Messages from Pastor Raddatz

January 2, 2022, Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Houston TX: Psalm 119:97-104, 1 Kings 3:4-15, Ephesians 1:3-14, Luke 2:40-52  

Luke 2:40-52, Jesus in the Temple: Amazing and Guiding

Main Idea: Jesus was always about his Father’s business.  He is the center of the good news.

Grace mercy and peace to you, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Dear People of God,

What are some of your Christmas and New Year’s traditions?  Do any of them involve travel?  Have you or your loved one ever got lost during your trip. Well Jesus’ family was traveling for the Jewish celebration of the Passover.  He appeared lost, but he was about his father’s business. 


Theoretically, Jewish men were required to go to three feasts in Jerusalem each year -- Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles -- though only the Passover was strictly observed. Those at some distance, especially the poor, could not attend all the feasts. But women -- and sometimes children -- might attend, too.  Passover celebrated God delivering the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, and pilgrims to the feast would stay a minimum of two days, sometimes longer. 

Jesus was now the around the age of twelve: he was expected to attend the festival when he was thirteen.  Now at the age of twelve he goes to observe what he will be part of next year. 


Jesus in the Temple was obeying his heavenly Father: to guide people to him as Savior.  

  • V. 43, “while his parents were looking for him, he stayed behind…”

It was not unusual for the parents to travel with family or friends from their village.  Parents looked after the little ones.  It was a celebrative atmosphere.  They were excited to re-count how God liberated them from the bondage of the Egyptians.

  • V. 47, “Everyone who heard him were amazed at his understanding and answers

His human nature did not always use his divine powers, as when it grew in stature and wisdom, Luke 2:52 (Epitome of Formula of Concord, VIII, 16), but in his communication in the temple he was not expressing what he had learned from others, for the teachers of Israel were amazed by it and his parents did not fully understand it.  His questions, filled with profound understanding (vv. 46-47), may well have included the kind described by Edersheim’s series The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, that is, penetrating inquiries to clarify the meaning of religious speakers, such as he often used in later life (e.g., Mt 15:3; 21:21; 22:42, 45).

"The members of the Temple-Sanhedrin, who on ordinary days sat as a Court of Appeal, were to be visible on Sabbaths and feast-days to come out upon 'the Terrace' of the Temple, and there to teach."

Sometimes we hear this passage explained as if Jesus was teaching the teachers, but that misunderstands the context. The listeners would be sitting on the ground at the feet of the teachers, who were also seated. The rabbinical style of teaching used questions on the part of the students, from which discussion would rise. 

Finally, Jesus’ parents found him.  When he was questioned why he was here with the Sanhedrin, the teachers, Jesus replied, I must be about my Father’s business.

Ron Galdino writes: ( sermon on Psalm 139

I became a thief at the age of five. I went into a grocery store and my mother was busy making sure that the tomatoes were just right. When she wasn’t looking I saw the bright shiny little box. At the time the words on this shiny box said lemonheads, and at the time it seemed like the best words in the world. I looked at this little yellow shiny box and wondered what the candy would taste like. Would they be sweet like honey or sour like real lemons? I took the candy and put it in my pocket. After a while we walked out of the store. My mother put me in the car seat in the back of the car.

When we got home I hid in my room, and I started eating my candy. After finishing the candy, I did not feel right. My mother came in my room and found the empty little box. I wanted to hide, and I could not look at my mother in the eye. She knew immediately what I had done. She knew me. I tried to lie, but she could see right through me. My mother told me, “Don’t hide what you did, the grocery store clerk told me.” I was scared and I started to cry. My mother held me. She did not yell, and she did not punish. My mother then said, “Don’t worry I paid for it.” My mother paid the price so that I would not have to hide from her.

People of God, in the same way, Jesus paid the price of our sins so that we would not have to hide from God. We fall short and we feel like we want to hide from God. Intimacy can be both something scary and uncomfortable we wish to hide from. But intimacy also affords something grand.

God sees all and God knows all.  God forgives all.  What a wonderful gift to live with.  It is like the fuel in our car.  It’s what propels us, to be about the Father’s business.  


Guiding = “Always about my Father’s business

Jesus business was to redeem mankind.  This has a double meaning.  To redeem means to buy back, but it also means to liberate and to free.  He was pointing his mother to his true purpose that his life was to be for the glory of God.  He was the sacrificial messiah.  I wonder if Mary re-called some of the prophecies, like the one from Simeon, that he will cause your heart, Mary to be pierced too!  

  • Jesus always understands: Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” NIV
  • To feel "sympathy" with, i.e. (by implication) to commiserate: —have compassion, be touched with a feeling of.


Jesus always understands what you are going through.   He has experienced every human emotion and every temptation and every struggle.  He is the compassionate shepherd.  He will always forgive you.


Have you been about your Father’s business?   Are you sympathizing with others?   Are you touched to action with a feeling of compassion?  Those in the New Testament era were moved to action!  


Hebrews 10:34 reminds us of this, (NIV) You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

Jesus is in the center of every one of your days.   He will amaze you and guide you.  Amen.

May this peace, which passes all human understanding, keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting, Amen.

To God be the Glory,

Pastor John Raddatz

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