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November 7, 2021 12:01 am
When Jesus was 12 years old, He was brought to Jerusalem, where He entered deep conversations with the teachers in the temple. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition of the gospel of Luke to explain what Jesus' profound wisdom at this young age teaches us about the incarnation of Christ.
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When Jesus was 12 years old, his parents took him to Jerusalem where he entered into deep conversation with the teachers and it was obvious to them. The he was a prodigy.
They had never ever witnessed anything like this in their lives they saw clearly.
This can know more than they did at every point that's a question for this morning is this how that email so much.
The Bible doesn't tell us much about Jesus childhood like this one glimpse from the gospel of Luke provides us with profound insight as a 12-year-old boy.
Jesus was teaching the teachers today on Renewing Your Mind. We continue Dr. RC Sproul sermon series from Luke will begin a chapter 2 verse 41 gives us more information about Jesus birth and infancy than any other gospel writer and we been looking at that information over the past several weeks. Last week we looked at his presentation in the temple of when he was about six weeks old and then there's a gap that gap goes from six weeks old to 12 years old. Then after that we have another gap that goes from age 12 to about age 31 Jesus appears to begin his public ministry. I've often wondered why it is that the gospel writers don't fill us in with the details of Jesus childhood attempts were made to do that by the fraudulent writings of the second century Gnostics in the so-called apocryphal gospels where they told fanciful stories of the child Jesus being lonely as he was playing in the dirt than Sally shape with the mod figures of birds and then did a hocus-pocus and turned these dirt birds into a live bird so that he could have cats to play with such nonsense really did not add any honor to the understanding of Jesus, but all were told here initially is that between the time he was presented in the temple until the time he appears again at age 12. That's he grew became strong in spirit, became filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him.
Now, it's probable that the age in which Jewish young man became sons of the law or experience what they called our mitzvah was age 13 and it was the custom of the Jews at that time that a year before bar mitzvah. When the boy reached the age of 12. The parents were taken to Jerusalem. Show them all around the temple all around the different sites all around the holy city so that he could be prepared for the following year's ceremony of bar mitzvah. So in all probability. That's why on this occasion, when Jesus parents came to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover that they brought him along for the trip. Luke tells us that when the time was finished for the celebration of the Passover, the people who had traveled many miles as pilgrims return to their homes and again the cost of in the day was to travel by caravan and the caravan would include immediate family, aunts and uncles and cousins extended family and also neighbors from your village and from adjoining village and so that the caravan would be quite big.
The custom was in these caravans that at the front of the caravan would be the women and the children and then at the back of the caravan would be the men and the young men of Jesus was just on the threshold between child and young man. So I think it's safe for us to assume that on this occasion, that's Mary with the children at the front of the caravan assumed that Jesus was at the back of the caravan with Joseph because she realized he certainly wasn't part in like manner, in all probability, Joseph's coming up the rear of the caravan piece with other men and young Madden notices that Jesus isn't with him and so he assumes Jesus must move that his mother up at the front of the caravan safe assumption, fortunately, was wrong. At the end of the day they pitched their camp and all the friends and relatives get together around the campfire and spend time talking about their experiences in euros and I was at that point that Mary and Joseph realized that their son was missing. So the question that had them filled with anxiety was that simple question where she's worse Jesus wears I sent that he was with you Joseph. I thought he was with you. Mary's knee looked all through the caravan and they couldn't find him. And so now dreadfully frightened and anxious.
Mary and Joseph alone begin the day long journey back to Jerusalem and all along the road there hollering for Jesus there looking for Jesus. They can't find their son years ago in Cincinnati when I was working in a church there. 40 some years ago we came home from church vested and I and Sherry, her daughter and we got replies that RC Junior wasn't with us and we realize we forgot and left him back at church and so I turned around and drove all the way back to the church and I found him dazed walking around Brighton wondering why his parents gone without friends. It's one thing to forget RC Jody, but to forget Jesus that's another story all together and so they came back spent a whole day on the journey they get back to Jerusalem and Jesus wasn't waiting for them at the front gate of the city there scouring the city looking at the bazaar looking at all the shops that dotted the streets. Even in those day the playground to see if they were playing with some of the other children spent the whole day scouring the city.
Bruce my confined the last place expected to find them, was an attempt. Finally, in desperation they going to the temple and it was a custom at that time to that after the celebration of the Passover, the visiting rabbis the scholars the theologians of the day the PhD's of Israel stayed around the city because this is one of the few times during the year that they had the opportunity to sit down and discuss matters of theology so they were all there in a room buzzing back and forth talking about their theological theories and to Mary and Joseph's astonishment. They find Jesus sitting in the midst of these doctors participating in the theological dialogue is 12 years old and is participating. It's not like these elders are saying go away son, you bother me. They were even more astonished than Mary and Joseph because they couldn't believe the insight and the provocative question were coming from the mouth of this 12 year old.
He was obviously a child prodigy, but a child prodigy of such advanced learning that they had never ever witnessed anything like this in their lives they saw clearly.
This can know more than they did at every point.
So the question for this morning is this how did he know so much. How is it possible for this 12-year-old boy Jesus to confound the experts in the law in the Scriptures. While there is a quick and simple answer that many people give which I think is patently incorrect, but people often look at this event.
The most they will.
Why wouldn't he know all this stuff. Please, God, for heaven sakes. This is God incarnate, and God is omniscient God doesn't have to be taught by the scholars, although they don't they're not willing to admit that, but God is generally not in need of learning from anybody because he's omniscient.
He knows everything and of Jesus is God incarnate.
Doesn't that mean that he knew everything well. Yes and no. Now we bump right up against one of the greatest mysteries among the most important doctrines of the Christian faith, and that is the mystery of the incarnation of Christ whom we confess to be the God man whom we profess to say that he was in fact the very incarnation of God and during the fifth century A.D. the church faced one of their most critical crises that they had endured. Up till that time. With the rise of two distinct and separate heresies at the same time, both of which heresies seriously threatened the well-being of the church.
The first heresy was called the Monophysite heresy which had been advanced by a man by the name of you dictates in the Monophysite heresy taught this, that if Jesus was one person clearly.
He must've only had one nature like every other person that we've ever met. It's one to a customer when it comes to humanity. And so Jesus was a single individual and must have a single nature so the Monophysite's like you techies believe that Jesus only had one nature well if you only had one major was a divine or was it human and if you asked her Monophysite was Jesus single major divine or was it human. He would answer yes that he would say that one nature was a blend mixture between deity and humanity. A divinely human nature or was it a humanly divine nature.
See under analysis. If you look at that closely which the church that a Charles O'Donovan 451 they said here you have Jesus whose one nature is not both human and divine, but really is neither because of his human nature has been deified. But it's no longer human end of his divine nature's been humanized minutes no longer divine, so the church said absolutely no to the Monophysite heresy and from the other. I'll cane the nest Dorians who set off the has two natures of human nature and divine nature that it must be to people and so with counsel, Charles abounded was first of all, they've made the positive affirmation may sit in Jesus in the mystery of the incarnation and get this, he is there a Homo Faraday's truly man and truly God that we must affirm both the full humanity of Jesus in the incarnation and affirm his full deity, then they came with the famous four negatives of trust on and at this point the church very wisely really didn't totally unpack the mystery of the incarnation.
Megan answer all the questions. Instead what they did was they set the borders of order on this side of border on the side and they define the incarnation in terms of what it was not. What was not.
With these four negative they said, Jesus is truly human truly divine two natures perfectly united but without mixture or confusion here that you Monophysite's no mixture, no confusion, no blending without separation or division. The here that you Nestorians over there pox on both houses would pronounce the Charles said.
However, we understand the incarnation. We can't understand it in terms of a mixture or blend of deity and humanity.
Nor can we understand it in terms of a separation or division between the two natures and then after the, Chalcedon on the say each nature retained its own attributes. That simple theological affirmation. Each nature retained its own that has been so trampled on and brutally violated throughout church history and even today I can't tell you if you just get those four negatives in each nature retained its own attributes. We would spare herself so much grief in trying to understand the God man. Now we can't divide the two natures, but we must distinguish them about when Jesus got hungry or became thirsty that that show forth his deity or his humanity I'm distinguishing not separating even when he was thirsty in his human nature is thirsty. Human nature was still perfectly united to his divine nature, but it wasn't the divine nature that was thirsty because God never gets thirsty. What about when it comes to knowledge Jesus human knowledge was is limited as anybody else's human knowledge. Unless the divine nature communicated information to the human nature that we know, for example, the Old Testament, you have prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel Daniels, who has supernatural knowledge of the future that they gain that knowledge out of their own insight or from going to synagogue school.
No, they gain that knowledge. Because God revealed to dislike Jesus said, touching his humanity. I say nothing on my own authority, but only what the father teaches me and there were times were Jesus display supernatural knowledge when he knew Nathaniel before ever met him when he knew all about the woman at the well.
But again, that didn't rise up out of Jesus reservoir of human knowledge. But the father with the divine nature revealed to him on medication that it's possible that what happened in the temple on this occasion was when Jesus was in there the divine nature is whispering into his human ear and give them all the answers for the questions that are being posed by the rabbis but I don't think so. So for wasn't the divine nature whispering in the year of the human nature. How was Jesus able to amaze the PhD's in the temple with his prodigious knowledge. I've been studying theology seriously for well over 50 year, I would've been confounded by the 12-year-old Jesus of Taiwan that I know in his human nature.
By the time he was 12 he knew an awful lot more about theology than I know today why. Well first of all, the great commandment is that were to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts. All of her might alter my I have a confession to make. To this should be obvious.
I haven't love God with all of my mind for one minute in my life. The ravages of sin that fall upon humanity from the fall don't just affect the body. Don't just affect the will also has a terrible effect on the mind but can you imagine 12-year-old boy who didn't have the slightest influence of Original Sin in his life, whose thinking was for not one second ever cloud it by darkness, but for every second of his 12 years. Love the Lord his God with his entire mind you want to see a child prodigy that would turn the world upside down. Find a perfect human being and seeing what they can learn in 12 years. So Jesus didn't have to rely on his divine nature to astound anybody he could do it with his hands tied behind his back in his perfect humanity.
He knew his father like no 12-year-old had ever known before, and here's the scary part is to get better for the next 18 years he was growing in his wisdom, he was growing in his knowledge and by the time he was 30, then the people say this man speaks like no other man we've ever heard these things as one having authority, not like the scribes in the first at age 30 will in any case, Mary and Joseph were amazed and Moses Mays. That's the scholars that were there so they come up to Jesus and Mary says from son, why have you done this to us. This may be the first time in his 12 years of his mother had to correct them for anything. Why have you done this to his son argue that crimes back here in Jerusalem. Did you know we would be worried to death. Look, your father and I have sought to anxiously so she asked them why in the Jewish Jesus answered a question with a question. You know why Jewish people answer questions with questions. Why not answer questions. He said to them, why did you seek me when you so anxious.
Why was I so hard for you to find and you know that I must be in my father's house that you understand mother that I wasn't here on a lark, I wasn't here trying to be defiant to your authority, I was here because I'm compelled to be in my father's house.
I'm not talking about Joseph's house when talking about God's house mother. I had to be here because this is where my heavenly father wanted me to be so Jesus not only had to teach the teachers. He had to teach his parents about the truth of God went to love them enough line the wall without extreme within the Luke tells us he left anyone with his mom and his dad went back to Nazareth and was subject to them. That is the marriage of his mother kept all these things in her heart and again Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and with next time we see comes to be baptized by that's an astonishing realization is that Jesus at 12 years old had done nothing but love God with all of his heart perfect and complete devotion for that long, and so no wonder that he had more wisdom than the teachers we heard Dr. RC Sproul preaching from the gospel of Luke today here on Renewing Your Mind and he brought such clarity to this passage. That's why were eager to provide today's resource offer to you. It's a digital download of RC's expositional commentary of this gospel you find almost 600 pages of helpful insight requested today with your donation of any amount or offices are closed on this Thursday, but that you can give your gift to make a request online and Renewing Your Mind.org. Our purpose here is look at your ministries is to awaken as many people as possible to the holiness of God by proclaiming teaching and defending God's holiness in all its fullness. We do that by providing quality teaching on theology, the Bible, church history, apologetics, and Christian ethics. Your financial support allows us to continue this effort around the world were grateful for your generosity will next week as we continue this series by Dr. scroll the narrative in Luke turns to the ministry of John the Baptist.
I hope you'll join us again next week. Here on Renewing Your Mind