by Steven Cholak

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study: The Divine Father’s Business for Christmas 2A Gospel.

Text: Luke 2:41-52 for the Second Sunday after Christmas, Lectionary Series A


  1. To help participants relate to the parent /son relationship of Mary and Joseph/Jesus to their own personal life.
  2. For participants to better understand how earthly fathers derive their essence and authority from the perfect heavenly Father.

Group Guidelines

This Bible study has been developed for use in small groups. The pastor or DCE should lead this study and encourage as much participation as possible.

Building Community

  1. Take time to get acquainted in your group. Share your name and where you attend school. In addition, share the most exciting thing that happened to you this week.
  2. Finish one of these statements:
    I can remember a time I lost something very important and I was afraid because…
    I can remember one time I was lost and my parents were afraid because…
    I remember a time when a friend lost something and couldn’t find it and I…

Looking at God’s Word

  1. Each member of the group should take turns reading the passage from Luke 2.
  2. Share with the group which passages from this reading stood out to you. Why?
  3. Which of the Ten Commandments do you think of while reading this passage?
  4. Read Ephesians 6, are there any connections between Paul’s words and our lesson?
  5. In reading Luke 2:40, what can we say about Jesus as a human?
  6. This particular section of Scripture is focused on the boy Jesus staying behind in Jerusalem while his parents started to make the trip back to Nazareth. Particularly it is said that everyone was amazed at his understanding and his answers, including his mother. Jesus gives his mother the famous response to her questioning, “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
    This text may address some issues of fourth commandment concerns. The text says that Jesus was submissive to his parents. What do we do when we disagree with our parents? What do we do if we think our parents are not doing a good job at being parents? Despite how good a job our parents do at caring for us (even Jesus’ parents fail at their jobs…like unto the movie, Home Alone, Mary and Joseph leave the boy Jesus behind and go at least three days without him) God teaches us to be submissive to our parents and to honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them. How do we understand who our Heavenly Father is if our earthly parents are subpar or absent or even worse, negligent? Even in the face of sin, Jesus wants us to love and honor our parents.
  7. Attitudes and concerns… Mary and Joseph experience fear and anxiety. Jesus is concerned with the work of the kingdom and is very calm and deliberate about it. How do you react to someone who is calm and collected when you are afraid or anxious?
  8. It is important for us to understand that Jesus remained sinless throughout this time away from his family. Jesus was about his heavenly Father’s business and at the same time continued to keep the fourth commandment perfectly. This can be lost especially in Mary’s reaction and instant questioning of Jesus.

Reinforcing What Has Been Learned

Get a large piece of paper and put the words, “Heavenly Father’s House” in the middle. Have each person then write various things that we do as Christians in our Father’s House. Then have each participant think back to when they were between 12 and 14 years old. What did you learn about your God during those years? Discuss how Jesus as a boy learned and asked questions like other boys his age. Why is it important that Jesus was a boy?


Prayer for the group: Almighty God, who has given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him and to be born of a Virgin; grant that we, being regenerate and made your children by adoption, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit, through the same Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.