Luke 2

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The birth of Jesus is the central topic of Luke 2. The journey to Bethlehem, the angelic appearance to shepherds, prophecies about baby Jesus, and one childhood event are all found in Luke 2.

Birth of Jesus

Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem to register for a census declared by Caesar Augustus. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. She laid him in a manger because there was no room at the inn. That night, an angel appeared to shepherds, telling them a Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in Bethlehem. The shepherds quickly went to Bethlehem, and after finding Jesus related all that the angel had told them to Joseph and Mary. Mary treasured their words in her heart.

Luke 2 Outline

Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem
Census decreed by Caesar Augustus
Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem
Mary gives birth to Jesus
Shepherds visit Jesus
Angels appear to Shepherds at night
Shepherds visit Jesus at manger
Jesus presented at the Temple
Purification sacrifice of 2 turtle doves
Purification sacrifice of 2 turtle doves
Simeon prophesies about Jesus
Anna the prophetess sees Jesus
Joseph and Mary return to Nazareth
Childhood of Jesus
Jesus grows
Jesus amazes Temple teachers
Jesus grows

Read Matthew 1:18 – 2:23 for more about the birth of Jesus

Childhood of Jesus

The gospels reveal very little about the childhood of Jesus. Following the birth narrative, Luke twice stated that Jesus grew physically, mentally, and in favor with God (Luke 2:40 & 52).

Luke relates one story when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus was 12, and may have become a son of the law (bar mitzvah) at that time.

Now it was customary for Jews to travel in caravans from the festival, with women at the front and men at the back. Jesus may have been eligible to travel with either group, which may explain why Jesus’ parents unknowingly left him in Jerusalem.

Upon returning to Jerusalem they found Jesus in the temple, speaking with teachers who were amazed at his understanding.

Fast Facts

  • A manger is an open box from which cattle eat straw.
  • At age 12 Jesus knew God was his father (Luke 2:49).
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