One of the things Luke makes clear throughout his gospel is that Jesus came with purpose. He came with a mission to accomplish. One of the ways he does this is with the little phrase “it is necessary” (or “I must”). Take a moment to consider them gathered here in one place.
“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” (Luke 4:43)
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:22)
“I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:33)
“He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” (Luke 17:25)
“I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’” (Luke 22:37)
“The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (Luke 24:7)
“Was it not necessary (read: must) that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26)
“Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24:44)
I left one out of this list and it’s found in our passage this Sunday. The first sentence we hear Jesus speak in Luke is in 2:49 is as a twelve-year-old. He’s just given his parents a scare by lingering in the temple when they had already headed home from Jerusalem after the Passover Feast. He had stayed behind to discuss the things of God with teachers who “were amazed at his understanding and his answers.”
“Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
In His first “I must” statement, Jesus claims a unique intimacy with God His Father and makes it clear that, even as a pre-teen, he understood his purpose (in part) to be revelation and instruction.
Jesus has a strong sense of identity with the Father and is committed to the mission God has sent Him to do… Jesus recognizes Himself as sent by the Father to reveal His will… Jesus declares that He is called to instruct humans because He has a close, personal relationship to the Father and has a mission to carry out from Him. The implication for the reader is clear, “Let anyone who has ears listen to what is taught by His Son!” (Darrell Bock)
This Sunday Jason Oakes will be preaching Luke 2:41-52. Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you please pray for each as they prepare? And pray that each and every one of us who gathers to hear God’s word this Sunday, in person or online, would have ears to listen and would leave just as amazed at Jesus’ understanding and His answers. And pray that the Holy Spirit would make us as eager and willing to be submitted to the “musts” of our heavenly Father, hungry to do His will.
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
Hallowed Be Your Name by Songs of Grace
Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come, Your will be done
Magnify Your fame in all the earth