Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. … After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Luke 2:41-52)
Not bad for a 12 year old! Can you imagine the surprise of those aged, experienced, old church workers? There are so many lessons we can take from this story. For now lets just focus on this- when Jesus was only a boy He was grounded enough in Scripture to discuss it with teachers. We know that Jesus is true God and true man, so the fact that He knew Scripture at an early age never seems to surprise us, but what does it teach us about the value of Scripture? When Jesus was a boy Gods people had the Old Testament in written form. They read it, studied it, and meditated on it. Jesus learned to read the Scriptures and took part in community worship. Jesus went to Bible study!
By the time Jesus was 30, He was a regular participator in Bible Study. The temple in Jerusalem was a place to gather on a large scale and was where sacrifices were offered, but each Jewish community had its own synagogue. Synagogues weren’t the place for offering sacrifices, but for studying Gods Word and learning about Scriptures with the help of a rabbi (teacher). Jesus made it a part of His daily life to spend time at His local Synagogue and become involved in Bible Study. Listen to this:
Jesus …went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. (Luke 4:14-22)
Wow, Jesus (who is all human and at the same time all God) made it His custom to take part in Bible Study and community worship! That kind of busts up any idea we may have that we are too busy, too trained, or too knowledgeable to need to study the Bible. We learn the value of Scripture from Christ! He knew and quoted the Old Testament often. In fact, one out of every ten words that Jesus says in the four gospels quotes an Old Testament passage or references it. Talk about the unity of Scripture!
What a gift we have been given in God’s Word!
Lord, Thank you for giving us your Word. Thank you for speaking to us in the Scriptures. Please send the Holy Spirit to call, gather, enlighten, and sanctify us as we study the Bible. Please enable us to be faithful readers and studiers of Your Word. Thank you for giving us such a marvelous gift, where we learn of all the other gifts you have given us as well. We especially thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus who took the punishment of our sins.
In His name we pray. Amen
Published June 2007