Text: Luke 2:40-52
Event(s): The childhood and adolescence of Jesus; Jesus visits the temple at Passover, age 12; 18-year account of the adolescence and adulthood of Jesus
Luke 2:41 “The Passover celebration” One of the benefits of studying the Gospels chronologically is that you get to see how the events of Jesus’ life and ministry corresponded to the rhythm of the Jewish feasts. God clearly works in rhythms, seasons and appointed times. There are three major Feasts to take note of whenever you see them mentioned: The Feast of Passover, The Feast of Weeks (also known as Pentecost), and the Feast of Tabernacles.
Luke 2:47 “they were astonished at His understanding..” Understanding literally means “a putting together” or a quickness of apprehension. Jesus had to learn the law and Scriptures, but He was able to put “two and two together” very quickly. Today, by the power of the Holy Spirit living within us, the Bible says we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) We have a supernatural ability to understand – both the logical, practical side of things as well as the analyzing, discerning side of things.
Additional (optional) reading:
The Feast of Passover (Exodus 12) takes place in the spring time on the fourteenth day of the Hebrew month, Nisan (which corresponds with our March/April). In the same way that many colleges have academic years and businesses have fiscal years, the month in which Passover occurs kicks off the religious year for Israel.
Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost (Exodus 23:16; Numbers 28:26-31) also takes place in the Spring and corresponds with our calendar in the month of May/June. This Feast is named such because it was to occur precisely seven “weeks” and one day after Firstfruits (which is the third day after Passover). So we have Passover, then on the third day after that is Firstfruits, and on the 50th day from that is Pentecost. Jesus was “handed over and crucified” on Passover (Matthew 26:2); He rose from the grave on Firsfruits (1 Corinthians 15:23)and 50 days later, we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2). God clearly works in seasons and appointed times.
Feast of Tabernacles takes place in the Fall, corresponding with our October. Also a seven day feast, each day was filled with important festivity. Observant Jews erected little “huts” as a reminder of the temporary housing erected by their forefathers while they wandered through the wilderness. The spring feasts relate to Jesus’ first coming; the Fall Feast(s) portray events to be associated with His second coming.
Additional (optional) resource: A conversion calendar helps to understand when the dates of these Feasts (which are instituted according to the Hebrew calendar) correspond to our Gregorian calendar.