“And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord”
Good morning, everyone. And Merry Christmas. I hope you’re enjoying a meaningful holiday season, celebrating the arrival of Christ. And it’s great to. With you today. Thanks for coming this morning or for tuning in online as the case may be. I haven’t had the privilege of seeing you all from this vantage point in a little while, and you’re looking really good and it’s great to be able to study the scripture together this morning.
We’re going to be looking at on this final Sunday of advent, we’re going to be looking at Luke chapter 22. I would invite you to open your Bible to that passage and, uh, it’s page 8 0 5 in those pew Bibles. And we’re gonna, we’re gonna pick up with the Christmas story. We’re where Luke, uh, tells us of the birth of Christ in the stable, the arrival of the shepherds, and then the shepherds leave.
And we pick up what happens next in verse 21 of Luke chapter. So I want you to follow along. As I read out loud, beginning in Luke two verse 21, and we’ll go through verse 40. This is what the scripture says. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
And when the time came for their purification, according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord, every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice. According to what is said in the law, the Lord, a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigs.
Now there was in Drew’s a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. And this man was righteous and devout waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the holy spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the holy spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the spirit into the temple.
And when the parents brought in the child, Jesus to do for him, according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace. According to your word for my eyes have seen your salvation, that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples a light.
For revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people, Israel and his father and mother marveled at what was said about him and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign that is opposed and a sword will Pierce through your own soul also, so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
And there was a prophetess Ana, the daughter of Faneuil of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years. Having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a Virgin. And then as a widow until she was 84, she did not depart from the temple worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour, she began to give thanks to God and to speak of.
To all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. And when they had performed everything, according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
It had been almost six weeks since the birth of Jesus on that day that Mary and Joseph stepped into the crowded temple grounds. Mary looked down at her infant son now 40 days old, no longer having that wrinkled prune look that newborns often have now looking healthy with a little bit of baby fat. Mary took a deep breath.
And wondered again, am I dreaming or is this all really true? The last handful of months had been a whirlwind for Mary from the angelic visit that announced she would become the mother of the world, savior the miraculous conception of a baby in her womb while she was still yet a Virgin. It’s a tough conversation with her fiance, Joseph and his subsequent desire to break things off, which he would have done had it not been for an angelic visitor of his own that told him that the baby conceived in Mary was indeed the son of God who is coming to save his people from their sins.
Joseph was instructed to give the baby the name Jesus savior rescuer. Then there was that journey to Bethlehem. To register for the census, no room for anywhere in the end, for them just a dirty, stable, the only place available for her to give birth to her son, thinking about it. Now Mary had to chuckle who would have, right?
Who’d have written a story like this. How’s this for a headline, the king of the universe, born to a peasant girl who wraps him in strips of cloth and uses an animal feeding trial is a crib impossible. Maybe I am dreaming the sounds and the smells of the temple grounds woke Mary from her reflections.
The whole place was mobbed. The lines were long and she knew they would not get any preferential treatment poor as they were. They didn’t even have a lamb for the sacrifice. Two young pigeons would have to do. Wow. Well, they were here for two purposes. She knew. To offer the sacrifice for her purification 40 days, following the birth of her son as was instructed in the law of God and also to present their first born to the Lord, as God had instructed his people to do since the days of the Exodus in Egypt, the firstborn belongs to the Lord.
Suddenly a man approached an older man. Mary didn’t recognize him, but the man seemed as if he knew her. He was making his way through the crowd. Dead set on getting up close to Mary and Joseph and their baby. Do you know that guy? Mary S. Joseph, one of your relatives, maybe. Nope. I have no idea who he is.
Joseph replied. Hello. The man said when he reached them, he was beaming, radiant, energized. I’m Simian. Can I hold your baby? For whatever reason Mary offered no resistance and felt no reluctance in handing the baby over to the stranger. She will never forget his next words as if he were addressing the entire crowd of assembled worshipers in the hearing of everyone.
This man Simeon cried out. He’s here. He’s finally here.
You can tell I’ve used a little bit of imagination in the retelling of the events from today’s scripture passage, including the words he’s here, because swimming is not recorded is actually shouting out he’s here. But I, but I think if I were to summarize the words that Simeon did say in two words, that’s what I would use.
He’s here. He’s finally here.
I believe the reason that Luke has decided to include in his gospel, this encounter at the temple with Simeon is because he wants us to know for certain, that Jesus really is the son of God and savior of the world. That’s his purpose in all of chapters, one and two, as he’s been recounting in well-researched.
The story of Jesus’ arrival. And you can’t read these accounts in chapters one and two of Luke without realizing that it’s true. Jesus is the long awaited and promised rescuer he’s here. Believe it, know it for certain, put your faith in him. He says, here he’s come to save his people from their sins.
That’s really what Luke’s stated. Purpose of his whole gospel is you see that in his opening verses of chapter one, where he says in verse four, that you may to speaking to, Theopolis the one to whom he addressed this letter, that you may have certainty concerning the things you’ve been taught. He wants us to know for sure.
That’s his entire point in this encounter of Simeon in the temple Simeon’s declaration in the temple while he’s holding the baby Jesus in his arms, it serves to further Luke’s purpose. That you and I would know and believe that the savior is here, Simeon savior, Israel, savior, the world’s savior, your savior and mine.
So I want to look at three things with you today in our study of this passage. First, I want us to look at the context of this temple encounter, because we’re going to see an amazing mystery that this baby in the temple is the one to, to whom all the temple activity had always pointed and anticipated.
And now he’s here. That’s going to be the context. Then we’re going to look at the character of this temple messenger Simeon. We’re going to see in semi and a holy spirit filled, man. Who’s about to make a holy spirit inspired declaration about this baby and the temple. It’s a message. Luke does not want us to miss.
And then finally, we’ll examine the content of Simeon’s temple declaration. And we will see a new that the long awaited savior of us all is now here, he’s finally here. So let’s jump into the context. Now, this is going to be, I confess to you that, that the toughest part of our study, because we’re going to have to delve back into some stuff from the old Testament.
That’s a little less, it’s a little more obscure than some of the other things. So it’s going to take a little work to sort through it, but it’s important that we do that. So this context, the context of this temple encounter, what were Joseph and Mary and the infant Jesus doing at the temple in the first place?
What’s the context of this encounter. And Luke describes that for us in verses 22 and 24. If you want to look at them again. And when the time came for the purification, according to the law of Moses, what does that mean? It’s not immediately apparent to modern readers. We’ll have to look into. Uh, the time came to praise for their purification.
According to the law of Moses, they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. As it’s written in the law of the Lord, every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice. According to what was said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, what does this mean to offer the sacrifice that was talked about in the law of the Lord?
What old Testament scriptures is Luke quoting here and why? Well, Mary and Joseph are at the temple with their infant son to faithfully follow through and obey to deeply meaningful religious rituals that God had ordained in the law for his people to follow. One is outlined in Leviticus 12, it’s the purification for a mother and her child following childbirth.
And the other comes from Exodus 13, the redemption of the firstborn son by presenting him as holy to the Lord. Now we’ve got to look at these patterns. So I’m going to turn to Leviticus 12 and you can look at it also if you want. And just let me read some of this so that we understand what’s going on here and what it means.
So I’m looking at Leviticus 12. I’m gonna start at verse one and see if reading this, we come to a better understanding of what Mary and Joseph were doing at the temple. The Lord spoke to Moses saying, speak to the people of Israel saying this Leviticus 12 one, if a woman, conceives and bears a male child, and she shall be unclean seven days asked at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean.
And on the eighth day, the flesh of his four skin shall be circumcised. Then she shall continue for 33 days in, in the blood of her purifying. Gee shall not touch anything. Holy nor come into the sanctuary. Until the days of her purifying are complete jump down to verse six. And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering and a pigeon or a turtle dove for a sin offering.
And he shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her. Then she shall be cleaned from her flow from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a male who bears a child, either male or female. And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtle doves, or two pigeons, one for a burn offering.
And the other force in offering and the priest shall make a two-man for her. And she shall be clean. Sounds kind of weird. Doesn’t it? What’s going on? Well, 40 days that seven days among cleanness followed by 33. Of purification following the birth of a male child during which the mother remains apart from the tabernacle or temple, when that time is complete 40 days, she will present an offering to the Lord at the temple.
And that’s what Mary and Joseph were doing there. But we have to ask ourselves, why is childbirth? Sinful has the mother by giving birth, done something for which she must make atonement and be forgiven? I think there’s the, I think the significance of the ritual is not to say that childbirth is sinful, but a visual reminder that takes us all the way back to the garden of Eden to Adam and Eve when they had sinned against God and the pronouncement of God that as a consequence of sin, which by the way, now all humanity shares in this, there would be pain in childbirth.
So the birth of every child is a reminder of our shared predicament ascendant. So by faith, Mary as was done by countless other women comes to offer a sacrifice for her purification. And in this case of Mary giving birth to Jesus, the great and beautiful mystery is that the one to whom she has given birth 40 days prior is the one sent from God to achieve the ultimate purification of sinners as he would do it by taking the place of sinners in his death.
On the cross, the author of Hebrews talks about this one, when he says of Jesus and his work on the cross, Hebrews one, three, after making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high. And Luke wants to highlight for us in this passage that Jesus. The ultimate purifier is here.
He’s come to save his people from their sense. You also can’t help, but see that Luke is drawing our attention to the humility of the Lord Jesus, as if it were a small enough thing that the king of the universe would condescend to become a human that the eternal, the third, the second person of the Trinity would, would, would condescend to become a human Luke.
Also alludes to the poverty and to which Jesus was born. He quotes Leviticus 12, eight, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. But if you read back and we read it together, verse the, the entirety of verse eight, it says this. And if, if the, and if she, she that’s, the mother cannot afford a lamp for the sacrifice.
Then she shall take two turtle doves, or two young pigeons. The king of the universe was born into poverty. His parents arrived without a land. But with two small birds for the sacrifice, all they could afford. The apostle Paul expressed the wonder of the mystery that Luke is alluding to here in second Corinthians eight, nine, he wrote for, you know, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, though.
He was rich looking at the universe yet for your sakes. He became poor so that you through his poverty might become rich. And Luke is alluding to this amazing mystery that secured our eternal salvation. There’s another reason that Mary and Joseph were at the temple that morning. They had come with Jesus in obedience to another old Testament practice, which is deep with a significance and meaning redemption.
So we see an Exodus, 13 of God’s. We read about his miraculous deliverance of his people from slavery, and he. When his angel went through all the homes of the Egyptians, this was the 10th and final play. You might remember killing the firstborn in every home, but sparing or passing over the homes of those Israelites, who by faith had applied the blood of a lamb without blemish to the doorposts of their homes.
Those firstborn of the nation, whom God had spared, God’s now said belonged to him. He had spared their lives. And an exit is 13, which is another passage. We need to look at God outlined for his people, this perpetual ordinance in which the first born son of every family was to be presented to the Lord and redeemed by offering a sacrifice in his place.
So if you look at, if you wish to look at it with me, couple of verses in Exodus 13, first two verses say the Lord said to Moses consecrate to me. So this is going all the way back. To the, to the, uh, to their time of slavery in Egypt, the Lord said to Moses consecrate to me all the first born, whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and beast is mine.
And jump forward to verse 11. We read this when the Lord brings you, these are instructions for the people back then when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to give to you and your fathers and shall give it to you, you shall set apart to the Lord. All that first opens the womb.
All the first born of your animals that are males shall be the Lords. Every firstborn of a donkey. You shall redeem with a lamb. If you will not redeem it, you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons, you shall redeem. And when the time comes and your son asks you, what does this mean?
You shall say. By a strong hand. The Lord brought us out of Egypt from the house of slavery for when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go. The Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the first born of man and the first born of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord, all the males that first opened the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons, I redeem.
So that’s a little bit about the background of what’s going on here. The context of what’s going on in Luke chapter two, that brings Mary and Joseph and their infant Jesus to the temple in the first place. And the reason that he includes these details is not simply to highlight what sincere people of faith Mary and Joseph were, though.
They certainly were that he’s not doing it to show. But they were being obedient to the law of Moses, which of course though, they were, he’s doing it to highlight the fact that the redemption to which that Passover ritual had always anticipate in always pointed was now here, he’s here.
It’s a beautiful and mysterious irony that this child being dedicated as holy to the Lord by his parents that day and on whose behalf his parents were making a sacrifice and offering, he was the one who in complete surrender to God would offer himself on the cross as the final and complete sacrifice to redeem every one of us and make us holy to the Lord.
He’s here. This baby in the temple is the one to whom all this temple activity had always pointed and anticipated. And Luke wants us to know he’s here. The one who fulfills it, all the one who it all has been pointing to. The one who had all has been waiting for he’s here. And as Simeon would hold that baby in his arms, he knew the one we’d all been waiting for was now, finally here, he’s here.
That’s the context of this time at the temple. And with that understanding, now we can move on. So it looks, let’s look next that the character of this temple messenger, this the character of this man Simeon, and you’re going to see a man, a holy spirit filled, man. Who’s going to declare a holy spirit inspired message.
And Luke describes who he is in great detail. And I want us to focus on that for a little bit here. Luke’s description of Simeon. Before we even hear one word from his mouth seems designed to highlight the extraordinary character of this man, so that we will want to sit up and listen to what he’s about to say.
It’s not just an average guy. He’s a holy spirit filled man. And he’s got an inspired message from God to declare looking at it again in verses 25 through 27. Now there was a manager reus alum whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout waiting for the constellation of Israel. And the holy spirit was upon him.
And it had been revealed to him by the holy spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the spirit into the temple. What do we know about this guy, Simeon beyond what’s written in this account? Nothing. There’s several guys in the scriptures named Simeon the most well-known being the second son of Jacob who was named by his mother, Leah as Simeon, which means one who hears, because she said, you read this in Genesis chapter 29 because the Lord has heard that I’m not loved.
So Simeon sounds like the Hebrew word for heres it’s an apparent play on words. Well, that doesn’t really tell us much about this guy. Jacob, second son seeming of course became the father of the tribe that bears his name. So it was probably a fairly popular and common name over the centuries in Israel.
It’s not the name so much, but the man’s the Luke’s description of this man. That’s striking. I want you to notice these first described as righteous and devout, that would seem to certainly give him some credibility as a messenger of God. Second, we see that he was driven by an expectation and a longing that’s described as the consolation of Israel.
Did you see that? Did you ask yourself what’s the constellation of Israel, that’s a rich and meaningful expression, but it only occurs here. You might’ve noticed, as we got to the end of the chapter, when we were reading ended of the passage, when we were reading through that, Ana was declaring in the temple, talking to everyone who was waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Those phrases, the constellation of Israel, redemption of Jerusalem seemed to coincide there’s, it’s something about a longing, awaiting, an expectation. So what’s the constant elevation constellation of visit. I believe it refers to the salvation that God’s people for centuries and millennia had been longing and waiting.
It’s the fulfillment of all God had promised to do for his people. The constellation of Israel constellation means comfort, right? It was the promise to remove Israel sorrow, to remove the sorrow of sin, to bring comfort. Isaiah speaks of this comfort and chapter 40 verses one and two comfort comfort. My people says your God speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed and that her sin has been paid for.
And this expectation for the constellation of Israel centers on a person, the Messiah. There’s an expectation awaiting for a person who will come to bring comfort and beginning in the garden of Eden. And the promise that the seed of woman would crush the serpent’s head to the promise to Abraham, that in him, all families of the earth will be blessed to the promise of God, to Moses that I’ll raise up for you, a prophet from among your people, to the promise to David, that one of his descendants would sit forever on the throne of Israel.
The people of God had been waiting long and hoping, expecting the arrival of a Messiah who would be their personal and national savior. And so just imagine being as receiving as Simeon did a promise direct to you from God that your very eyes would see the one. That would be the constellation of Israel, the Messiah, the savior, the one who would fulfill all of God’s promises.
So this was the driving passion of Simeon’s life and being led by the spirit, into the temple that day. He wondered again, maybe today, today, indeed. You next notice how Simeon’s described as a man filled with guided by an empowered by the holy spirit. I want you to think with me about this three times, the holy spirit is mentioned in Luke’s description of Simeon.
The holy spirit was upon him. He was a man filled with the spirit. It had been revealed to him by the holy spirit. He was guided by the holy spirit, the spirit of God communicated with him. And he came in the spirit into the temple. He was empowered and directed by the holy spirit. You know, if we are reading the book of acts descriptions like this wouldn’t surprise us as much, they wouldn’t be nearly as strict.
Because in acts chapter two, just as Jesus promised would happen in his absence after he’d returned to the father in heaven, the holy spirit came upon all believers and filled them and guided them and empowered them. So descriptions like was filled with the holy spirit or the spirit being upon someone or common in the book of acts, not so much in the era prior to that in the pre-Pentecost era that is prior to acts chapter two, the holy spirit operated differently.
He wouldn’t come upon all peoples, but only upon specific individuals at specific times, empowering them for specific purposes and specific tasks. Only after Jesus returned to the father to the holy spirit, come to live in indwell, all believers.
And Simeon’s connection to the holy spirit, apparently included a very personal and specific promise to the man Simeon himself. It had been revealed to him by the holy spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ such was the relationship that he enjoyed with God. It included this personal promise that gave meaning to his daily life.
Maybe today. Well, I see him today, so you haven’t
to have a man like Simeon described as Luke describes him here to have a connection like that with the holy spirit is very striking and Luke seems to be drawing our attention to Simeon’s character and his connection with the spirit as if to say, listen, You’re about to hear a truly inspired word from God.
You don’t want to miss it. He’s about to say something about this infant, Jesus, this baby and his words. Won’t be just, well, well-intended words of congratulations to the new parents. His words will be nothing sure of inspired truth from the holy spirit of God. So what’s he going to say?
You know, when I was born, very special words were pronounced over me. Did you know that
now my mom and dad raised nine of us and my mom can recount in perfect detail. All of the circumstances about every one of our rivals into this world, every detail seems to be fixed in her memory. She recounts them to us often, particularly on our birthday. So when I was born, you know, in that era, mom would give birth and then stay in the hospital for a few days.
They didn’t ship the moms home quite as quick as they do now. And apparently one of the attending nurses who came in to check on me and my mom saw my mom holding me. My mom could still hear the words as if it were yesterday. The nurse said them, boys, they sure are lovers. That pretty much sums up the essence of my existence.
Don’t you think
those were well-meaning words, but the words pronounced by Simeon over the Lord, Jesus were far more than well-intentioned platitudes by an attending nurse. They were holy spirit inspired words of absolute truth. I remember when, um, my. Our first daughter, Ellie arrived in our family and believe me, like my ma I can recount for you all the amazing details of her rival into our family.
They’re permanently chiseled in my mind, but I remember one morning we had Ellie with us as an infant here at church. And, uh, Jane Davidson came up now, some of you know, Jane though, she’s with the Lord now and Jane Davidson came up and she put her hand on Ellie’s head and then prayed a prayer of blessing over my daughter’s life.
It was a special moment because of the person that Jane was and her love for kids. I don’t remember the words. I just know it was a special, the words of her prayer. I just know as a really special moment. But can I tell you something that prayer of blessing over my daughter precious as it was, can not compare to the message declared by over Jesus, by Simeon.
His was to be a message from the holy spirit inspired truth of deep significance it’s recorded for us now in God’s eternal word, Luke wants us to pay attention to these words. So what did he say? I felt you’d never asked. So let’s look quickly at the content of Simeon’s temple declaration. He’s here. The long awaited savior is finally come.
We read these words. Verse 29 through 32 Lord. He directs us the first part of his declaration as if a prayer to God, Lord. Now you are letting your servant depart in peace. According to your word, for my eyes said, seeing your salvation, that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples. A light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory and for glory to your people.
Israel, I want you to notice first, the first thing Simeon’s message tells us is that the infant Jesus is the Lord’s Christ. The Messiah. The one God promised that Simeon would say, see this isn’t just another baby dedication at the temple. This was the one the holy spirit had promise swimming would see with his own eyes.
Now, surely Simeon seen countless other babies brought to the temple over the years, but on this day he was led specifically by the spirit to the temple, to have this encounter with the infant Jesus. And to know that in seeing Jesus, God was fulfilling his promise, the promise he made to him that he would, that he would indeed see the Lord’s Christ in his life.
The Lord’s Christ is finally here. You also notice this about Saint Simeon’s declaration. The infant Jesus is mankind salvation. See me and said, my eyes have seen your salvation. His eyes saw Christ and his words were, my eyes have seen your salvation. Jesus is mankind salvation. You know, the, the phrase, my eyes I’ve seen your salvation parallels.
What was described earlier when it says he was, it had been revealed to him by the holy spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So these Fraser parallel see the Lord’s Christ of senior salvation. Lord’s Christ and salvation are the same thing. Jesus, this infant, this baby is mankind salvage.
God was not just fulfilling the promise. He made decision. He was fulfilling the promise that he made to Adam and Eve and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to Israel, to Moses, to David, to you to meet the Messiah is here. He has come to bring salvation. Third thing you observe about Simeon’s declaration is the infant.
Jesus brings salvation for everyone that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples. He said a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people. Israel God’s salvation is for everyone from Genesis to revelation. The message of the Bible is the God. It’s for the whole world. He has a heart for the whole world promising in Genesis to Abraham that in you, your seed will all families of the earth be blessed going all the way through to revelation.
Where we read that before the throne in, in, in the, in heaven will be people from every tongue, tribe, nation, and family giving praise to the lamb who was slain to Jesus. The infant is bringing salvation to everyone. And so Paul would later write, I’m not ashamed of the gospel message of Jesus. It’s the power of God for the salvation of all who believe to the Jew first and also to the Gentile later, he’d write to Titus.
The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all people. The infant, Jesus arrived, just the Lord’s Christ, bringing salvation to everyone for all who believe now the second part of Simeon’s declaration equally rich, but somewhat cryptic. It’s directed to Mary verses 34 and 35. This is what he said, send me and blessed them and said to Mary, his mother behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign that is opposed and a sword will Pierce through your own soul also, so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.
What’s he saying? Let’s see mean, here’s what I think. Despite struggling opposition salvation through Jesus will be accomplished as if in a paranthetically statement. Simeon turns to marry direct. Oh, and by the way, he says, there will be struggle and hardship, rising, falling, and rising of many opposition and conflict.
And even your own heart will break possibly he’s alluding to the time when she would see her son on the cross put the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. Jesus, who will be victorious. Light will conquer darkness. God’s eternal plans and purposes will be fulfilled.
This is the message that God has in Luke chapter two for all of us he’s here. So what shall our response be? I’ll suggest a couple of things to you real quick. No, for certain, no, for certain and acknowledge who Jesus is. He’s the savior. Now on one level, that’s an intellectual certainty about Jesus that you and I can and should have based on all the details and descriptions that Luke has given about Jesus and his arrival into the world at this season, we call it Christmas.
I was thinking if all, if the only part of Luke’s gospel we had were chapters one and two, where we get the story of Jesus’ arrival, we’d have 90%, 95% of the gospel message there. And he’s telling us this, this encounter with Simeon contributes to that certainty, declaring, demonstrating that the long awaited saviors.
Now here, he’s the one who fulfills all prophecies. The one whom all of scripture has been pointing and symbolizing and waiting. The one, many hearts have been longing for he’s here. Luke’s done his research. He spoken to the eyewitnesses, his recorded. So that you and I can know for certain he’s here. What did this encounter with Jesus in the temple mean for Simeon his faith.
And God’s promised to send a savior was now confirmed in his heart. He’d seen the savior. God had made good on his promise, not just to send the world’s savior, but to let Simian see it with his own eyes. Simeon was now good to go. He was ready to die. His faith had become sight. What does it mean for us?
We can know with unwavering conviction and for certain that Jesus was no ordinary child. He is the son of God. The promised savior,
Luke would later write in the book of acts quoting the apostle Peter it’s acts four 12. Peter said these words, there is salvation and no one. For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. But knowing this intellectually is not all there is to it. You must also acknowledge your own need of Jesus as your savior from sin.
We have to personalize Jesus’ arrival. Jesus is not just the savior. He is my savior in each of us. Most personalized as Simeon did the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas. By putting your faith in him as your savior, as my savior Simeon’s encounter with Jesus was very personal, right? He held him in his arms, saw him with his eyes.
He knew who he was. He knew in his heart that the savior was here. And now with that in his heart, he acknowledged that he was ready to move on. To eternity. I’m good to go. I’m ready. Did you notice the word that Simeon used to refer to his own physical death departure? He said you are now letting your servant depart in peace.
He’s not just being used using a euphemism for his physical death. He’s he’s using a statement of great confidence. That death is a departure from this life to the next one. And he was ready to make that departure because he had had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. None of us are ready to make that departure until we too have had a personal encounter by faith with Jesus Christ, who is the savior of the world, son of God, who came at Christmas to rescue and save him.
The arrival of Jesus as savior must be believed and accepted. Personally, he is not just the savior. He is my savior. I love the way the apostle Paul expressed the personal nature of his faith in Christ. When he wrote in first Timothy one 15, these words, the saying is trustworthy and deserving, a full acceptance that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the foremost, I guess you could argue with Paul about whether or not he was, or is the foremost of sinners, but that’s not really the point of what he’s saying.
Jesus Christ is, did not simply come into the world to save sinners. He came to save me. He personalized his faith in Christ. He’s my savior. My eyes have seen your salvation. Simeon said, Maya.
For him, it was literalize for us. It’s eyes of faith, not blind faith because we have the confidence of God’s word it’s recorded for us in the gospel of Luke, that Jesus is the savior of the world. Simeon held him in his arms, literally in his arms for us, arms of faith. We too must hold and embrace Jesus as our savior.
Not simply the savior, but my savior. And when you’ve done that, you are then able to really understand, know, enjoy and celebrate what the Christmas holiday is all about. Have you done that
semi and handed the baby baby Jesus. Back to me. He put his head hand one last time on Jesus’ head as if to confer one final blessing, then saying his goodbyes to Mary and Joseph Semyon slipped off into the crowd and was soon out of sight. Leaving Mary wondering a knew about the miracle she held in her arms, angelic messengers, miraculous conception, prophetic declaration at the table at the temple.
What’s next. She wondered she didn’t have long to wait for an answer. Young lady, young lady, someone was calling out seems as though someone else had spotted them at the temple and was trying to get Mary’s attention. Mary turned around and saw her this time. It was someone she knew it was Ana. The prophetess, everyone knew her.
She practically lived at the temple. Ana was. The oldest living person, Mary knew personally, 84 years old and a real woman of God. It’s true on a shout as they reached them. Every word of it’s true. I heard the words that Simeon declared about this child and it’s all true. This child is our long awaited Messiah come to save us.
It’s true. And as Mary and Joseph went about the business that it brought them to the temple in the first place, that it CADing their child to the Lord and offering the required sacrifice honor, the prophet sort of as if an exclamation point on all that Simeon had declared, she worked her way through the crowd, talking to all who would listen.
He’s here. She would say over and over. He’s finally here. Our long awaited savior is here.
We thank you God, for your scripture, which gives us the message that our souls have longed for and needed that Jesus Christ is coming in the world to be our savior. I, I thank you Jesus, for your willingness to step down from your throne in heaven, to be our savior, to humble yourself, to take our sin on yourself, that we could be redeemed and rescued.
I thank you that in the sacrifice of yourself, on the cross, our sin, all of it has been paid in full and that we now have a place in your family, in the family of God. We now can, as swimming did depart in peace for our eyes have seen. Your salvation made today. Be a day of salvation for any here who have not put their faith in Jesus Christ as savior.
And may we all be able to go from here on this Christmas holiday rejoicing that you have come to save us and we make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
You are dismissed. Thank you so much for being here today. .