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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

17 May 2005

Questions on Jesus’ Birth, Childhood, and Ministry

Q: What role did the wise men play in Jesus’ birth? What do you know about His childhood? Where did He travel during his ministry?

A: The wise men came some time after Jesus’ birth. We don’t know if it was a few days or up to two years later. Their direct role incorporated Gentile people in the life and coming work of the Savior. Their visit also precipitated the family’s departure to Egypt and subsequent move back to Galilee, where God desired His Son to be raised in Nazareth.

We know very little about Jesus’ childhood: He was born in Bethlehem (Lk 2:1-20), circumcised and named on the eighth day (Lk 2:21), presented at the temple (Lk 2:22-38), hidden in Egypt for a time because of Herod’s jealousy (Mt 2:13-15), and then lived in Nazareth in Galilee (Mt 2:23). Aside from these, the only account prior to His baptism, tempting, and public ministry (after his thirtieth year) involves a visit to the Temple with his parents at age twelve (Lk 2:41-52).

Jesus’ travels included Judea, Galilee, Samaria, and some of the surrounding territories.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


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