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Form 2 CRE Notes On The Infancy And Early Life Of Jesus
Grade/Class: Form 2
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TOPIC 2:THE INFANCY AND EARLY LIFE OF JESUS
THE ROLE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (Lk.1:5-25.3:1-5, 7:20-35)
In the introductory chapters of Luke’s gospel, the author talks about the birth of john
This is because John prepared the way for the messiah in that:
- John the Baptist acted as a link between the old and New Testament
- He called people to be baptized as a sign of repentance so that they would receive forgiveness of their sins
- He preached to the people about the Messiah who would be mightier than him .That would baptize with the Holy Spirit
- He baptized Jesus before the beginning of his ministry
- He introduced Jesus to his disciples as the messiah
- He condemned social evils during his time .For example he condemned Herode Agrippa for taking Herodias his brother’s wife
- He preached to the people to turn away from their wicked ways of life.
- He bore witness to Jesus as the Lamb of God.
FEATURES OF JOHN’S FORM OF BAPTISM
- It was received once by each individual
- It was a requirement for all the Jews and the Gentiles
- It required full immersion into water
- It was related to the baptism administered by the Messiah who was about to start his ministry
- John’s baptism was made compete through baptism with the Holy Spirit
THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (Lk.1:5-25)
- The birth of John the Baptist was announced during the reign of King Herode the great .Zachariah was one of the priests and he had a wife called Elizabeth .They were both righteous before the Lord .However they did not have a child because Elizabeth was barren and both of them were advanced in age.
- Zachariah was in the temple burning incense that Angel Gabriel appeared to him .He was troubled, but the angel told him
- Not to be afraid for his prayers had been answered.
-That his wife, Elizabeth was going to have a son
- He shall be called John.
- He would be great before the Lord.
- He shall not drink wine nor strong drinks.
- Many would rejoice at his birth.
- He would be filled with the Holy Spirit even in the mother’s womb
- He would turn the hearts of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God
- He would have the spirit of Elijah
- He would turn the hearts of the fathers to their children.
- He would prepare the people for the Lord
Zachariah could not believe the angel’s message because Elizabeth his wife was barren and both of them were advance in age .So he asked for a sign .The Angel told him that he would be struck dumb until God fulfils His message to him .When he finally came out, he could not speak to the congregation .They realized he had received a vision in the Temple .After three days, her wife Elizabeth conceived and she hid herself for five months.
ANNUNCIATION OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS [LK 1-26-38]
During the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin woman named Mary who was engaged to Joseph, a descendant of King David. Mary was troubled and he (the angel) told her not to be afraid for she had found favor the Lord .The angel announced the following Concerning Jesus to Mary:
- She shall conceive and bear a son
- He shall be called Jesus
- He will be great
- He will be called the son of the most high God
- He will rule over the house of Jacob forever
- The lord would give him the throne of his father David.
- His Kingdom would last forever.
- That she would conceive through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- He would be called the son of God.
MARY VISITS ELIZABETH (Lk.1:31-55)
After angel Gabriel left her, Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth (Zachariah’s wife, As soon as Mary greeted her, the baby in the womb leaped with joy .Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit who revealed to her that Mary was going to be the mother of the Messiah Mary’s remarks were in form of a song commonly referred to as the MAGNIFICANT
“My heart praises the Lord,
My soul is glad because of my savior for He has remembered me His lowly servant.
From now on people will call me blessed,
Because of the great things that the mighty God has done for me.
His name is Holy.
From one generation to another.
He shows mercy to those who fear Him.
He has stretched his mighty arm and has scattered the proud with all their plans.
He has brought down mighty Kings from their thrones and lifted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich empty handed.
He has kept the promise He made to our ancestors and He has come to the help of his servant Israel.
He has remembered to show mercy to Abraham and to all His descendants forever”
LESSONS LEARNT ABOUT THE NATURE OF GOD FROM THE MAGNIFICAT
a) God is the redeemer /savior, He has brought salvation through Jesus from the house of King David
b) God is mighty and He has done great things.
c) God’s name is holy.
d) God is merciful. He shows mercy to those who fear Him.
e) God is caring .He scatters the proud with all their plans and lifts the lowly.
f) God is the provider .He sends the rich empty handed and fills the hungry with good thing
g) God keeps His promises that he made to our forefathers such as Abraham
h) He is kind /helper to His servant Israel.
THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (Lk.1:57-80)
When John was born, it was an occasion of great joy to his parents
The child was circumcised on the eighth day according to the Jewish custom. Relatives wanted to name him Zachariah after his father. However, both Zachariah and Elizabeth insisted he would be called John. To confirm this, his father who was still dumb was given a tablet and wrote his name John. Zachariah who was dumb was able to speak again. Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and like Mary, he also sang a hymn which is referred to as the Benedictus. He described God as THE BENEDICTUS
He is the redeemer because he has saved his people from sin.
God has brought salvation through Jesus from the house of King David.
He has kept His promises that He made to Abraham and through the prophets in the Old Testament.
The sacred part of the hymn (Lk 1:76-79) outlines the mission of John. It says.
- He would be called the prophet of the Most High God.
- He would go before the Lord to prepare the way.
- He would give the knowledge of salvation to his people.
- He would call people to repentance and forgiveness.
- He would give light to those who sit in darkness and in shadow of death.
THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST (Lk. 2:1-20)
The birth of Jesus took place in Bethlehem the city of David during the reign of Emperor Augustus Caesar.
A Census had been ordered by the emperor. Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem the Birth place of Jesus.
When the time came for her to have her child, there was no place available to her for the entire place available had been booked. She gave birth and laid the child in a manger and wrapped him with clothes.
In that region, there were shepherds looking after their flock; the angel of the Lord appeared to them, shepherds got scared but the angel told them not to be afraid, he had good news for them.
The good news would bring great joy to all the people.
The Messiah had been born in David’s Town. They would go into the town and would find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
Suddenly an army of heavenly angels appeared and sang a praise of God saying;
Glory to God ion the highest and on earth peace be toward men
When the angels left, the shepherds went to Bethlehem and saw the baby lying on a manger. They told the parents of Jesus about the message from the angel. Mary kept to her heart all the things she had been told.
The fact that the first people to get information about the birth of the Messiah were shepherds symbolized that God’s salvation goes to the humble and the lowly.
HOW THE BIRTH OF JESUS WAS EXTRA ORDINARY
1. He was born and laid on a merger although he was a king.
2. His birth was announced by angel Gabriel.
3. His conception was through the Holy spirit/born of virgin.
4. His birth was revealed first to shepherds through an angel.
5. He was given a name before he was born.
6. The angel sang in praise of God during his birth
7. His future role was given before he was born
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST AND JESUS CHRIST
1. The births of both of them were announced by angel Gabriel
2. Both the parents were disturbed when they received the good news
3. Their future roles were announced by Angels before they were born
4. Both of them were given names before they were born
5. They both had extra ordinary births. The conception of Jesus was through the holly spirit while that of john, the parents were already old.
6. Both were first borne of their families
7. Both the parents were filled with Holy Spirit and there was joy during the birth.
8. Both families were righteous before the lord.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE WORKS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST AND THAT OF JESUS CHRIST
1. John the preached mainly in the wilderness while Jesus Christ Preached in Synagogue and in the temple.
2. John the Baptist called people to repentance while Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins.
3. John baptized with water while Jesus baptized with Holy Spirit.
4. John preached about the promised Messiah while Jesus preached about the kingdom of God.
5. John prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah while Jesus preached that he was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.
6. John was direct in his preaching while Jesus taught in parables.
7. While John the Baptist fasted, Jesus ate and drank.
8. John the Baptist did not perform miracles while Jesus Christ performed signs and wonders.
9. John the Baptist lived life of all Nazareth while Jesus mixed freely with all the people.
THE DEDICATION OF JESUS (Luke 2:21-40)
On the eighth day, Jesus was circumcised according to the Law of Moses and after 40 days he was brought to Jerusalem by his parents for purification. This was because a woman was considered to be unclean after giving birth. It was also in line with God’s command to the Israelites that all the male borns that opened the wombs would be dedicated to God. They were to bring a pair of doves or two young pigeons according to the Law of Moses (Lev: 12:1-8)
In Jerusalem, there was a man named Simeon. He had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Messiah.
He was righteous before the Lord. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he came into the temple where the parents of Jesus had brought him. He took him up in his arms and said:
1. Jesus would save people.
2. He would bring glory to Israel.
3. He would be a light to gentiles.
4. He would be a universal savior.
5. He would bring judgment to the Israelites.
6. Many people would oppose him in his work.
7. He will reveal secret thoughts of people.
8. He would be a source of redemption for people.
9. God had fulfilled his promise.
In the temple, there was a prophetess named Anna. She was a widow and was advanced in age. She also made a prophecy that Jesus is the one who would deliver God’s chosen people from oppression. Meanwhile his parents returned to their home village, Nazareth in Galilee.
JESUS AT THE TEMPLE (Luke 2:41-52)
The parents of Jesus were careful to bring Jesus up in obedience to the Mosaic laws. Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Passover in accordance to the Mosaic laws. Jesus also accompanied his parents when he was twelve years old. When the festival was over they were to return home, but his parents were unaware that he was left behind. They only realized that Jesus was not with them after that day. They began looking for him among their friends and relatives but they did not find him. They then returned to Jerusalem and it was in the temple that Jesus parents found him, listening to teachers of law and asking questions. All those who heard him were astonished at his intelligence.
Many asked him why he had caused them trouble. Jesus in response said ‘Why did your have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in my father’s house? `
Jesus returned to Jerusalem with his parents and many kept all the experiences in her heart. The three days that Jesus remained in the temple symbolically foreshadowed the days he was to be in the tomb and rising to glory on the third day.
Jesus questioned to the teachers of the law, shadowed that he was familiar with the scriptures. The answer he gave to his parents suggests that he was aware of his divine relationship with God.
He also knew that his first duty was to serve God and then his family.
Jesus also wanted to show that he was fulfilling the prophecy of Malachi who had foretold that the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS CAN LEARN FROM JESUS’ INCIDENT IN THE TEMPLE
i. Jesus was the son of God.
ii. Parents should bring their children to obey God.
iii. Family ties should not be broken.
iv. Parents should provide opportunity to their children to mix freely with others. This was when the parents went with him to the feast.
v. Parents should love and be concerned about their children.
vi. Children should obey their parents. It is also important to read the scriptures to know the will of God.
vii. Parents should recognize their children’s’ talents.
viii. There should be opened communication among family members.