Some try to convince others that Jesus was born under the law by pointing out the scriptures that show His parents performing Old Covenant rituals. This includes His circumcision and giving the commanded offering after His birth. However, note that these were things that were done by Joseph and Mary, not by Christ Himself. Jesus was only eight days old at the time of His circumcision and was not even aware of what was going on.
Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Was Jesus Christ Born Under the Law?
On Jesus' eighth day of life, He was circumcised, and, as a firstborn, He was dedicated to God's service. It is interesting that Luke makes no mention of Mary and Joseph offering a lamb as a redeeming sacrifice, though he does record the sin and burnt offerings that they presented later on the fortieth day of His human life.
This omission appears to be because:
1. Jesus Himself was to become the redeeming sacrifice to which all other redeeming sacrifices had pointed since Moses' time;
2. His physical life was now completely dedicated to God, as had been pictured by all the other firstborn since Moses' time; and
3. He was not to be redeemed from a life of total service to God, neither by the offering of a lamb nor by the service of the now corrupt Levitical priesthood. The imperfect Levitical priesthood, which had pictured His perfect life of service since Moses' day, was soon to be set aside, and His own priesthood (after the order of Melchizedek; see Hebrews 6:20) would be reinstated.
The offering of the two turtledoves or pigeons refers to the fortieth-day purification, not to the fact that Jesus was the firstborn. Again, this purification offering was required for all births, not just for the firstborn. Luke adds in Luke 2:27: "And when the parents brought in[to the Temple] the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law . . ."
The Law of the Firstborn
Joseph and Mary left Bethlehem for Jerusalem shortly after Christ's birth. In accordance with God's laws, they needed to bring a sacrifice before God for Mary's purification (Leviticus 12:1-8). Also, they needed to dedicate Christ, as a firstborn, to God (Exodus 13:2; 22:29; Numbers 3:13; 8:16; 18:15-16).
Recognizing the Second Witness
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Luke 2:22: