Jesus Was Under The Law

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After Jesus, the Word, became flesh on the first Christmas (John 1:1-18), the Gospel of Luke continues its story about Jesus, the Messiah, in 2:21-24 NASB:

21 And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

On one hand, Jesus, who is the Creator of all things visible and invisible, is above the Law, on the other hand, Jesus, who was identified as in flesh, humbled Himself to be under the Law and by becoming obedient to the point of death on the cross on His own initiative while the Law is a picture of salvation by Jesus, the Messiah, Himself. All the Mosaic Law were given in Exodus and Deuteronomy under the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses). And ultimately the Mosaic Law was fulfilled only by Jesus, the Messiah.

All sacrifices were eventually pointing to Jesus, the Messiah, and “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” are representing redemptive offerings by financially not rich people like Joseph & Mary as prescribed in the Law.

When Jesus was about two years old, the Magi (Wise Men or Kings) visited Jesus followed by the Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:1-18). After Herod the Great died, the Family returned, as God instructed, to Nazareth in Galilee described in Matthew 2:23 NLT:

So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

Nazareth is where Jesus was brought up (Luke 4:16). So Jesus was called “Jesus of Nazareth” because people were identified at that time by their place of residence or natives (John 1:45). In Nazareth, Jesus was not performing mighty works due to their unbelief (Matthew 13:54-58). The name, Nazareth or Nazarene, became a stumbling block to those who see the background of Jesus because they thought as described in John 1:46 NASB:

Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

The adolescent Jesus understood fully His purposes and mission while Joseph & Mary were sometimes not able to comprehend spiritually their Jesus as the Divinity dwelt in the bodily form as flesh in Luke 2:41-52 ESV:

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 according to custom. 43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parent saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Jesus was claiming He was in His Father’s house [business] not in the temporal house with Joseph & Mary and it had nothing to do with His earthly parents’ missing Jesus for three days, either. Jesus, the Messiah, by Himself was the Passover Lamb and Temple which Joseph & Mary did not understand. – T

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1 thought on “Jesus Was Under The Law

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