Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider the birth and youth of the Man-Savior. His birth is described in 2:1-20, and His youth, in 2:21-52.
Luke 2:1-3 says, “Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus for all the inhabited earth to be enrolled. This first enrollment took place when Quirinius governed Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.” Augustus Caesar, the second of the Caesars, was the successor of Julius Caesar. It was during the reign of Caesar Augustus that the Lord Jesus was born.
A decree went out from Caesar Augustus for all the inhabited earth to be enrolled. This was sovereign of God, as mentioned in Proverbs 21:1. By this enrollment Mary and Joseph were brought from Nazareth to Bethlehem so that the Savior might be born there for the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the place of His birth (Micah 5:2; John 7:41-42).
Luke 2:4-5 says, “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to David’s city, which is called Bethlehem, because he was out of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, who was espoused to him and was pregnant.” The house and family of David were the royal house and family in line to inherit the throne of David (3:23-31; 1:32; see Matt. 1:6-16). Apart from the decree of Caesar Augustus, it might not have been possible for Joseph and Mary to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Such a move was necessary in order for Christ to be born in Bethlehem to fulfill the prophecy in the Old Testament.
Verse 7 says, “And she gave birth to her son, the firstborn; and she wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” The Man-Savior’s life began with a manger in the lowest estate. This beginning was due to the fact that fallen mankind was fully occupied with its own fallen activities. We may say that the manger is a symbol of the Savior’s human living.
Luke presents a Man-Savior. Following the narration of His conception, Luke gives us, in this chapter, an excellent record concerning certain aspects of the Man-Savior’s human life. Luke describes His genuine human birth according to the law of God’s creation of man so that He might be a Man-Savior for the salvation of man. He gives an account of His physical circumcision according to the law of God’s ordination (2:21-24) so that He might be the legal seed of Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14), to be the One in whom the promise of God to Abraham—“in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3)—as the gospel preached to him (Gal. 3:8), could be carried out for all the nations (Gal. 3:14). In this chapter we see the Man-Savior’s human growth according to the law of human life (v. 40), so that He might be a perfect Man to express God for the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan. Finally, Luke records the Lord’s proper boyhood, the boyhood of the One who grew in the interest of God in relation to His deity as the Son of the Father (vv. 40-52), so that He might have the full measure of wisdom, stature, and favor with God and men.
The record in this chapter concerning the Savior’s birth and youth is completely different from that in Matthew 2. What Matthew records of events that took place at the Savior’s birth and during His youth constitutes striking evidence of Christ’s legitimate kingship. Luke’s record of the same birth and the same youth is of another category, that of events which offer strong proof of Jesus’ genuine humanity. The two records cover only two of the different aspects of the Savior’s wonderful status. Whereas Matthew’s record testifies that Christ is the proper King prophesied in the Scriptures, Luke’s record concerning the youth of Jesus proves that He is a proper man. The two are absolutely different.
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