TruthTexts Luke Study: Chapter 2 Luke Study – Chapter 2

Written and Posted by Timothy Smith

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More Actions that Apply to Any Chapter:

• Choose a verse, phrase, or section from today’s study that spoke to you, and explain what it means, as if you were talking to a friend.

• Now think of any other verses in any other part of the Bible that reinforce what you learned (or teach a similar lesson). You could use an online Bible and do a word or topic search, if your Bible does not have study notes.

• Now apply what you’ve learned today to your own life. What will you do (start doing, keep doing, stop doing, or change) from reading and thinking about our study today?

• Pray, in your own words, asking God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to help you remember what you’ve learned, and ask for the power to live more like Jesus.

Luke Chapter Two:

The Birth and Childhood of Jesus of Nazareth

Thinking About Chapter Two:

A former pastor once remarked that there are “fifteen ways for Luke to be wrong” in just the first three verses of chapter two. His point was that Luke was a very careful historian. Luke was also a keen observer of people. As we read chapter two, look for people who encountered the young and growing Jesus of Nazareth, and notice their reactions to him, beginning with his earthly parents. Also notice the faithfully observant Jewish upbringing Jesus received, and watch for the first public hints that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Son of God.

The Birth (a “Deep Dive” into some background)

Both Matthew and Luke record that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but only Luke explains why: the census and the fact that Joseph was a descendent of David. In chapter 2:5-6, we get a strong indication that Joseph and Mary did not get married until after Jesus was born. The Angel’s message to Joseph in Matthew 1:18-24 explains Joseph’s reason why. But Mary came to Bethlehem because she too was a descendent of David, as we will see later in Luke’s genealogy.

• Why did Joseph wait to wed Mary formally until after  Jesus’ birth? What does this tell us about Joseph?

The Angels Announce the Birth to the Shepherds (2:8-20)

God’s reasons for announcing the birth of the Messiah to humble shepherds are not explained to us. But we can guess. There are hints in the message of the Angel of the Lord. “Glad tidings...for all people!” and “Born today in the City of David...” When the entire choir of angels break forth, they sing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (2:14, NIV)

• Why do you think the angels gave the message to  shepherds (instead of priests or officials for example)?

• The Messiah’s coming is for “all people.” But peace  comes only to which people? (How do people receive  Christ’s peace? See 2 Peter 1:2)

Jesus is Named and Presented in the Temple (2:21-38)

Verse 21 confirms for us what Joseph heard the Angel tell him in Matthew 1:18-25. Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) means, “The Lord Saves.” Shortly thereafter, Mary and Joseph present Jesus their “first born” in the temple, explained in Luke’s first direct quotation from the Old Testament (2:23). There, two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, see the child being presented. By the power of the Holy Spirit, they recognize Him as the promised Messiah. In a beautiful act of worship, Simeon takes the child Jesus in his arms and blesses him. Anna also worships God, and goes home telling everyone that the Messiah had come. And Mary and Joseph are once again reminded that this child is different from all others before or since!

• Why is the meaning behind the Baby’s name important to  all believers?

• Look at Simeon’s blessing for the young Messiah. Who  else besides the Jews will receive “salvation” and “light”?  What glory will come to Israel? (See Genesis 22:18)

• In what ways are Anna and Simeon examples for us?

Hints of a Remarkable Childhood: Jesus in the Temple (2:41-52)

When Jesus was twelve years old (technically an adult in his training), He and his family went to Jerusalem for the Passover as they always did. But Jesus ended up staying in the Temple with the priests and scribes. He amazed them all with his knowledge and insights. His worried parents found him there three days later.

• What did Jesus say that puzzled his parents? What did  Jesus already realize about himself? (2:49-50)

• Use verses 40 and 52. What was the growing Jesus like?

• A “Deep Dive” – Use verses 40 and 52. Luke is very general about Jesus’ early life, saying Jesus grew “in wisdom, in height, and in favor with God and man.” Using Luke’s words to help you, what was the young Jesus like?  

• Use verses 19 and 51. What was Mary’s reaction to being the mother of the Messiah?