Following Jesus • 24 / Jesus’ First Words

Read This: Luke 2:39-52 

Most tales of heroism feature ordinary people thrust into crisis. They’re faced with a challenge and respond well.

That’s not how it is with Jesus. His reason for coming is clear from the beginning. Israel’s Deliverer isn’t just another Abraham, Moses, or David. He’s not some person stumbling into a challenge and rising to it. Israel’s Deliverer — the Messiah — is none other than God Himself, coming to save His people.

The New Testament opens with the arrival of Jesus. He is announced by angels and celebrated by Elizabeth, Mary, Zacharias, the shepherds, Simeon, Anna, and the wise men. They all know who He is. But what about the Boy Himself? Did Jesus understand His role — or was He an ordinary man who became a hero?

Luke provides our only glimpse into the years between Jesus’ birth and public ministry. It’s a crucial piece of the story. What does it reveal?

It reveals Jesus, at twelve, knowing exactly who He is and why He came. He’s God’s Son and He came to do His Father’s business. By calling God His Father, Jesus claimed equality with God. Oneness.

He was God, born into humanity to save the race. No wonder He sat in the Temple dialoguing with the teachers. No wonder Luke describes the exchange as between equals, with the Boy pressing His elders for answers. No wonder the bystanders were amazed at His understanding. He was the fulfillment of everything those teachers had ever studied — and He knew it.

Jesus’ early years saw Him growing in strength, grace, wisdom, and favor with God and man. His parents carefully observed the whole law (as evidenced by their journey to Jerusalem for the Passover), and Jesus lived in complete submission to them.

But there was never any question about who He was. His first recorded words make that clear. He was the Son of His Father. The Deliverer.

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