contributed to the rebuilding of the temple. So then, the temple work began for rebuilding, where the Jews got the provisions and got to work right away. However, a halt was placed on the rebuilding, even though much of it was complete – for Artaxerxes thought that it was necessary to postpone it.

Next, we find that the temple rebuilding continued, after not being worked on for about sixteen years. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the work to re-begin for the temple work. Although some rejected the idea, others caught on and completed the temple rebuilding and rededication within four years. A while after the dedication, a new annual festival was to be held in the temple. This was the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Celebrations were held for the restoration of their homeland.

Now, the return of Ezra is detailed, as the temple being completed in 516 BC, Ezra came back around 458 BC. This was a time when Artaxerxes I was still reigning. Ezra had big plans to reform, as he was both a priest and scribe. He had much knowledge of Jewish Law, it seems, and had the ability and funds to be able to conduct a reform. Ezra could also appoint judges to set up courts and carry out punishments as necessary. So, under this mission, authorized by the king, a journey was conducted for Ezra and others that accompanied him to Jerusalem. The journey was set to take around four months, and Ezra was fully intent on this reform.

Ezra went to the Persian officials and presented the documents that authorized him to take control of the Jewish homeland. Therefore, being allowed to do so, Ezra began his reformation as planned. Ezra was quite grieved; it appears, at mixed marriages. Israelite men married non-Israelite women; making families by them. Ezra was aware that this could destroy the religion of Israel, and therefore, he wanted this changed first. Ezra confessed sin on behalf of the nation, before presenting his case.

People heard and met with Ezra, confessed their troubles, and made an oath that it would be corrected. The work of this, though, took around three months to complete. People, though, were intent on relieving the grief of Ezra, confessing their sins, and making sacrifices as necessary. Ezra was successful in this reformation, and was great leader who had influenced many in the Israelite region.

Pentecost in the Bible (meaning) | Acts 2:1

The Bible mentions the day of Pentecost, and therefore, it is good to define what this means. Pentecost is a Greek word meaning “fifty.” Fifty days had elapsed from the Resurrection of Christ until the descent of the Holy Ghost. It comes from the Feast of Weeks mentioned in Leviticus 23:15-16, to which, the people waited fifty days/seven weeks after Passover (in which we commemorate that Christ was sacrificed, for He is the Passover lamb), and then brought a meat offering to the Lord. (It was 40 days from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ until He ascended into Heaven.)

The Day of Pentecost, similar to the Feast of Weeks, would celebrate the first fruits of Christ’s ascending into Heaven, similar to how the Feast of Weeks would celebrate the first fruit of wheat harvest, primarily to thank God for the blessings of the harvest. This was a day the apostles liked to celebrate (Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8).

Jesus is arrested and is tried by officials (Journeys 56-57)

We are reaching a critical juncture in the Life of Christ. Because Jesus was betrayed by Judas, officials are aware of His whereabouts, and are seeking to take Him in for questioning.

SCRIPTURE: Mark 14:43-15:19; Matthew 26:47-27:30; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:2-19:16

First: Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and forsaken – Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before being taken to Annas, the ex-High Priest… It is Friday, long before dawn, the day of Suffering; and this has become, for the Christian, the Day of the cross. It is in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and forsaken.

Jesus’ arrest

Judas knew of the garden, for He went there often with His Disciples, to which, Judas led the guards to seize in arresting Jesus. This is the betrayal by Judas (with a kiss), to which, Jesus needed no one to defend Him. The men that came with Judas fell to the ground upon meeting Him, but Jesus surrendered unto them, especially hoping that His friends were not harmed. The Disciples tried to fight; however, Jesus told them that if they practiced violence, they would also suffer violence. If Jesus wanted help, He would draw it supernaturally; however, this was not necessary as He was fulfilling Prophecy. The soldiers grabbed a person that followed Jesus, but he escaped. The Disciples fled once a fight broke out.

The Jewish trial comprised three stages:

  1. The preliminary examination by Annas
  2. The informal trial by the Sanhedrin, probably before dawn
  3. The formal trial after dawn

Jesus was taken and bound, being led to Annas first, and then to Caiaphas. Annas was the previous High Priest, and could give Him a preliminary examination, before His trial. Jesus noted that He spoke no evil, for they would have to give proof. Otherwise, why smite? Jesus noted that His teachings were known by many and they did not have any evil. Therefore, Jesus was taken to Caiaphas the High Priest next.

Jesus before Caiaphas

A gambit: It was illegal for the Sanhedrin to meet at night; however, they considered this an emergency.

Jesus was brought before Caiaphas, where he had called the Sanhedrin together to condemn Jesus immediately. They teased Him, telling Him to prophesy who struck Him in the face (as He was blindfolded during this encounter). Nonetheless, the leaders desired for Jesus to say something of blasphemous intent, so they could condemn Him to death. They were satisfied as Jesus said He was the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Son of man—to which, He was about to receive the Glorious Kingdom of God. They suddenly abused Jesus violently and condemned Him to death.

Peter denies Jesus Christ

Discussion of interpretation: At the Court of the High Priest’s residence, Friday, before dawn during the series of the trials, we are seeing the unfolding of Peter’s denial. There is something interesting here… Each of the four Gospels record three denials. But the details differ considerably, as must always be the case where in each narrative a few facts are selected out of many sayings and doings. John gives only the first of the three stages, Luke only the last, Matthew and Mark the second stage fully, and the third is mentioned briefly.

Peter recognized

If Peter’s denials ran through all three (Luke says in verse 59 that there was an hour between his second and third denial), then not one of the four Gospels could give each of the denials precisely at the time of its occurrence, and so each Gospel merely throws them together. We attempt here yet another way: We bring them together in one section. There is no difficulty about the substantial fact of the denials, and we must be content with our inability to arrange all the circumstances into a complete program.

The story: Peter was in the courtyard while Jesus was being tested. A servant girl recognized Him as a Disciple, and asked if he had any association, to which he denied. A bit later, another person recognized him and told the people standing near, and again, he denies Christ; however, this time with an oath. About an hour later, some of the bystanders had approached Peter again, wondering if he was sure he wasn’t a follower… Peter denied emphatically. Soon, the cock would crow, signifying that Jesus was correct of what Peter would do. It reminded Peter of his folly, to which, Jesus saw Peter, and Peter was filled with grief and began weeping bitterly.

Jesus is then condemned by the Sanhedrin at the Residence of Caiaphas

It was a long night for Jesus, which included the Passover, the Lord’s Supper, the washing of the Disciples’ feet, the long discussion in the upper room, the walk to Gethsemane and the agonizing prayer time in the garden, the arrest, and then the questioning that contributed to the rough handling of Him at the high priest’s house.

Jesus before Caiaphas again

Now that it was a new day, judgment could be passed to Jesus by legal sentence, to which He was made to stand before the Sanhedrin for a brief repeat of the investigation the previous night. The leaders could make a formal charge against Him to present to the Roman authorities, so they had to come up with something to convince the governor what He had done and why He needed execution.

Judas ends it for himself: Judas, the betrayer, “repented himself” and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the Chief Priests and Elders. Judas went out and hanged himself. He returned the thirty pieces of silver, and this was the money used to purchase Potter’s field where Judas was buried.

Jesus appears before Pilate

The process of the Roman Trial:

  1. The first appearance before the Roman Procurator Pilate
  2. The appearance before Herod Antipas, the native ruler of Galilee appointed by the Romans
  3. The final appearance before Pilate

The time here is Friday, early morning. Jesus is taken to Pilate the first time.

The Jewish leaders were attempting a formal charge against Jesus so they could convince the Roman governor of His deserving of execution. Bringing Jesus before Governor Pilate, they had to go to Jerusalem into his Praetorium. The Jewish leaders took Him to Pilate early in the morning to have Him dealt with before festivities started (again, as reviewed earlier to avoid a riot since Jesus was so remarkably influential).

Pilate isn’t sure, so Herod should see Him

The Jews charged Jesus with blasphemy, as He called Himself the Son of God; however, when they took Jesus to Pilate, they twisted the situation and the charge that not only did He claim to be God, but also to be above Caesar. Suggesting Him to be a political rebel, they tried to lead Him as a messianic uprising as if He would overthrow the Roman’s rule to set up an independent Jewish province. Pilate then attempts to dismiss the case, probably waiving Him as just an annoyance; however, the Jewish leader pressed upon their charges further.

Jesus then explains to Pilate the true picture that His Kingdom was not concerned with political power; therefore, He was not trying to create an uprising. Rather, it was a spiritual kingdom that was based upon truth. Pilate did not understand Jesus; however, he did understand enough to be convinced that Jesus was definitely not a political rebel, and thus, suspected that the Jews handed Him over for judgment because of jealousy of the remarkable following that Jesus created. He decided that Jesus should see Herod.

Now before Herod

Pilate soon learned that Jesus was from Galilee and that since he did not control relations in Galilee, he sent Jesus to the Galilean governor, Herod Antipas, who happened to be in town for the festivities as well. As Jesus came before Herod, He refused to speak to Herod (He was just silent the whole time), and did not attempt to defend Himself against the false accusations of the Jewish authorities; therefore, after mocking Him ridiculously and adorning Him with a gorgeous robe, Herod sent Him back to Pilate. Apparently, through this, Herod and Pilate became friends after having hostility for so long.

Again before Pilate

Herod returns Jesus to Pilate. The time is now Friday toward sunrise. John uses Roman time with the hour starting at 12 midnight and 12 noon, as is done today. However, the Synoptics use Hebrew reckoning, beginning with sunrise (6 am to 7 am being the first hour, etc.). This is apparent from the care with which the Gospels specify particular hours in relation to the crucifixion. Jesus was put on the cross at 9 am (“third hour,” Mark 15:25). Darkness was over the land from noon until 3 pm (“sixth till ninth hour,” Matthew 27:45-46; Mark 15:33-34; Luke 23:44). Thus, the “sixth hour” mentioned in John 19:14 could not be Hebrew time (noon) but rather 6 am, “when morning was come,” according to Matthew 27:1-2.

The choice was: Free Barabbas or Acquit Jesus

They said to free Barabbas

Pilate slowly and reluctantly, and in fear, surrendered to the demand of the Sanhedrin for the crucifixion of Christ. He could not escape full legal and moral responsibility for his cowardly surrender to the Sanhedrin to keep his own office. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees unite in the demand for the Blood of Jesus. It is impossible to make a mere political issue out of it and to lay all the blame on the Sadducees, who feared a revolution. The Pharisees began the attack against Jesus on theological and ecclesiastical grounds. The Sadducees later joined the conspiracy against Christ. Judas was a mere tool of the Sanhedrin, who had his own resentments and grievances to avenge.

Mockery begins…

The time is Friday, between 6 and 9 am. The Roman soldiers mock Jesus, just as the Sanhedrin had done during the trial at the residence of the High Priest, Caiaphas.

Some soldiers were preparing for the crucifixion, and some in Pilate’s Praetorium were mocking Jesus as “King” and putting old soldiers’ clothes on Him. They adorned Him with a royal (scarlet colored) robe and a crown of thorns. They even hit Him over the head with a stick that was His “sceptre.” After that, they spat in His face and punched Him.

Then they shout at Him:

“HAIL! KING OF THE JEWS!”

Jesus is now prepared for His Crucifixion process, and we will be covering that in the next blog.

They prepare Him for crucifixion

What can we learn during this process?

We must keep in mind to not be as the Disciples who fled, but be the people who continually follow Christ, even through troubles. We should be faithful in following Christ, because turning back is a sin (similar to those that put their hand to the plough, but look back are not fit for the Kingdom of heaven/God). Many evil people shut their eyes to the truth, and will not listen to reason, because of the wickedness in their hearts. Let us confess Christ’s Name, even in reproach, because He will confess us before the Father! No matter what we are to endure, as long as we do it for the Glory of God, nothing can stop us, for He will be with us to strengthen us the whole way through.

Wicked men must answer to the consequences of their evil deeds; therefore, it is always best to repent of your sins before you reap the consequences. This reminds us to bring more sinners to Christ so that hell does not have its way with them in death. His People must realize and begin thinking about Kingdom things rather than worldly things, so that we may be prepared and look forward to His Coming Kingdom!

Therefore, in the face of our accusers, as Jesus was in the face of accusers, we must stand firm and allow the Lord to lead us on what to say, what not to say, and how to work out a situation for His Will. Jesus knew He could speak to Pilate, but speaking to Herod was not going to be a good idea, as even though Jesus did not speak to him, he still mocked Jesus. The Lord knows when people will understand and when they will not, and He will lead us on what to say, for we have the Comforter and the Teacher to guide us. Christ did God’s Will so that He may obtain the joy, Glory, and completing of the purchase for us Eternal Life. We must do the same that we do God’s Will so that we may do it for the joy of the reward we will receive for Eternity!

Jesus’ Birth and Private Life (Journeys 1-3)

Introducing Period 1: 30 years of private life.

The highlight of Journeys 1-3 is that we outline Jesus’ first 30 years of private life, which was before His Baptism and beginning of ministry.

Journey 1, Part 1: Presenting Jesus in the Temple

The Scripture we will be referencing is Luke 2:22-39. Jesus journeys from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, and then returns back to Bethlehem. Jesus was 8 days old and circumcised. When Jesus became 40 days old, He was taken to the Temple for dedication. At the dedication, Simeon prophesies and Anna testifies over the baby Jesus.

A man named Simeon stands up and prophesies, and soon, Anna, the widow from the Temple, gives thanks for Israel’s redemption. Mary, at the end of the forty days, went up to the Temple to offer the appointed sacrifices for her own purification. Joseph was there too, as he presented the Holy Child, Jesus, because, according to the purification law, the firstborn must always be dedicated to God.

Apparently, the firstborn Jewish male child already had the destiny to be a priest; therefore, Jesus met such requirements so He was dedicated for service unto God. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

Jesus' presentation in the Temple

Those that wanted to see the Baby Jesus had to go to the Temple. Simeon gave such a confession, as he knew Jesus was the Savior. Simeon said, “For mine eyes have seen thy Salvation. A Light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.” Mary and Joseph were certainly astonished at such confessions, for Simeon had blessed them. The hopes had shown of all those that embrace Christ would have the thoughts of their hearts revealed.

Soon, Anna, the Prophetess, visits, who has been in the Temple several times. She appears to be part of the Tribe of Asher, to which, this older widow has prayed, fasted, and serviced many. She even went around telling others about the Savior of the world just born.

What can we understand from this?

This Baby Jesus attracted a Prophet and Prophetess (among many more), He was not born in sin or needed a mortification of corruption, or even renewal unto holiness. This was so revealing that He would one day be in total obedience to the whole Law, even in sufferings and temptations, and even more in death for us. This might remind us to dedicate our children unto the Lord, especially in thanks for His giving of the child unto us. More than anything, what some thought when they beheld the Christ Child was an immediate revelation from God (a big announcement for their mindset) that this is the Savior of the world. This child was going to be great and so many knew it, for they gave glory to God!

Journey 1, Part 2: Wise men from the east

We have already extensively covered this in a different blog, please take a look at it – The Wise Men, More than Magi.

The Wise Men from the East

Journey 2: Flight to Egypt

The Scripture we will be referencing for this is Matthew 2:13-23 and Luke 2:39-40. Joseph takes Mary and Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt, and then from Egypt back to Nazareth. Joseph has a dream; the Angel commands him to take Mary and the Child, and then flee into Egypt. Herod slaughters all male children under the age of two. Herod dies. Joseph has a second dream. Return of the Holy Family to Judea, evidently to live there, but they continued on to Nazareth when they found Archelaus in power.

The Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to take Mary and Jesus to flee to Egypt. King Herod wanted every male child eliminated under the age of 2, which was only based on the details the Magi had given him. Because Jesus was in the area and was under the age of 2, Herod wanted them all eliminated, so that Jesus could be included in the elimination process.

Now, they stayed in Egypt until the death of Herod. They wanted to live in Egypt, until finding out that Herod’s Son, Archelaus, was in power, to which, they escaped to Nazareth. This place called Nazareth was near Galilee and was not very well known. Moreover, Luke stated Christ grew and waxed strong in the Spirit, to which, He was filled with wisdom and had the grace of God.

What can we learn from this?

God, when He is pleased to do so, can make the worst situations turn out best. This may have been a trial for Mary and Joseph. Apparently, their faith was firm, for they had the protection of God upon them. In addition, many children had suffered. However, whatever crafty or cruel tricks of man or of evil may be, the Justice of God will stand overall!

Just as Egypt created bondage for people then, it could’ve held Mary, Joseph, and Christ, to which, He could have been killed; however, the Lord directed them to their “Canaan” (Nazareth, the Promised Land). Whenever one is in bondage, the Lord will free them so that He may be glorified!

Journey 3: Jesus’ first Passover at Jerusalem

We have covered this very extensively, so see it here at Jesus’ First Passover.

Image of the Temple

Concluding this set of Journeys

Thank you for reading through and hopefully enjoying this start of the series. Please post below in the comments if you have any questions, or would like to begin the discussion.

Jesus’ First Passover

Image of the Second Temple, Reconstructed by Schematics

Many things are beginning to be interesting in Jesus’ Life. We don’t receive much information about Jesus’ earlier life, except for this main thing: When He turned 12, He was allowed to attend the Passover at the Temple.

Temple Services were only allowed (and required typically) once a boy turned 12 years of age, which is also known (at least to us and generally contextually) for the age of pre-adolescence. Once a child begins to appear pre-adolescent, he/she becomes more accountable in their lives. Such a thing enabled a child to begin maturing much more rapidly and soon approaching their purpose.

For Jesus, this was highly important to begin His Preparation for ministry by training continuously in the doctrines of the Temple before the doctors (teachers).

His parents traveled a days’ journey home before they found Jesus was not with them. Re-read that last sentence. How does that work out? Maybe they trusted He could take care of Himself without their intervention. Nonetheless, when Joseph and Mary journeyed back, they could not find Him amongst the friends and family of theirs. Therefore, they became dumbfounded they had a lost child (and that lost child being the Son of God – this is a big problem they thought).

Quick question of thought: Many people have lost Jesus, but later found Him…? Think about that for a minute. Think Salvation for a moment…

Where did they find Him? In the Temple, busy astounding the doctors with many questions. His inquisitive nature assuredly impressed them. Once Mary asked Jesus why He stayed behind, Jesus questioned her if she was aware He had to be about His Father’s (Father God) business.

He became obedient, nonetheless, and indeed to His parents. He grew in stature and wisdom, because it was highly important for Him to obey man, which was great that He also obeyed God earnestly.

Self-submission was just the beginning and prophecy fulfillment was beginning, as later He would be submissive to His Flock, to His killers, and to God overall in everything.

Many have wondered of His skilled trade in carpentry, to which was the trade of His father, Joseph. All Jewish boys had done this – learning trades of their fathers. It is assumed His work in carpentry involved roof making, boat building, door making, window making, and creating divan frames.

With all that said… Let’s begin our reading today in Luke 2:41-52…

“Now 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 after the custom of the feast. 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. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 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. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 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. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 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. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

PROPHECIES & FULFILLMENTS

The prophecy fulfillments are seemingly innumerable in this instance. Let us read about such fulfillments, in the combined verses of John 13:1 and 18:28, “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.”

Jesus’ First Passover was a prophecy premonition to the much later Passover to occur toward the end of His Earthly Work.

God’s Purposes allow us to see the end from the beginning; however, God’s Guidance in the middle/in the thick of things is what’s most important. Now that we have the premonition in place for Jesus’ Ministry Work and His Future Redemptive Work, we must proceed next week into the beginning of the full preparation of Ministry.

NOTE: To quickly reference the requirements of people at the three feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, look in Exodus 23:17 and Deuteronomy 16:16.