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Luke 2:39 The Temple

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The Temple

In the Temple Jesus listened to and questioned the scholars. The teachers were amazed at this twelve-year-old boy named Jesus who actually was questioning them.

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Luke 2:39-52

39. “Luke portrayed Joseph and Mary as models for his readers. They, like Zechariah and Elizabeth (1:6), kept the law blamelessly…Luke sought to show that this was how Theophilus (Luke 1:3) and the other readers should live.” (Stein, H. Robert, The New American Commentary Volume 24, Luke. [Broadman Press, 1996], 118)

“Luke omitted the visit of the Magi and the flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:1-18).” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1278)

The family returned to Nazareth.

40. “The Lord Jesus grew (physically), waxed strong in spirit (spiritually), and was filled with wisdom (mentally).” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 255)

Also, we note in this verse that the grace of God was upon him.

“Jesus did not perform any miracles as a boy, traditions notwithstanding, because the turning of water into wine was the beginning of His miracles (John 2:1-11).” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 179)

“He worked with Joseph in the carpenter shop (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3) and apparently ran the business after Joseph died.” (Wiersbe, 179)


41. “Passover was a one-day feast, followed immediately by the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread.” (MacArtur,1279)

“People traveled to feasts in caravans, the women and children leading the way and setting the pace, and the men and young men following behind. Relatives and whole villages often traveled together and kept an eye on each other’s children. At the age of twelve, Jesus could easily have gone from one group to another and not been missed.” (Wiersbe, 179)

42. Jesus traveled with His family and friends to Jerusalem to attend the Passover in the temple when He was twelve.

43. Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem [KJV] “His lingering was neither mischievous not disobedient; it was owing to a simple mistaken presumption on His parents’ part that He was left behind. (MacArthur, 1279)

44. “At the age of twelve, Jesus could easily have gone from one group to another and not been missed.” (Wiersbe, 179)

Both parents thought Jesus was with the other.

At the end of the day, they went looking for Him.

45. “They looked for Him among all the people they knew, and when they discovered that He was missing, they returned to Jerusalem.” (McGee, 256)

46. Three days. “This probably does not mean they searched Jerusalem for three days. They apparently realized He was missing at the end of a full day’s travel. That required another full day’s journey back to Jerusalem, and the better part of another day was spent seeking Him.” (MacArthur, 1280)

The Temple

47. “The people had never seen anything like Jesus, nor would they ever again. His parents showed still another type of amazement. They were both frightened and overwhelmed at what they saw and heard but more overwhelmed that a son with such promise and brilliance would have treated them the way they perceived he had done.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from]

“When Mary and Joseph finally found Jesus in the temple, He was standing in the midst of the learned doctors of that day, both hearing them and asking them questions.” (McGee, 256)

48. “I think it is clear that Mary and Joseph were a little provoked with Him.” (McGee, 256)

Think about this, folks! Has a child every gotten away from you. How did you feel?

49. “Mary’s loving rebuke brought a respectful but astonished reply from Jesus: ‘Why is it that you were looking for Me?” (Wiersbe, 180)

“His reply was in no sense insolent, but reveals a genuine astonishment that they did not know where to look for Him. This also reveals that even at so young an age, He had a clear consciousness of His identity and mission.” (MacArthur, 1280)

50. “One thing is sure: Joseph and Mary didn’t understand! This was a part of the pain from ‘the sword’ that Simeon had promised her (Luke 2:35), and no doubt it happened again and again as the boy matured.” (Wiersbe, 180)


51. “His relationship with His heavenly Father did not override or nullify His duty to His earthly parents. His obedience to the fifth commandment was an essential part of the perfect legal obedience He rendered on our behalf (Hebrews 4:4; 5:8-9). He had to fulfill all righteousness.” (MacArthur, 1280) Matthew 3:15

52. “Jesus did not cease being God or divest Himself of divine attributes in order to become man. Rather, He took on a human nature (an addition, not a subtraction), and submitted the use of His divine attributes to the will of the Father (John 5:19, 30; 8:28; Philippians 2:5-8).” (MacArthur, 1280)

Hebrews 2:14-18; 5:8-9


Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Stein, H. Robert, The New American Commentary Volume 24, Luke. Broadman Press, 1996
Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. [B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from]
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004


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