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December 17, 2021 12:01 am
The Bible tells us very little about Jesus' early life. What was He doing for all those years? Today, R.C. Sproul explains what we can learn from the one significant account that exists: the story of Jesus' visit to the temple at age 12.
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As a board. Jesus amaze the teachers in the temple.
His thinking was crystal clear.
His acumen was without parol evidence of 12-year-old child victim sleep more profoundly more consistently, more acutely than the most learned theologians of his day. This is one of the only glimpses we have the boy Jesus.
But it's not the show was that he was no ordinary trial and everyone around them recognized. Thanks for listening to Renewing Your Mind on this running family when we are featuring Dr. RC Sproul series.
What did Jesus do today's lesson helps us focus on the earliest indication of Jesus divine nature. Today were going to look at a passage that usually receives very little attention that I think is important.
To that understanding of his work in that passage is the record of his visit to the Temple in Jerusalem when he was 12 years old. This is one of the rare passages that we have in the New Testament that teaches us anything about the so-called lost years of Jesus between his birth and the beginning of his public ministry that took place at about age 30, and so we wonder what was he doing all of those years. What was as lifelike as he was growing up in Nazareth working presumably in the carpenter shop of his father, Joseph about the only thing we know between his dedication at the temple and his earthly ministry is that visit to the temple except for the brief interlude of the families flight into Egypt as Joseph had been warned in her dream not to return home, but rather to seek protection from Herod by fleeing into Egypt and it wasn't until Herod died that he was told by the angel that it was safe to return to Nazareth now those lost years are the subject of somewhat fanciful creatively imaginative, apocryphal gospels that were penned in the second and third centuries by the Gnostic heretics in an attempt to show that they had equal authority to the apostles.
They would use the names of the apostles, basically as forgeries for their documents like the gospel of Peter and the gospel of Thomas and the like. Of course, these books were clearly repudiated and rejected by the early church as being not of apostolic origin or having canonical authority there's been a flurry of interest in them now since the best-selling work of Dan Brown on the da Vinci code where much of the speculation. There was drawn from these apocryphal books. They tell us fanciful stories of Jesus as a boy, for example, kind of a trivial use of his supernatural powers when he was playing by himself and was lonely. He formed the figure of bird out of the dirt and then did his magic and the bird came to life and he was able to play with the barter with a head playmates that gave him a hard time he brought down judgment from heaven against this kind of thing is so plainly apocryphal and frivolous that they certainly not worthy as historical records of the life of Jesus. Basically what were told is that Jesus as a boy grew in knowledge and wisdom, and in stature and we see a brief glimpse of that growth in the record in Luke's gospel of Jesus visit to the temple which I'll wait for us now in chapter 2 of Luke's gospel beginning in verse 41 we read this account. His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover and when he was 12 years old, they went up to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, and when they had finished the days as they returned the boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem, and Joseph and his mother did not know it but supposing him to of been in the company they want to days journey and sought him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when I did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him now, so it was after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers both listening to them and asking them questions and all who heard him were astonished at his understanding and his answers.
And so when they saw him they were amazed and his mother said damn son, why have you done this to us look your father and I have sought you anxiously and he said to them, why did you say great that you not know that I must be about my father's business, but they did not understand the statement which he spoke to them. One of the things it so fascinating about this text is this episode accentuates and emphasizes the response of the theologians of Jesus day to this 12 year old boy who appears in the temple as an incredible child prodigy.
Having mastered so much knowledge of the Scriptures and of theology that he was confounding them both by the answers to the questions that he heard and by the questions he was closing to them now. The first thing I want to look at here with respect to this matter has to do with the knowledge of Jesus which were so radically different from everybody else in the country. Why when we look at our doctrine of sin when we look at the biblical teaching of the fall of the human race. We realize that in that fall.
The effects of sin permeates the whole human person that not only exposes the body to physical maladies to diseases to death and two other infirmities, whereby the body is weakened severely by the fallen condition, but the fall also had a significant impact upon the minds of human beings and that impact we call in theology the noetic effects of sin. The noetic effects of sin. That's a concept that's usually not articulated every day in the life of the church, but the concept comes from the Greek word noose, which is the word in Greek for mind and so noetic names of or pertaining to the new store or pertaining to the human mind now Paul teaches us in the very first chapter of Romans that the consequence of sin. In rejecting God's revelation that he gives to all of us through nature is that our minds are darkened. Sin clouds the mind. It impairs our ability to think clearly that we are still left after the fall with the capacity for reason we can still even in our sinfulness. Add two and two and come to the conclusion that they mean for or we can still work's syllogisms and other philosophical problems. Yet at the same time each one of us is given to making mistakes in our thinking and at times very serious and costly mistakes. This become an adage in our culture to say that to her is human that that is say constant reminder of our fallen humanity. Why is it not often wondered when people are exposed to so much of the same information they come to such radical conclusions them.
You notice that that sometimes even when we meet other Christians, we find that were in serious disagreement one with another. Why is the Bible that confusing and that's lacking in clarity that people come to such disparate conclusions as to what it teaches and those conclusions can be held with fierce tenacity and create all kinds of divisions and disruptions within the life of the church within the lives of family members and destroy human relationships. We all have the same material. Well, we can say some people study more diligently than others and so they're more likely to have a better understanding of the material they're studying. But all of us fail to love the Lord our God with all of our minds. And so all of us fall into periods of slothfulness and failure to really apply ourselves intellectually to the understanding of Scripture. Not only that, in our sinful condition.
We come to the text with certain biases and the biased person can often miss the forest for the trees because his mind is held in captivity by that bias. If you were raised in a particular tradition went to a particular church and were taught the doctrine of that particular church. You may have received doctrinal teaching that was incorrect but it came to you from people you trusted maybe from your parents may be from your pastor and that's the way you were taught to think and we talk about than the creation of love lines where I have a certain prior commitment to the denomination, which I was reared or to the views of my parents or my professors and it's very hard to cut those love lines and the open to correction from a better understanding of what the Scripture teaches not only that the very act of thinking itself has been weakened by sin are used to teach a course in logic and I would give assignments to my students after they learned the various kinds of logical fallacies that we were seeking to avoid K now I want you to come in tomorrow with an example of the commission of each one of these fallacies that we've just studied. Maybe we looked at 20 of them informal fallacies less. I want you to come in with examples of these from tomorrow's newspaper and I would not be difficult to find an example of every one of those fallacies present in the latest news bulletin.
In fact, in our textbook when we would look at examples of these fallacies we would draw them, not from popular journalism that we would draw them from the greatest minds in the history of the world, we would see a logical error apparent in a statement from Plato or from Descartes or from Immanuel Kant, or for David Hume or John Stuart Mill because all people, even those who are exceedingly bright are given to making logical errors now. Can you imagine a human being functioning mentally without any of the noetic effects of sin.
Up until this point the world had never seen a sinless human being.
So Jesus in his sinlessness and that he did not participate in original sin was not weakened by the same problems that I've just been talking about so that his thinking was crystal clear. His acumen was without Carolyn and as of 12-year-old child he could think more profoundly more consistently, more acutely than the most learned theologians of his day. He didn't come there to show off.
They came there to learn because that is what he had been doing for the first 12 years of his life that you understand the second matter that this raises and that is the relationship between the divine nature and the human nature.
Some people say will, of course, Jesus knew the answer to all these questions wasn't a God and isn't God omniscient yes he was God incarnate, and yes, God is omniscient, but touching his human nature. Jesus was not given a divine brain. He was not endowed in his human nature with the divine attribute of omniscience.
Now the divine nature could communicate information to the human Jesus and we would see from time to time Jesus astonishing people with the supernatural knowledge that was at his disposal, but the divine nature did not communicate the divine attribute of omniscience to the human nature as some have tried to argue throughout church history. That would've been a violation of his true humanity. So in any case, we find Jesus coming out to the temple was customary that a year before a boy did his bar mitzvah that his family would bring him to the temple that he may become accustomed to the procedures that would be followed there in Jerusalem. The following year and people would come from great distances coming up to Jerusalem for the Passover and here Jesus is family was coming from Nazareth and they would come not only with the immediate family but with cousins and aunts and uncles and other acquaintances from Nazareth would caravan together and this was commonplace of the people from various villages and towns would come together to make the trip and so they make the trip but make their visit and they leave under gone a whole day and Mary says to Joseph worse Jesus and Joseph says to Mary, I thought you were watching after him. He must be with one of the other members of the family in the caravan and so they made this search through their friends and relatives into their shock. Jesus is nowhere to be found in these already been missing now for more than a day and I have to make another day's journey to go back to Jerusalem to retrace their steps to see if they can find. By now, you can imagine the anxiety that's overcome Mary and Joseph wondering about their unusual son where he was and so the record tells us that after three days they found him in the temple in the midst of the teachers and we read and all who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers so when they saw him they were amazed and his mother said to him, son, why have you done this to us. Here's a case in point that one could use to argue against the sinlessness of Jesus. After all, he's now really bothering Mary and she's asking why be done this to us. She sees this as an offense to her and her husband and to the whole family. Jesus says, wanted to sleep. They said why did you do this. This is what's wrong with you why you see you should know where I was should know what I was doing. Do you not know that I must be about my father's business. They didn't understand the statement which he spoke to and so there's a problem of knowledge here. Mary and Joseph didn't know where he was or why he was doing what he was doing he didn't know what he was doing and had a clear understanding of why he was doing and so there's a sensor in which Jesus mildly, politely, kindly, is rebuking his mother for not knowing what, in light of all the revelation had been given to her and particularly at the time of our enunciation position in the she had been meditating and pondering these things all these years wondering really what is the destiny of my son. What is the meaning of the occasion of the virgin birth of that I had than the message that was given to me by the angel Gabriel and then later by the prophetess Anna and also from Simeon in the temple. Who is this child worth was going to become of him. What's he doing this is that you are supposed to be about my father's business. You can imaginary suggests in your father's business is carpentry back there in Lazarus and that's for you should have been helping your dad Jesus is speaking about his heavenly father and this also gives us an insight into his work here even at age 12 in his growing awareness in his growing self-consciousness of what his task is on this earth. At least he knows this much that he has a job to perform for his father and that job has to do somehow with the temple and the things that are being discussed there in the temple now as the son of God incarnate. We also understand that there is a subordination of sorts between the son and the father in the Trinity, we speak about the economic distinctions in the Trinity that is the distinctions that have to do with the work of God. It is the father who sends the son.
It is the son. As I mentioned earlier, who calms and accomplishes the work of redemption. It is the Spirit who then is sent to apply the work of redemption to people and so here even the earthly son, together with the divine second person of the Trinity is aware of this subordinate responsibility and Jesus has this compunction he has this compulsion to do what the father has sent him to do later on, it would be said of him that his meet and his drink was to do the will of the father, and I think it didn't take long for Mary and Joseph, even though they didn't understand it altogether. They certainly understood that Jesus had a mission before God that they had been informed of again.
They didn't know the details but I think they talked much at length. On the way back to Nazareth about this episode, but I'm glad that it's incorporated by Lucan looks the only one who tells us about it and when Luke writes his gospel to beginning the gospel he tells us that the they had undertaken to give a factual account in their historical indication is that he interviewed Mary because we more information about his birth and his infancy in his early life from Luke than from anyone else and so I'm sure that by the support of fire, the Holy Spirit, along with the testimony of Mary were getting this account prepares us to understand Jesus growing self-consciousness and focus on the mission that is been given to him by his the story really shows is that even as a boy by his perfect example. Jesus was teaching us how we should relate to our father in heaven were glad you joined us today for Renewing Your Mind.
We are wrapping up our highlights of Dr. RC Sproul series.
What did Jesus do in the series RC shows is that Jesus perfect life is just as important as his death and resurrection in 12 messages. He uncovers what it means for Christ to be the second Adam, we would like for you to have this to DVD said just give a donation of any amount to look at your ministries and we will be happy to send it your way, you can give your gift when you call us at 800-435-4343 or you can make a request online and Renewing Your Mind.org Chris Larson, our president and CEO has stopped by the studio Chris were always quick to say that the leader ministries is not here to replace the local church are our goal is to come alongside the church to support the church with the resources that we produce and publish that's right we think of ourselves as a Monday through Saturday ministry because we want God's people worshiping with the local church on the Lord's day, and were there to come alongside and actually really underneath the church and so this testimony comes from a pastor in Louisiana. His name is John Lear is a great resource for solid biblical and solid theological teaching based on my and it's a great way to learn and grow in the knowledge of Scripture. Theology based on Scripture Christian life based on Scripture. It's a delight and joy for me to be able to partner this move out of this ministry has integrity out of this ministry as leadership can be trusted. I know that this ministry is not about promoting itself, but about promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ and the knowledge of God based on Scripture done waver from that out of you and that's really what we strive to do to be a team member with the local church would say to our listeners.
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It's possible that your pastors and church leaders. They may not know of old looking ear has to offer them. So give us a call and we cut a program to partner with the local church and the be some significant savings that we can offer your congregation yes and we do hope you'll take advantage of that. Thank you Chris next week on Renewing Your Mind. Dr. scroll examines the promises concerning Jesus, that we find in the Old Testament promises that were made to Jeremiah and Isaiah the promises that go all the way back to Abraham, even to me.
I hope you'll join us for that beginning Monday for Renewing Your Mind