LUKE 2:41-52

Verses 41-52 “41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43And 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.
44But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46And 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.
47And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48And 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.
49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

Joseph and Mary went down to Jerusalem every year for the Passover observance. They took their family. The fact that Jesus is the only child mentioned does not mean that He had no younger brothers or sisters. It is certain that Jesus had siblings, for He was Mary’s “First Born Son” (v 7). The parents were regular and faithful in their devotion and religious duties even though it involved an eighty-five mile trip, a considerable amount of time, more effort than we are accustomed to today, and some expense. It is a lesson that we might please the Lord if we were more faithful ourselves.

Jesus was lost to His parents for three days, a disturbing development for parents of a twelve year old. Probably the women traveled separate from the men and Joseph thought that Jesus was with His mother, and visa-versa. When the parents returned to the temple they found Jesus there, learning and teaching in the presence of the elders and scribes. A mild rebuke from Jesus mother was met by a mild correction of His own. He was about His Father’s business; for He had a Father in heaven, a Father with whom He had had fellowship during all of eternity past. Neither His earthly parents nor anyone else can afford to forget that He came into this world with a work to do, a people to redeem.

Jesus is an example to all young people in that He returned to Nazareth and was subject unto His parents. He honored His parents and obeyed them when they had expectations that pleased His heavenly Father. We do not know anything more about the childhood of Jesus than what is revealed in this passage. For good reasons sufficient unto Himself, God has not revealed any more. We do know that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” He matured in a marvelously good and normal way, yet without any sin.

LUKE 2:3-4

Verses 3-4 “3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David.)”

The whole world was to be taxed. By “whole world” (v.1) is meant all of the countries and districts of the Roman Empire. Joseph’s ancestral town was Bethlehem, a small agricultural village about six miles from Jerusalem. The trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about eighty-five miles distance. We do not know what means of conveyance was employed to transport Mary to Bethlehem. Often it is assumed that Mary rode on a donkey, but that is being read into the Bible account since the Bible does not tell us that detail. She may have ridden in a cart pulled by a donkey, or in a wagon pulled by a horse. Or, as many have suspected, she may have ridden on a donkey. The important thing is that they did arrive at Bethlehem, because it was prophesied that the Christ would be born there (Micah 5:2). We see the providence of God in bringing Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem; for it is He who arranged the time of the birth, the taxing, and even the mode of transportation.