The text for yesterday’s sermon was Luke 2:40-52. Please read the text first. Any comments welcome:
The Gospel of Luke, more than any other Gospel, is a travel narrative. It is Jesus’ travel log to Jerusalem in order to dangerously usher in the Kingdom of God. The Gospel is organized by Luke to have a geographic order in it.
So Luke records that Jesus started his adult ministry in Galilee (in the north) from Luke 4:14-9:50. In 9:51, the Gospel records that Jesus resolutely set his face like flint on Jerusalem. Resolutely. Like flint. Why? Because he has to go to Jerusalem to die. He must die. He must suffer. And he knows it. And he knows that he will die on a cross.
So in Luke 13:33, Jesus sends a message to King Herod in Jerusalem:
"Go tell that fox ... I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for
surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem."
So in Chapters 9:51-19:41, he takes a road south up to Jerusalem.In Luke 19, he enters Jerusalem on a donkey. And he stays there for the rest of the Gospel. And, of course, the whole thing spirals like a whirlwind within days to his execution.
Why do I say all that?
Because the risen Messiah Jesus requires something of you in all this travel. He requires you to daily take up your cross and then to follow him. (Luke 9:23)
That’s not a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a New Year’s Revolution.
That’s what Jesus requires of you: To drop all your baggage that holds you back, and pick up the only thing you need:
And then follow him.
So the obvious question is: How do I do follow him to the cross outside Jerusalem? Especially since I live nowhere near Jerusalem, and last I checked, the Romans don’t use crosses anymore.
All of Luke in some way or another helps us answer this question. How do I journey life near -- and one step behind -- my Lord Jesus?
And our text, Luke 2:40-52, helps to answer this question. It is the stunningly unique story of Jesus as a Boy. This text is a mini travel narrative in itself: from Galilee up to Jerusalem for the Passover. In some ways it foreshadows the rest of the Gospel.
So how do I follow this King Jesus?
Here is the structure of my sermon: The Boy Jesus takes us in this text to at least three places:
1. Jesus takes us from the Pious to the Personal.
2. Jesus takes us from mere Information to true Insight.
3. Jesus takes us from the Passover to the Passion.
To be continued...