Luke Chapter 2
The Birth of Jesus.
(Read: Luke 2:1-24)
Jesus was born during the reign of Roman emperor Augustus. The emperor ordered that census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. So Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register his name with Mary. He was a descendant of King David. It was a sixty five mile journey. While they were at Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to give birth to Jesus. With no midwife to help, Mary wrapped the baby in the swaddling clothes and laid him a manger, because there was no room in the inn. Dead bodies were wrapped in the swaddling clothes. This foretells the poverty, rejection and death Jesus was going to endure (2 Cor 8:9). An angel made the first announcement of the Savior’s birth to lowly shepherds in the field watching over their flock by night. They were the marginalized people in the society. They were considered unclean and undependable. They were frightened by the appearance of an angel. But the angel reassured them by saying “Don’t be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy for all. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”. Jesus is called here; the Savior, the Christ and the Lord. Suddenly the angel joined a multitude of angels to praise God by saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom God is pleased”. The glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds. The shepherds marveled because nothing like this had happened for hundreds of years. It is the message of Joy because our Savior has arrived. He will bring peace and acceptance to God. Immediately Shepherds went to Bethlehem to see the child. They spread the news of the miraculous birth of Jesus to everyone. All who heard it marveled. God is reaching out to the world with the loving message of joy and peace. God is pleased with those who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Christians should be the most satisfied and joyful people on the earth. To learn more read Matthews 1:18-25. Despite our background and failures, God reaches out to us with his gracious message.
The Prophecy of Simeon and Anna.
(Read: Luke 2:25-52)
Simeon was a godly man, eagerly waiting for the coming of the Messiah in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit told him that he would see the Messiah before he died. Guided by the Spirit, he went to the Temple when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus there to present him to the Lord as the Law required. He took the child in his arms and praised God saying “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen the Savior you have given to all people”. Joseph and Mary were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. He also spoke about the agony Mary will suffer seeing her son being crucified (Luke 2:35). In Simeon’s words we see God’s intended purpose of the gospel to save the entire world. Gospel is the good news of peace to all people. To believe in the gospel is to believe in God. Like Simeon those who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord will be blessed with eternal life. Anna was from the tribe of Asher and was a widow. Her husband had died when they had been married only for seven years. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, worshiping with fasting and prayers. When she saw Jesus, she began praising God. She spoke about Jesus to everyone waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. What an example to follow! The boyhood of Jesus was natural as far as his physical, mental and social growth are concerned. But it was unique in relationship to his wisdom and understanding of spiritual things. At age twelve, Jesus accompanied Mary and Joseph to attend the Passover feast. They lost track of Jesus on their way back to Nazareth. On the third day they found Jesus in the Temple discussing with religious teachers. All who heard him were amazed at his wisdom and knowledge. When Mary said, "Son, why have you done this to us? We were searching for you everywhere". Jesus said to them “Why are you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he meant. But Mary treasured up all these things in her heart. Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, favor with God and favor with men. Like Mary, we may not understand the ways of God completely but we can follow her example meditating and wondering about Christ in our hearts (Luke 2:51).