Jesus Is The Example For Children In The Home

Luke 2:40-52

1. Behavior of children is not a new problem:

"Our youths love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority--they show disrespect for their elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up food, and tyrannize teachers." (Socrates, c. 400 B.C.)

2. There are numerous rules and laws in the Bible that deal with the children's responsibility in the home However, not all problems can be solved by reading rules. The application in specific circumstances often prove difficult.

3. Bible teaches by both precept and example; rule and illustration (cf. Subject of conversion) Thus divine message clearly understood.

4. This evening I propose to consider the laws of God on this subject in the context of the divine example found in this single incident recorded from the boyhood of Jesus. Cf. I Jn.2:6


A. Jesus Was Human

1. Humanity requires development. But He was also God.

2. Conception difficult. How increase in favor with God??

3. Was He infinite from mother's womb? Evidently not, v.52.

4. Through difficult to understand Jesus developed in mind and body as his human nature demanded, Heb.4:15.

B. Jesus Grew In Statue, v.52

1. Normally considered natural process, yet we know it doesn't occur without proper concern for the body.

2. "Jesus grew big and strong" v. 40 Beck.

Requires proper food and exercise.

3. Paintings often represents Jesus as pale and anemic. Not so.

4. God requires proper regard for our bodies, I Cor.6:19.

C. Jesus was "increasing in wisdom," v.52.

1. Jesus had increased and continued to increase, v.52

2. Obtained through word and prayer, II Tim.3;15; Js.1:5.

3. Jesus was listening, asking questions of teachers, v.46.

4. Wisdom required of us, Col.3:16; 4:5

D. Jesus Grew In Favor With God, v.52

1. While difficult for us to understand, it is profitable when thought of as an example for us.

2. Responsibility not limited to children but certainly applies, I Pet.2:1-2; II Pet.3:18.

4. Spiritual growth also requires proper food and exercise.

E. Jesus Grew In Favor With Man, v.52

1. Typical attitude today, "I don't care what other people think."

2. Christians should care, I Cor.8; Rom.14:19; Heb.10:24-25



A. Jewish law stated that child at age 12 became "Son of the law," began to observe its requirements; feasts, etc. v.41, 42

B. At this point in development we find Jesus in the Temple,

having learned enough to teach the teachers, recognizing:

1. God as His father, v.49. Cf. Matt.10:37

2. Spiritual obligations, v.49. Cf. Matt.6:33

3. Purpose in life, "Fathers business," v.49. Cf. Ecc.12:13

4. Importance of assembling for worship, v.41-42. Cf. Heb.10:25

4. Importance of Bible study, v.46, 47. Cf. IITim.3:15

5. Joy in worship, v.42-43. Cf. Ps.122:1

a. Was absorbed in privilege.

b. Took president over social opportunities, v.44.


A. Mothers often have problem coping with changing relationship.

1. Challenge was multiplied for mother of Jesus.

Mary's little boy. Just "yesterday" was changing diapers.

2. Mothers teach, train children. Jesus was taught, trained.

Mary was in child training "mode," v.48

3. Jesus had progressed, matured beyond their realization, v.49

C. She did not understand, v.50

1. Parents know children will become mature, independent.

Mary knew, Lk.1:30-31, 32-3; Later, Jn.2:3-5

2. Timing of process is often a problem. Child typically perceives more progress. Resents treatment as child. Parents, often understandably, have difficulty seeing progress.

3. Jesus was just beginning to fulfill His role.

This evidence of His "increase" caught her by surprise.


A. In spite of "abuse" (v.48), Jesus was "in subjection," v.51.

B. Later in life, Jesus submission to abusive authority was sited by Peter as example for slaves and wives, I Pet.2:18, 21, 3:1

C. Same kind of submission required of children.

1. "this is right," Eph.6:1.

2. "in every thing," Col.3:20.


A. He "continued in subjection," Lk.2:51

1. Submitted when misunderstood and continued

2. This conduct is highest form of honor (not lip service).

3. "Continued" till death, Jn.19:26

B. Children commanded to honor parents, Eph.6:2.

1. Required when they discipline, Heb.12:9.

2. Must speak, act with respect, Matt.15:4.

Contrast, "Yea, Nah, Old man"

3. Our obligation "continues," I Tim.5:4

Don Patton


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