The Boy Wonder: Luke 2:39-52

The Boy Wonder


1. The childhood growth before Jesus’ first Passover

39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. Luke 2:39-40 (ESV)


2. The background of Jesus’ first Passover
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. Luke 2:41-42 (ESV)


Jesus trip at twelve was significant because in another year, as a thirteen-year-old, Jesus would officially become a "son of the commandment," a full member of the synagogue (cf. Mishnah, Niddah5:6), similar to the modern custom of bar mitzvah


3. The problem after Jesus’ first Passover
43  And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44  but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45  and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.Luke 2:43-45 (ESV)


4. The knowledge of Jesus at the time of His first Passover
46  After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47  And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.Luke 2:46-47 (ESV)


5. The parent’s distress in Jesus’ first Passover

48  And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.”Luke 2:48 (ESV)


Mary wanted to know why Jesus did such a “seemingly” insensitive thing, which prepares for Jesus to reveal His identityand the fact that His parents must come to understandHis mission.

Kent Hughes: The point is, he (Jesus) was capable of unknowinglycausing his parents distress; but as a sinless being, he was incapable of knowinglydoing it. 

6. The insight of His mission at the time of Jesus’ first Passover
49  And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”50  And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51  And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.Luke 2:49-51 (ESV)John 5:17-18 (ESV)


Jesus’ response is not so much a reproach about having right priorities as it was a declaration of His mission.


7. The adulthood growth after Jesus’ first Passover
52  And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.Luke 2:52 (ESV)


Rod Matoon: Jesus grew mentally(wisdom). As a human, there were things He needed to learn. He matured physically(stature), spiritually(favor with God), and socially(favor with men).