“Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.”
Luke 2:47 (NIV)
At a Christmas Dinner about 15 years ago I recall a funny incident between myself and a young man 16-17 years of age. The chairperson was conducting a quiz on biblical matters and Christmas in particular. Everyone was invited to join in. I stayed back until about the fourth time this young man gave the first and fastest answer to the questions. Then it became a competition between me and him as we were on opposite teams.
With all my university training in near eastern studies and biblical matters I had a run for my money with this young fellow. Each team cheered for their champion and I was hard pressed to best my opponent. He was better in biblical knowledge than any teenager I had ever met. I am certain he was better than myself at his age. I wondered, “Who are you?”
I had never seen my opponent before and later learned that he and his family had just started coming to our church. I went over to congratulate him after and comment to his parents on what a bright young son they had. It was a most pleasant exchange.
The first time we read anything about Jesus as a self-conscious person is in Luke 2:41-50 and it is a very remarkable encounter—as He speaks like a professor to the temple teachers and asks them perceptive questions that perhaps they had not even thought about. At any event, they were amazed at this precocious young man.
When we read further in the life of our Lord we see just how important the Bible was to Him as He sought to speak to the issues of His day and handle the problems that came His way. For example, when He was tempted (Luke 4:1-13), He used the Bible to challenge Satan. When He was challenged about being the Expected One—or on some other point of doctrine—He quoted scripture each time (Mark 12:1-37).
So the Living Word used the written word to shine on the path in front of Him always. Then, He would put His own teaching on a par with the Jewish Bible (Matthew 5). He also said of His teaching, John 6:63 (NIV)
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”
So Jesus said that His words are life.
The most important question any of us can ask of Jesus is, “Who are You?” Christmas is a disaster for all who do not search out the identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Things could not be worse for anyone who has not accurately answered this question. Listen to the Scriptures about the Messiah. Learn about the incarnation. Study and understand the names given to Jesus at His birth. “Jesus” meaning “Jehovah saves”. Immanuel meaning “God with us”. On it goes. You will indeed have a Merry Christmas if you believe the truth about this One.