We're at a very special passage when we come to Luke 2:40-52. It is the only story that we have of Jesus between the time of His infancy and the beginning of His ministry as an adult of around thirty years old.

Now just let me go ahead and tip you off. The key point of this passage is found in verse 49. It's in Jesus' reply to Mary's question. The key message is about who Jesus knows himself to be.

And this passage is pressing a question home to all of us today, no matter who we are. Whether we're professing believers or not, whether we're members of a church or not, whether we're Christians or not, it's pressing home this question to us: How do you reckon with who Jesus is?

If you're a believer in Jesus, you know that He is the Son of God, but you have to reckon with the truth of that. How does that impact you?

On the other hand, you may not believe in Him. You may not think of yourself as His disciple or as a Christian. Whatever the case may be you have to reckon with the question of who this Jesus claims to be. It's that question that Luke is pressing on all of us: Who does Jesus know himself to be? Who does Jesus claim himself to be, and what implication does that have for you?

There's really just one point in this passage, however, allow me to make three points on the way to that one point.

I. Jesus is a Real Human

Look first of all at verses 40 and 52, the beginning and the ending of the passage, because here Luke is telling you that Jesus is a real human. He tells you that by telling you that He grew up. He became wiser. He grew in physical stature. He grew in favor in His relationship with other people. Now this is important because for 300 years after Christ was born, nobody in the church denied that He was fully divine, but a lot of people struggled with believing that He was human. And Luke is saying, "just in case you missed it, Jesus grew up." Just like other kids have to grow up, He went from being small to being big. He learned things. He matured, both in terms of His character and His stature. He grew up. He was fully human. The humanity of Jesus is being affirmed.

II. Jesus Was Born Into a Devout, Law-Keeping Family

The second thing you'll see in verses 41-42 is that Jesus was born into a devout, law-keeping family. His parents used to go to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. When He was twelve, they went up there "according to custom". They lived by the book. See, this is disabusing Theophilus of any thought that somehow Jesus didn't understand or obey the Bible, or didn't understand or follow Moses' Law. No, Moses from childhood was read and taught and learned and practiced in His home.

There is something that we can learn from the godliness of Jesus' parents. In the priorities that we establish for our families in the worship of the living God, we teach them a big lesson: God is more important than anything else. When we stop our work, when we stop our play, and we just worship Him we declare with our lips and with our life that He's more important to us than anything in this world.

Also, this is one of those passages that proves to me that the Bible is true.

This story bears all the marks of truth. If you were wanting to invent a story about Jesus' childhood, you would never think to invent a story like this! It's too sticky. You'd invent a story that has less problems. And it's totally unlike the stories that people invented about Jesus' early childhood. Starting at about the end of the second century and running all the way to the fifth century, people wrote stories about what they thought happened in Jesus' childhood. There is an Arabic Infancy Gospel that dates from about the fifth century, that tells a story of Jesus going into a town one day and going into a dyer's shop and taking all his clothes and dumping them into a cauldron of indigo. And the town dyer goes crazy! He says, "Jesus, you've just ruined my business and my reputation! You've ruined all of these clothes!" And then Jesus says, "No problem. Just tell me what color you want the clothes to be," and he starts pulling them out of the cauldron of indigo, and one is red, one is green, and another one is yellow. It's totally fanciful!

There is nothing fanciful about this story. It's one of those stories that just proves to me that Luke is not telling you stories, he's telling you the truth. He's writing down history. He's telling you something that actually happened.

III. Jesus' Parents Leave Jerusalem

Look at verses 46-47. Jesus' parents leave Jerusalem. Jesus wasn't in their immediate presence. They trusted Him, and so they thought that He was with some of their relatives or friends who were with them in this caravan that had come down to worship. They get a day out of Jerusalem and they haven't seen Him.

Finally, they find him in the temple. Jesus is in the temple because he wants to study God's word, and he wants to be in his Father's house. And we're told when they find him that he's sitting there among the teachers. He's sought out teachers of the Bible, He's listening to them, he's asking them questions, and he's giving them answers that astonish them.

Jesus, the Word of God incarnate, wanted to study the word with people who knew the word. Now if Jesus, the Word of God incarnate, wanted to study the word, do you think you and I ought to want to study the word? Oh, yes!

[*Begin Bold*] IV. Jesus is a Real Human [*End Bold*]

Now here's the big point. Look at verses 49ff. When Mary and Joseph find Jesus, they say to Him: "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been anxiously looking for you." And what's Jesus' response? "Why did you need to search for Me? You ought to know where I was. I had to be in My Father's house." Jesus is saying that he treasured His Father more than he treasured food. He wanted to commune with Him in His word. He wanted to be with His Father.

And then in the next verse it says: "And they did not understand the statement which He made to them." They did not understand that He was the Son of God. And He was just in His Father's house communing with His Father.

Do you see how Luke is telling this both to people who wouldn't dare deny that He's the Son of God (but they're not living like it), and to people who don't accept Him as the Son of God (but who will go to hell if they do not)? Luke is saying, "How do you reckon with this Jesus? Do you realize that He is the Father's Son? And do you realize that as the Father's Son, He values the Father's company more than anything?"