44Instead, they thought that He was somewhere in the caravan, and they went a day’s journey; and then they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances.
44But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
In this sermon on Luke 2:44 titled “Are You a Christian?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives listeners a sober reminder. Just as Joseph and Mary supposed Jesus was in the crowd when He wasn't, many people assume they are Christians when they are not. Joseph and Mary went on their travels without examining whether or not they had Jesus by their side. This, Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues, is what people do when they convince themselves of their salvation without examining themselves. Christianity is not attaining a high ethical standard for living, but rather an inward transformation by the Holy Spirit upon receiving Jesus Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks, “What do you have when everything else is taken?” If one does not think of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is likely that they do not have new life in Him. In times of turbulence and war, the Christian can be assured that Christ will walk with them. To meet Jesus, Dr. Lloyd-Jones adds, is to be humbled by Him. Listen in as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones encourages about the only true hope in the universe.
- The passage under consideration is Luke 2:44 which describes Jesus being left behind in Jerusalem at the age of 12. This passage is both historical and serves as a parable.
- The main message of the passage is the danger of assuming or supposing that Christ is with us when he may not be. This is a tragic mistake to make.
- It is sad for people to delude themselves or be self-deceived. This is especially tragic in the realm of Christianity where our eternal destiny depends on our relationship with Christ.
- There are times, like the present, where the importance of not being self-deceived is particularly urgent and important. We must know exactly where we stand with Christ.
- The way to know if Christ is with us is if he makes all the difference in times of crisis and trial. Do we know we are not alone? Do we have a comfort the world does not know? Are we not afraid?
- Christ himself taught that those with him would have rest, an easy yoke and light burden, never hunger or thirst, and have living water. The test is if this proves true in our experience.
- Examples of those who proved Christ's presence in times of trial were the Apostle Paul, early Christian martyrs, and saints. They knew comfort, peace, and courage through Christ.
- The first reason people mistakenly assume Christ is with them is because they expect him to do their will rather than submitting to his. They want a Christianity they can control.
- The second reason is a failure to understand who Christ truly is. They see him as merely a good teacher or example rather than the Son of God and God himself. Only in encountering Christ is one humbled.
- The third reason is a failure to understand why Christ came into the world. It was not primarily to improve the world or end wars but to reconcile man to God through his atoning sacrifice. He came to seek and save the lost.
- Joseph and Mary did not understand who Christ was or why he came. The doctors of the law argued with the 12-year-old Christ, showing their lack of understanding. Christ's mission was his Father's business.
- Christ came to restore the world to God, reunite heaven and earth, reconcile man to God, justify by faith, and complete the final judgment and renewal of creation. This is the Father's business.
- We must know if Christ is with us and examine ourselves. We must seek him with all our heart, finding in him a refuge and savior. He is with those who come to him in their failure, despair, and helplessness.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.