The theme for this first Sunday after Christmas week is … a little child shall lead them.
- The call to worship Psalm, Psalm 148:1-6,7-12,13-14, shows all of creation — from the young to the old — singing out in praise.
- 1 Samuel 2:28-30 gives us the image of the child Samuel serving in the temple — a foreshadow of Jesus himself.
- Colossians 3:12-17 tells us how to clothe ourselves in love and gratitude as the chosen — the children — of God.
- Our sermon is from Luke 2:41-52, which tells us about our savior experiencing that most human of interludes: Being a teenager.
Luke 2:41-52 … 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 to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Why did Jesus say He “must” be about His Father’s business?
- Luke 4:43 … Luke 9:22 … Luke 13:33 … Luke 17:25 … Luke 19:5 … Luke 22:37 … Luke 24:7 … Luke 24:26 … Luke 24:44
- He was driven (from within) to do His Father’s business
- He was determined to do NOT His will, BUT His Father’s
- He was participating with the Father
What was the Father’s business?
- Luke 1:31 (Matthew 1:21) … Luke 19:10 … John 3:17 … Luke 19:30 … John 19:30
Why did Jesus have to be about His Father’s business?
- 2 Corinthians 5:11-15,16-21 …
- 2 Corinthians 5:19
Why should we be interested in doing Jesus’ Father’s business?
- Because Jesus’ Father is also OUR Father … Hebrews 2:10-11
- 2 Corinthians 5:15
Luke 2:49 …
- King James Bible … And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
- New King James Version … And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
- New International Version … “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
- Literal Standard Version … And He said to them, “Why [is it] that you were seeking Me? Did you not know that it is necessary for Me to be in the things of My Father?” …
- Berean Literal Bible … And He said to them, “Why is it that you were seeking Me? Did you not know that it behooves Me to be in the house of My Father?” …
- Young’s Literal Translation … And he said unto them, ‘Why is it that ye were seeking me? did ye not know that in the things of my Father it behoveth me to be?’
Galatians 2:20 …
- King James Bible … I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. …
- New King James Version … I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. …
- Young’s Literal Translation … with Christ I have been crucified, and live no more do I, and Christ doth live in me; and that which I now live in the flesh — in the faith I live of the Son of God, who did love me and did give himself for me;
- Literal Standard Version … I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me; and that which I now live in the flesh—I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me; …
- Berean Literal Bible … I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And that which I now live in the flesh, I live through faith from the Son of God, the One having loved me and having given up Himself for me.
Colossians 1:16 …
- King James Bible … For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: …
- New King James Version … For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. …
- New International Version … For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. …
- Young’s Literal Translation … because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created,
Acts 8:37-39 …
- KJV … 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. …
- NIV … 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  [a] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. …
- New Living Translation … 36 As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?”[a] 38 He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing.
1 John 5:7-9 …
- King James Version … 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. …
- NIV … 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.
- FOOTNOTE: 1 John 5:8 … Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century)
- NLT … 7 So we have these three witnesses[a]— 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. 9 Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son.
- YLT … 7 because three are who are testifying [in the heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these — the three — are one; 8 and three are who are testifying in the earth], the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are into the one. 9 If the testimony of men we receive, the testimony of God is greater, because this is the testimony of God that He hath testified concerning His Son.
Mark 3:29 …
- KJB … But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: …
- NKJV … but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” — …
- NIV … but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.
- YLT … but whoever may speak evil in regard to the Holy Spirit hath not forgiveness — to the age, but is in danger of age-during judgment;’ …
- LSV … but whoever may slander in regard to the Holy Spirit has no forgiveness — throughout the age, but is in danger of continuous judgment; …
- BLB … But whoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit does not have forgiveness, to the age, but is guilty of eternal sin.” (hamartēmatos = fault, sin, evil deed … from hamartano, a sin)
11.1 What is the Gospel?
The Gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God and salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. To preach the gospel is to proclaim the fulfillment of God’s purposes through the sending of the eternal Son of God in the power of the Holy Spirit to break into our fallen world, overthrow its evil, and transform and redeem all who were captive to sin and evil’s power and eternal consequences.
11.2 What are the central events of the gospel?
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
- Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
- John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
- power = exousian = privilege, competency, freedom, authority, delegated influence (biblehub.com)
- 1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
The central events of the gospel are about Jesus: his birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Through these events in the life of Jesus, God’s kingdom has broken into our time and space to bring about our salvation.
11.3 Is the forgiveness declared in the gospel extended only after repentance?
- Colossians 3:13 forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
- Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
- Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
- Matthew 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
- Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
No. The gospel is the astonishing good news that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God’s forgiveness of us is unconditional, and it is given before our confession of sin and repentance. Freed by the Holy Spirit in response to the Word of God, repentance is how we receive the forgiveness that has already been freely given to us on the basis of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. To refuse to repent is thus to refuse God’s gift of forgiveness.
11.4 How should we respond to the gospel?
- Romans 10:9-10 that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
- Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
With repentance and faith. The Son of God was sent by the Father to assume our human nature to himself and to rescue and transform it in himself. This was done to reconcile us to God so that we might become his beloved adopted children. Jesus Christ came, lived and died for our sins and has made us his own before and apart from our believing in him. He has bound us to himself by his love in such a way that he will never let us go. Therefore, the Lord calls on all humans to repent and believe in him as Lord and Savior.
11.5 If sin is so evil, how can God forgive it?
God forgives our sins because he has the grace and power to overcome them and set things right. In forgiving our sins, God is not overlooking or ignoring evil. God is opposed to sin and evil and always will be. God judges what is sinful and evil and condemns it. By forgiving us, God rescues us from the dominion and eternal consequences of sin, making all things new, including our human nature.
11.6 How does God make human nature new?
- 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
- Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Our problem as humans is not merely that we sin, but that, by nature, we are sinners. We have a corrupt, fallen nature that is inclined toward sin, often not able to resist temptation to sin. That is the bad news. But the good news is that God has remade human nature in and through the eternal Son of God who, in becoming human, took upon himself our corrupt human nature and healed it on our behalf.
11.7 What part does the Holy Spirit have in this renewal?
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Because Jesus renewed human nature, the Holy Spirit is able to minister to us as individuals on the basis of Christ’s finished work, uniting us to Jesus with his perfected human nature in a spiritual union. Through this union, the Holy Spirit imparts to us a continuous sharing in Jesus’ love and life so that we are transformed, little by little, into the image of God found in Jesus.
11.8 How can anyone resist the Holy Spirit’s bringing about this transformation?
- Mark 3:29 but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
- Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
- Question: Will they bow/confess willingly?
- Answer: Bow? … not sure. Confess? … Yes, willingly.
- 1 Corinthians 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that “Jesus is the Lord“, but by the Holy Ghost.
No one can entirely resist the Holy Spirit. In the end the Holy Spirit will make clear and evident to all the truth and reality that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of all. In the end, all will either willingly or unwillingly admit the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord of all.
However, Scripture warns of the real danger of willfully rejecting, and thus blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Apparently, some will do this, even after being convicted of the Holy Spirit’s undeniable witness that Jesus is Lord and Savior and there is no other. Exactly how this rejection is possible we are not told. We are simply warned of its possibility, which we are to take seriously lest we resist the Holy Spirit, presume upon God’s grace and minimize the many directives in Scripture to accept, receive and respond positively in repentance and faith to the proclamation of the grace of God in Jesus Christ that comes to us by his Word and Spirit.