JW Reading - Daily portion


This week's reading is LUKE 2-3.

Today's portion goes from 2:37 to 3:2.


37 and she was a widow now 84 years old. She was never missing from the temple, rendering sacred service night and day with fasting and supplications. In that very hour she came near and began giving thanks to God and speaking about the child to all who were waiting for Jerusalem’s deliverance. 38  39 So when they had carried out all the things according to the Law of Jehovah, they went back into Galʹi·lee to their own city, Nazʹa·reth. And the young child continued growing and getting strong, being filled with wisdom, and God’s favor continued upon him. 40  41 Now his parents were accustomed to go from year to year to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was 12 years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival. 42  When the days of the festival were over and they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, and his parents did not notice it. 43 44 Assuming that he was in the group traveling together, they went a day’s journey and then began to search for him among the relatives and acquaintances. But not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem and made a diligent search for him. 45 Well, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and asking them questions. 46 But all those listening to him were in constant amazement at his understanding and his answers. 47  Now when his parents saw him, they were astounded, and his mother said to him: “Child, why did you treat us this way? Here your father and I have been frantically looking for you. ” 48 But he said to them: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in the house of my Father? ”49  However, they did not understand what he was saying to them. 50  51  Then he went down with them and returned to Nazʹa·reth, and he continued subject to them. Also, his mother carefully kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus went on progressing in wisdom and in physical growth and in favor with God and men. Chapter 3 In the 15th year of the reign of Ti·beʹri·us Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Ju·deʹa, Herod was district ruler of Galʹi·lee, Philip his brother was district ruler of the country of It·u·raeʹa and Trach·o·niʹtis, and Ly·saʹni·as was district ruler of Ab·i·leʹne, 2 in the days of chief priest Anʹnas and of Caʹia·phas, God’s declaration came to John the son of Zech·a·riʹah in the wilderness.

/////////// Publications researches ///////////


2:37

never missing from the temple: Anna was constantly at the temple, possibly from the time the temple gates were opened in the morning until they were closed in the evening. Her sacred service included fasting and supplications, indicating that she mourned over the prevailing conditions and longed for change, like other faithful servants of God. (Ezr 10:1 :
Ne 1:4 :
La 1:16 :
Lu 2:38 :

rendering sacred service: Or “worshipping. ”—See study note on Lu 1:74 :

74 to grant us, after we have been rescued from the hands of enemies, the privilege of fearlessly rendering sacred service to him


2:39

the Law of Jehovah: Although existing Greek manuscripts read noʹmon Ky·riʹou, “Lord’s Law, ” there are good reasons for using the divine name in the main text. This expression occurs many times in the Hebrew Scriptures as a combination of the Hebrew word for “law” and the Tetragrammaton. (For example: Ex 13:9 :
2Ki 10:31 :
1Ch 16:40 :
22:12 :
2Ch 17:9 :
31:3 :
Ne 9:3 :
Ps 1:2 :
119:1 :
Isa 5:24 :
Jer 8:8 :
Am 2:4 :
Kyʹri·os where it would be expected according to standard grammatical usage, making Kyʹri·os tantamount to a proper name in this context. In view of the Hebrew Scripture background and the absence of the Greek definite article, the divine name is used in the main text. —See
study notes on Lu 1:6 :

They both were righteous before God, walking blamelessly in accord with all the commandments and legal requirements of Jehovah.


2:23 :

23 just as it is written in Jehovah’s Law: “Every firstborn male must be called holy to Jehovah. ”


App. C :

2:40
fl 152 :

Of his preteen years, the historical account at Luke 2:40 says that “the young child continued growing and getting strong, being filled with wisdom, and God’s favor continued upon him. ” His parents doubtless played a major role in his development, for, though he was perfect, his wisdom would not be automatic.


2:41

his parents were accustomed: The Law did not require women to attend the Passover celebration. Yet, it was Mary’s custom to accompany Joseph on the annual journey to Jerusalem for the festival. (Ex 23:17 :
34:23 :


2:42

went up: That is, they went up to Jerusalem, a journey that involved ascending through hilly and mountainous terrain. —See study note on Lu 2:4 :

Of course, Joseph also went up from Galʹi·lee, from the city of Nazʹa·reth, into Ju·deʹa, to David’s city, which is called Bethʹle·hem, because of his being a member of the house and family of David.


2:43
fl 152-153 :

They departed from Jerusalem without realizing that he was being left behind, perhaps assuming that he was with other returning friends or relatives.


2:44
fl 152-153 :

They departed from Jerusalem without realizing that he was being left behind, perhaps assuming that he was with other returning friends or relatives.


ad 573; g61 2/22 28; w55 241 :

Much later on the flat plain of Dura in Babylonia King Nebuchadnezzar set up an image to which all were ordered to bow in worship. Its “height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits”; yes, that idol with a breadth of nine feet towered ninety feet up into the air to command the attention and worship of the people. (Dan. 3:1) Though this monstrosity filled the people with awe, faithful Hebrews did not bow in its service.

JOURNEYS

In Biblical times how far would one travel in a day? Well, that might depend on what day it was, who was in the party and how rough the country was. So when reference is made to “a day’s journey” we can hardly stamp it with a fixed distance. Perhaps we can say that it would average about twenty miles. Some might go thirty miles, but if one was traveling with a sizable group it might not amount to more than ten miles or so. 7 Perhaps this was the case with Jesus’ parents. When they were returning home from the festival “the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, and his parents did not notice it. Assuming that he was in the company traveling together, they covered a day’s distance and then began to hunt him up among the relatives and acquaintances. But, not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem, making a diligent search for him. Well, after three days they found him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them. ”—Luke 2:43-46, NW.

If, now, it was the sabbath day in Israel, one would not be going very far at all. Less than a mile from the city gate was permitted. (Acts 1:12) This is based on the thought that, while the tabernacle was 2, 000 cubits (or 3, 000 feet) from the camp of Israel, the people were permitted to go at least that far on the sabbath. 8 (Josh. 3:4) Undoubtedly it was due to this restricted travel that some who saw the dead heaved up from their tombs at the time of Jesus’ death did not come into the holy city Jerusalem and report the occurrence until the first day of the week, after the Lord was raised. What force, too, this appreciation of the sabbath day’s journey lends to Jesus’ words: “Keep praying that your flight may not occur in wintertime nor on the sabbath day. ” (Matt. 24:20; 27:52, 53, NW) A flight of less than a mile would be of little value in escaping the vengeance of destroying armies.

LAND AREA

For land measures two methods were in use in Israel. One designated the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day; literally the expression is a “span of a field. ” It is translated “acre” in the American Standard Version of the Bible. (1 Sam. 14:14; Isa. 5:10) The second method stated the amount of seed required to sow a given area. Thus, the ‘sowing of a homer


2:46

asking them questions: As shown by the reaction of those listening to Jesus, his questions were not merely those of a boy seeking to satisfy his curiosity. (Lu 2:47 :
Mt 27:11 :
Mr 14:60, 61 :
15:2 :
4 :
Ac 5:27 :


2:48
ia 169-170 :

Mary and Joseph, though, were astounded. In the Bible record, Joseph is silent. But Mary’s words speak eloquently for both of them: “Child, why did you treat us this way? Here your father and I in mental distress have been looking for you. ”​—Luke 2:47,  48.

24. How does the Bible paint a realistic picture of parenthood?

24 Thus in a few deft strokes, God’s Word paints a realistic picture of parenthood. It can be stressful​—even when the child is perfect! Parenting in today’s dangerous world can bring untold “mental distress, ” but fathers and mothers can take comfort in knowing that the Bible acknowledges the challenge they face.


w12 4/1 27 :

Mary and Joseph, though, were astounded. In the record, Joseph is silent. But Mary’s words speak eloquently for both of them: “Child, why did you treat us this way? Here your father and I in mental distress have been looking for you. ”​—Luke 2:47,  48.

Thus in a few deft strokes, God’s Word paints a realistic picture of parenthood. It can be stressful​—even when the child is perfect! Parenting in today’s dangerous world can bring untold “mental distress, ” but fathers and mothers can take comfort in knowing that the Bible acknowledges the challenge they face.


w94 10/15 19 :

11. What was the reaction of Mary and Joseph to what they saw and heard, and what does one theological dictionary suggest?

11 When Jesus’ parents finally came on the scene, “they were astounded. ” (Luke 2:48) Robertson says that the Greek word in this expression means “to strike out, drive out by a blow. ” He adds that Joseph and Mary “were struck out” by what they saw and heard. In a sense, Jesus already was an astonishing teacher. And in view of this incident in the temple, Kittel’s work makes the claim that “Jesus already commences in His boyhood the conflict in which His opponents will finally have to surrender. ”

12. What marked Jesus’ later interchanges with religious leaders?

12 And surrender they did! Years later, it was by such questioning that Jesus defeated the Pharisees until they did not “dare from that day on to question him any further. ” (Matthew 22:41-46) The Sadducees were likewise silenced on the question of the resurrection, and “no longer did they have the courage to ask him a single question. ” (Luke 20:27-40) The scribes fared no better. After one of them had had an exchange with Jesus, “nobody had the courage anymore to question him. ”​—Mark 12:28-34.

13. What was it that made the episode at the temple significant in Jesus’ life, and what further awareness does it suggest?

13 Why was this incident involving Jesus and the teachers at the temple the one singled out from his boyhood for recounting? It was a turning point in the life of Jesus. When he was about 12 years of age, he became what Jews would term a “son of the commandment, ” responsible for observing all of its ordinances. When Mary complained to Jesus about the mental distress he had caused her and Joseph, her son’s reply indicated that he likely realized the miraculous nature of his birth and his Messianic future. That is suggested by his noting that in a very direct way, God was his Father: “Why did you have to go looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in the house of my Father? ” Incidentally, these are the first words from Jesus that are recorded in the Bible, and they indicate his awareness of Jehovah’s purpose for his being sent to the earth. Thus, this entire episode is one of major significance. ​—Luke 2:48,


g90 2/22 26 :

Your parents also have your best interests at heart, and because of imperfection, they may overreact when your welfare seems threatened. For example, the Bible writer Luke tells of the time when 12-​year-​old Jesus attended the Passover in Jerusalem with his family. As his parents were returning home, they noticed he was missing. They made a diligent search for him, and “after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them. ” No doubt Jesus was enjoying this conversation with men much older than he. Nevertheless, when his mother came on the scene, perhaps in full view of these principal men of the nation, she said: “Child, why did you treat us this way? Here your father and I in mental distress have been looking for you. ”​—Luke 2:41-48.


yp 27-28; w87 2/15 6 :

Think of Joseph and Mary’s concern at the end of that first day, when they found that Jesus was missing. And imagine their growing worry during the two days that they searched Jerusalem for him. However, it turned out that their training of Jesus paid off in this crisis. Jesus had not got into bad company. He was not bringing shame on his parents.


2:49

he said to them: The words that follow are Jesus’ first words recorded in the Bible. As a young boy, Jesus was evidently not fully aware of his prehuman existence. (See study notes on Mt 3:16 :

16 After being baptized, Jesus immediately came up from the water; and look! the heavens were opened up, and he saw God’s spirit descending like a dove and coming upon him.


Lu 3:21 :

21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus too was baptized. As he was praying, the heaven was opened up,


Mt 1:20-25 :
2:13, 14 :
19-21 :
Lu 1:26-38 :
2:8-38 :

I must be in the house of my Father: The Greek expression for “in the house of my Father” is literally rendered “in the [things] of my Father. ” The context shows that Joseph and Mary were concerned about Jesus’ whereabouts, so it is most natural to understand these words to refer to a location, or place, that is, “the house [or “dwelling; courts”] of my Father. ” (Lu 2:44-46 :
Joh 2:16 :


2:51

he went down: Jerusalem was about 750 m (2, 500 ft) above sea level. The term ‘go down’ is used here of leaving Jerusalem. —Lu 10:30, 31 :
Ac 24:1 :
25:7 :
study notes on Mt 20:17 :

17 While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the 12 disciples aside privately and said to them on the road:


Lu 2:4 :

Of course, Joseph also went up from Galʹi·lee, from the city of Nazʹa·reth, into Ju·deʹa, to David’s city, which is called Bethʹle·hem, because of his being a member of the house and family of David.


42 :

42 And when he was 12 years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival.


continued subject: Or “remained in subjection; remained obedient. ” The continuous form of the Greek verb indicates that after impressing the teachers at the temple with his knowledge of God’s Word, Jesus went home and humbly subjected himself to his parents. This obedience was more significant than that of any other child; it was part of his fulfilling the Mosaic Law in every detail. —Ex 20:12 :
Ga 4:4 :

sayings: Or “things. ”—See study note on Lu 1:37 :

37 for no declaration will be impossible for God. ”


2:52
w62 202 :

for the family unit, that of producing children who, in turn, were to become righteously trained as members of an expanding human society.

3, 4. (a) What was provided for juveniles, and what was the course of life set before them? (b) Answers to what questions are desired?

3 In this manner, over a long period of juvenile immaturity of nearly twenty years, the family arrangement provided an administration of training involving care, discipline, protection and education under the guidance of loving parents. (Prov. 4:1-9; 2 Cor. 12:14) Likewise this was to make possible, from generation to generation, the transmission of all man’s acquired attainments, knowledge and wisdom to an ever-enlarging stream of mankind. During childhood and adolescence the minors were to remain integrated or held together as parts of the family whole, sharing to the full in family activities, worship, work, joys and recreation. (Luke 2:51, 52) There was to be no shunting off into collective groups or a segregating of the youngsters to another’s care and propaganda influence. When adulthood was reached, such ones could then stand as prepared individuals to form new family units. Thus the one-time infants, likened to “slaves” under the wise control of their parents, were now emancipated or set free to become “men in charge” themselves of new family households. —Gal. 4:1, 2.

4 Due to man’s ancient rebellion in Eden against his Creator, to what extent today has there been a deviation from this original ideal for the human family? With all the information now available in the Bible, is there any group making an honest effort to return to the original Biblical standards of family life and purpose? What is this nucleus of a New World society? In answer let us now examine the family situation in various societies operating on earth today.

THE FAMILY IN SOVIET SOCIETY

5. Describe the family in Soviet society, and what about honoring parents?

5 In the society of Soviet Russia the family is considered a “collective body, ” a communist cell. The parents’ authority over children is delegated to them by the State. The parents’ duty toward their children is actually a duty toward society. Children are even admired when they distrust their own mothers and seek to go their own way into collective service groups. A prominent Soviet educator, A. S. Makarenko, in his book, A Book for Parents, confirms all this when he writes: “Our [Soviet] family is .  .  . a natural collective body. The family becomes the natural primary cell of society. Our parents are not without authority either, but this authority is only a reflection of societal authority. The duty of a father in our country toward his children is a particular form of his duty toward society. ” Later this same author relates a story of a boy who ran away from home after some differences with his mother and then comments: “I am a great admirer of optimism and I like very much young lads who have so much faith in the Soviet state that they are carried away and will not trust even their own mothers. ” All this stands contrary to God’s grant of authority to parents over their children. —Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4.

6. (a) How does Soviet training lead to the development of the collective man? (b) How do these ways square up with the Bible?

6 The Biblically ordained way of integrated, united family-circle life is further weakened from early childhood in the Soviet type of society. Efforts are made to wean and entice Soviet children from infancy into the segregated or collective way of life. In many cases three-month-old babies are boarded out and older infants are kept in daytime nurseries for uniform, state-controlled upbringing while their mothers work out secularly. Youths are


w57 621 :

“Who Is Wise and Understanding Among You? ”

IF WE were to ask a half-dozen people this question propounded at James 3:13, we would probably get as many different replies. One might answer: A truly wise man is a man of letters, a man who has gone through college or university and earned a degree. Another might tell us that the truly wise man is one who has the interests of his country at heart and who therefore takes up politics as a career and then devotes all his efforts to reaching some high political office in which he can help shape the course of his country and the destiny of his fellow men. Still another would reply: Money is security! Therefore the wise course is to enter commerce and then accumulate as much material wealth as possible. This path, he says, means security for himself and his family.

All of these men may be wise according to the wisdom of this world, but in taking up their life’s work their relationship to the Creator is not taken into account. One and all are motivated by self-interest in one form or another. If they believe in the existence of a Creator they do not stop to consider what their Creator expects of them nor how best they can please him. They may succeed in gaining wealth, power, influence or popularity, but what does it profit them? Jesus answered that question at Matthew 16:26: “For what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? ” In the end it profits them nothing. Furthermore, their wisdom is not of an enduring nature. Much of it is not in harmony with God’s standards, nor with the righteous principles set forth in his Word. Accordingly ‘the wisdom of their wise men shall perish. ’ (1 Cor. 1:17-27) The reasonings of those who leave God out of account are futile and of no permanent value.

Who, then, is truly wise? The wise man is the one who seeks wisdom from above. (Jas. 3:15-18) Jehovah God is the source of all true wisdom. His thoughts and ways are very much higher than man’s. Wisdom is one of his cardinal attributes. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. ”—Isa. 55:8, 9, AV.

How can such wisdom be gained? One is not born with it. It must be acquired. (Deut. 17:18, 19) Such was true even of the Son of God himself. (Luke 2:52) His knowledge was obtained by studying his Father’s Word. He became very familiar with it. As a result of his study he could clearly see why he had been sent to earth and what his Father’s purpose for him was. Jesus did not choose his own course in life. He appreciated his relationship to


3:1

the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius: Caesar Augustus died on August 17, 14 C. E. (Gregorian calendar). On September 15, Tiberius allowed the Roman Senate to proclaim him emperor. If the years were counted from the death of Augustus, the 15th year of Tiberius’ reign ran from August 28 C. E. to August 29 C. E. If counted from when he was formally proclaimed emperor, the 15th year ran from September 28 C. E. to September 29 C. E. John evidently began his ministry in the spring (in the northern hemisphere) of 29 C. E. , which is within the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius. In Tiberius’ 15th year, John would have been about 30 years old, which was the age when the Levite priests began their service at the temple. (Nu 4:2,  3 :
Lu 3:21-23 :
fall, about the month of Ethanim (September/October). John was likely six months older than Jesus and evidently began his ministry six months before Jesus did. (
Lu, chap.  1 :
study notes on Lu 3:23 :

23 When Jesus began his work, he was about 30 years old, being the son, as the opinion was,

of Joseph,

son of Heʹli,


Joh 2:13 :

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.


Herod: That is, Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. —See Glossary :

Herod

The family name of a dynasty that ruled over the Jews by appointment from Rome. Herod the Great was famous for rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem and for ordering the slaughter of children in an attempt to destroy Jesus. (Mt 2:16; Lu 1:5) Herod Archelaus and Herod Antipas, sons of Herod the Great, were appointed over sections of their father’s domain. (Mt 2:22) Antipas was a tetrarch, popularly referred to as “king, ” who ruled during Christ’s three-and-a-half-year ministry and through the period up to Acts chapter 12. (Mr 6:14-17; Lu 3:1, 19, 20; 13:31, 32; 23:6-15; Ac 4:27; 13:1) After that, Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great, was executed by God’s angel after ruling for a short time. (Ac 12:1-6, 18-23) His son, Herod Agrippa II, became ruler and reigned up to the time of the Jewish revolt against Rome. ​—Ac 23:35; 25:13, 22-27; 26:1, 2, 19-32.


was district ruler: Lit. , “was tetrarch, ” that is, a minor district ruler or territorial prince ruling only with the approval of the Roman authorities. —See study notes on Mt 14:1 :

14 At that time Herod, the district ruler, heard the report about Jesus


Mr 6:14 :

14 Now King Herod heard of this, for the name of Jesus became well-known, and people were saying: “John the Baptizer has been raised up from the dead, and that is why the powerful works are operating in him. ”


Philip his brother: That is, a half brother of Herod Antipas. Philip was a son of Herod the Great by his wife Cleopatra of Jerusalem. He is sometimes referred to as Philip the tetrarch to distinguish him from his half brother also named Philip (sometimes called Herod Philip), mentioned at Mt 14:3 :
Mr 6:17 :
study note on Mt 16:13 :

13 When he had come into the region of Caes·a·reʹa Phi·lipʹpi, Jesus asked his disciples: “Who are men saying the Son of man is? ”


Ituraea: A small territory of varying and undefined boundaries located NE of the Sea of Galilee, evidently in the vicinity of the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges. —See App. B10 :

Trachonitis: The name comes from a Greek root meaning “rough, ” probably a reference to the roughness of the terrain in that area. Trachonitis was part of the territory previously known as Bashan (De 3:3-14 :

Lebanon Mountain range


3:2

chief priest Annas and .  .  . Caiaphas: When pinpointing the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist, Luke refers to the days when the Jewish priesthood was being dominated by two powerful men. Annas was appointed high priest about 6 or 7 C. E. by Quirinius, the Roman governor of Syria, and served until about 15 C. E. Even after Annas was deposed by the Romans and no longer held the official title of high priest, he evidently continued to exercise great power and influence as high priest emeritus and the predominant voice of the Jewish hierarchy. Five of his sons held the office of high priest, and his son-in-law Caiaphas served as high priest from about 18 C. E. to about 36 C. E. So although Caiaphas served as high priest in 29 C. E. , Annas could rightly be designated a “chief priest” because of his dominant position. —Joh 18:13 :
24 :
Ac 4:6 :

John: Only in Luke’s account is John introduced as the son of Zechariah. (See study note on Lu 1:5 :

In the days of Herod, king of Ju·deʹa, there was a priest named Zech·a·riʹah of the division of A·biʹjah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.


God’s declaration came to John, using wording similar to that found in the Septuagint regarding the prophet Elijah (1Ki 17:2 :
20:28 :
21:28 :
Mt 11:14 :
17:10-13 :
in the wilderness, but Matthew specifies it as “the wilderness of Judea, ” that is, the generally uninhabited, barren eastern slope of the Judean mountains stretching down—a drop of some 1, 200 m (3, 900 ft)—toward the western bank of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. —See
study note on Mt 3:1 :

3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Ju·deʹa,





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JW Reading - 2018