The Life of Jesus - week 1 - Jesus: the one who prepares
Sermon date: Jan 13th
Reading: Luke 2:41-52
Have you ever had a child gone “missing”, even for a few minutes? If so, describe your feelings:
When you realized your child was not with you
Whilst you were searching
When the child was found
What was life like for you when you were 12 (if you can remember!)?
How is it different for a child aged 12 today?
Please do not feel you have to follow these notes line by line, but seek to make them relevant to the needs of your group.
READ Luke 2 verses 41-52
Mary and Joseph were perfectly happy to set off back to Galilee with a large crowd. This tells us a lot about the kind of world they lived in – family and friends in close-knit mutual trust.
Q.1 How different do you think they might be feeling back in Jerusalem, searching for Jesus?
A large and potentially dangerous place; full of dark alleys, soldiers and traders.
When Mary found Jesus she must have felt a sense of relief and guilt. Her response is not, “How could I have done this to you, leaving you behind like that?” BUT “How could you do that to us?”
Q.2 What do you make of Jesus’ response?
Accepts no blame, but rather gives a gentle rebuke (49)
Can you recall a later story in Luke’s Gospel where a couple thought they had “lost” Jesus? (On the Emmaus Road, 24.13-35) In both stories that same Greek word is used meaning “It was necessary”. For both couples, finding Jesus was a surprise. Jesus does not do or say what both couples were expecting.
Q. 3 Can you recall a situation when you have found being a Christian has led you in unexpected ways?
DISCIPLESHIP ALWAYS INVOLVES THE UNEXPECTED
At the heart of the story is the Temple. Luke has already told of incidents involving the Temple: Zechariah’s vision (1.5ff) Mary and Joseph meeting Simeon and Anna (2.22ff) And the Gospel ends with the disciples in the Temple, praising God (24.50ff) But in between, some of Jesus’ sternest teaching was against the way the Temple was operating.
Q.4 There is no Temple today, but what of our local church – what might Jesus say of us?
“We must not assume Jesus is accompanying us as we go off on our own business” (Tom Wright)
Q.5 Do you agree with this comment? If so, is there a lesson for us to learn?
Society’s festivals can be seen as markers for young people in their growth to maturity. For a Jewish boy, Passover raises many questions: Who am I? What is my relationship with God? What is my relationship with my community? Young people in our own society are seeking for answers too, so,
Q.6 How can we (as a church) use our Christian Festivals as a way of helping our young people
in this process?
There is much in this passages about FEELINGS.
Q.7 Can you describe the different feelings experienced by Mary and Joseph? Pride/anxiety/bewilderment.
And by Jesus? Excitement/commitment/good to be trusted/thrilled to be debating with the religious leaders …
Q.8 Why do you think Luke includes this story?
There are no other recorded stories in any of the Gospels involving Jesus before he began his public ministry.
Part of God’s plan from the beginning
To show the relationship between Jesus and God the Father existed from the beginning
To show Jesus always knew he was the son of Mary and the Son of God
Q.9 Do you think God has a “plan” for your life?
Can you give an example of how this has worked out in the past (or perhaps is working out right now)?
Spend some time now PRAYING for the children and young people attached to our church. Pray particularly for those who have recently started secondary school and who will now be 12 years old – in an environment where it is not always easy to own up to being a Christian.