Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 2 Message Outlines
Luke 2:40-52 (6)
by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 4 Study # 6 October 23, 2005 Lincolnton, N.C.
(197)Thesis:Jesus is the Only solution to the complexity of Life.
Introduction:In our studies to date in the paragraph before us this morning we have seen that Luke is deliberately revealing the core issues involved in Jesus' qualifications as The Salvation of God. Simeon exulted with the claim, "I am ready to die now because my eyes have seen ThySalvation!" At the very center of that core is Jesus' very deliberate exaltation of His Father and His Father's "things" to the highest level of His priority list. We have called this "the loyalty factor". Without it, sin and disaster reign unto death. By it, righteousness and blessing reign unto life. Last week we pondered the problems of the soul's ties to "family" and the fact that Jesus was not the only One Who has been summoned to supreme loyalty. It can hardly be an accident that when God set out to order the flow of human history through a covenant He intended to make with Abraham, His second command was, "Leave your family".
This morning we are set to feast upon the truths contained in Luke's revelation of Jesus' astounding wisdom. We are told by him that after a three-day search, Joseph and Mary found Jesus in a profound theological discussion with the teachers of the Temple that simply blew them away who witnessed the interaction. His point is beyond obvious: Jesus was incredibly astute. Some of his other points may not be quite as obvious. For that reason, we are going to ask the question this morning: why is it necessary for us to understand how profound was the understanding of Jesus?
I. Some Background.
A. In Genesis One, God revealed the complexity of life.
1. His creation effort unveiled the problems.
a. The initial problem was darkness.
b. The next problem was chaos.
c. The third problem was emptiness.
2. His creation effort also unveiled the solutions.
a. The initial act was to bring light onto the scene.
b. The second set of actions was to bring order out of the chaos.
c. The third set of actions was to fill the voids with meaningful fulnesses.
B. In Genesis Three, God revealed the danger of death.
1. That the "serpent" was characterized as "more crafty" is as open-and-shut a declaration of the necessity for understanding as can be found anywhere in the Word of God.
2. That "sin" was incubated in "ignorance" is a testament to the absolute necessity of knowledge that leads to understanding.
C. In Matthew 10:16, God revealed His insistence that His disciples make it a part of their lifestyle to stretch themselves out to acquire understanding.
1. There has always been a two-fold attack upon the commitment to wisdom.
a. On the one hand, there has been the deliberate temptation to exalt the lesser issues of life over the greater: the accumulation of understanding cannot occur while the appetites of body, soul, and spirit are raging out of control.
b. On the other hand, there has been the deliberate temptation to make the acquisition of understanding a matter of self-exaltation: God resists the proud and well does our adversary know it.
2. God has always been unrelenting in His discipline upon those who play with the fires of ignorance and pride.
II. Luke's Focus Upon Jesus' Amazing Understanding.
A. The focus is upon Jesus' ability to "connect the dots" -- i.e., the word "understanding" means "the ability to get two separate streams to flow together".
1. This focus begins in Luke's summary introduction in 1:40 where he laid out the scenario of grace producing wisdom so that strength could result.
a. Mark 1:7 in its structural context reveals that the "strength" was "moral".
b. Luke's language reveals that the foundation of "strength" is "wisdom".
2. This focus is retained by Luke's revelation of the length of Joseph and Mary's search for Jesus.
a. In the Hebrew concept of time, "days" are cycles of contrasts which consist of darkness and light.
1) This pushes us immediately back to the Genesis One context where we are first introduced to "days" as cycles of darkness and light.
2) In that context, "understanding" is set forth as a major issue in that the creation scenario deliberately pits three problems against three solutions.
a) There is the huge problem of "darkness" that is met by the introduction of "light". In the New Heavens and Earth, there is no night -- signifying the fact that the lack of understanding has been resolved.
b) There is the huge problem of "chaos" that is met by the introduction of "order".
c) There is the huge problem of "emptiness" that is met by the introduction of "fulness".
b. In the Hebrew concept of numbers, "three" is a reference to "adequacy".
1) At least part of the reason Jesus was not raised until the "third" day is that the "point" of a "third day" resurrection is that the redemption by the death of the Lamb was "adequate" to meet the need.
2) The issue of a "three day search" indicates that Jesus' demonstration of understanding was "adequate" to establish its reality...while Joseph and Mary were being stymied in their search, Jesus was on display in the Temple in order to prove Luke's thesis: Jesus was "being filled with wisdom" so that He could "be made sufficiently strong to be able to meet the need" for which He had been born.
3. This focus is extended by Luke's record of the way Jesus' understanding was established.
a. He had the "wisdom" to listen.
b. He had the "wisdom" to ask questions.
c. He had the "wisdom" to answer the issues.
4. This focus is madethefocus by Luke's record of the reason the audience was amazed.
B. The focus is upon Jesus' ability as the One qualified by His moral excellence to be the Salvation of God.
III. Luke's Desire for Theophilus.
A. On the one hand, Luke would not have written to Theophilus if he thought Theophilus was "impenitent".
1. That Luke wrote to Theophilus meant he expected the man to develop his skill as one who lives life: why write to one who loves death?
2. That Luke wrote to Theophilus meant that he expected the man to have escaped the dangers of impenitence.
a. God will not do for the proud what he has already done for himself.
b. God will not do for the despairing what he refuses to do for himself.
c. God will do for the repentant whatever is needed.
B. On the other hand, Luke wrote to Theophilus so that he could walk in repentance.
1. Repentance means to be committed to the acquisition of wisdom.
2. Repentance also means to be committed to the confidence that Jesus is more than adequate for where we fail, and willing to redeem those who are willing to trust in Him.