Gracefully Truthful

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
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Read His Words Before Ours!

Luke 2:22-35

22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) 24 and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons).

25 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,

Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised. For my eyes have seen your salvation. You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples— a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel.

33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

The Original Intent

1) Why did they bring Jesus to be presented to the Lord?

Jesus was presented to the Lord after the time of purification, which would have been customary for the Jews according to the ceremonial laws give to Moses in the Old Testament. Jesus was also circumcised at this time, which went along with customs from the time of Abraham.

The entire purpose of this event was to fulfill the Law set forth from the time of Moses. This is seen in Exodus 13:2 and 13:12

Now, Jesus, being God, didn’t need to fulfill this law, but He humbled Himself in obedience to it. Matthew Henry says, “our Lord Jesus, though He had no impurity to be cleansed from, yet submitted to it… so in the purification of Christ we might be spiritually purified from the filthiness and corruption which we brought into the world with us.”

The Law of Moses called for the dedication of the first born due to the events of the exodus from Egypt where, on Passover, the Lord spared the first born. Therefore, the firstborn became set apart. Jesus was no different. He was set apart and dedicated just as the Law called for and here we see just one example of Christ’s obedience and Him humbling Himself as a servant.

The Everyday Application

1) Why did they bring Jesus to be presented to the Lord?

They brought Jesus forth before the Lord to align with Israelite law which called for the first born to be set apart. In this act, we see Jesus humbling Himself to the Law. However, we also see Jesus being set apart. He was set apart as the Son of God and, as we would later see, die for our punishment and redemption.

As believers we too are called to be set apart. We are to be used by God and for His glory. It makes me think of 1 Peter 2:9 where we are called a royal priesthood. Just as Jesus was set apart and holy, when we become Jesus followers we too are set apart and holy, dedicated for His glory and His purposes. How are your everyday decisions, actions, and speech aligning with your calling to be set apart?

The Original Intent

2) Who is Simeon and what is the consolation he was looking forward to?

Luke doesn’t give Theophilus (the letter’s recipient) much information about this man called Simeon. However, Luke does include a few important pieces regarding him. Luke notably mentions that Simeon is a righteous and devout man who the Holy Spirit was upon. As a devout and righteous man, Simeon kept the law of Moses, knew what the prophets promised, and looked forward to the fulfillment of those promises.

You see, for generations people waited expectantly for the Messiah. Simeon was no different as Luke says he was “waiting on the consolation of Israel”. Simeon is waiting on the Messiah, whom he’d been promised by God he would see this before his death. This is the reason we often assume Simeon is old (although Luke doesn’t specifically say so).

He is a great example of someone who waited patiently for the promise of the Messiah to be fulfilled and was rewarded for it declaring he had seen salvation. He met Jesus as a newborn infant, but had no doubt He was indeed the promised Messiah!

The Everyday Application

2) Who is Simeon and what is the consolation he was looking forward to?

Simeon is a beautiful example of a servant who waited patiently and expectantly for the promised Messiah. He trusted the promise made to him that he would live to see the fulfillment of the promises made by the prophets.

We should be no different. While we live on the other side of the Cross, we await the return of Jesus! Yes, he came as a baby and the promise of a Savior was fulfilled, but when He returned to the right hand of the Father He made a promise to return.

Simeon shows us how we should await this second arrival, with faith, patiently, yet expectantly anticipating His return. We should be ready just as Simeon was ready. Simeon’s faith in God and His character wasn’t in vain, and should give us assurance that God will once again keep His promise.

The return we are awaiting will happen in all the glory that Christ has promised. He has not left us here forever, there is something better waiting, just as there was something better waiting for Simeon.

The Original Intent

3) What does Simeon’s praise in verses 29-32 reveal?

Simeon’s praise encompasses everything from declaring who Jesus is as salvation in verse 30 to who Jesus came for in verse 32. Simeon grasped who Jesus was and who came for, as he looked with the eyes of faith. Simeon’s faith is already for action. He took his few moments with this baby to publicly declare His true identity and to make all those present aware of the purpose for which He came.

Simeon also foretold what the future would hold as Jesus would be spoken against, yet salvation would still be brought about. Simeon is looking back at prophecies made by Isaiah and re-wording them in his praise. This section of praise also makes clear that Jesus would bring about the glory of Israel, but the Gentiles are included as well and would be given the opportunity for salvation. Simeon, in many ways, saw far beyond His years in His understanding of the baby He was holding. The Holy Spirit had communicated to him making clear to Simeon all this promised Messiah would be.

The Everyday Application

3) What does Simeon’s praise in verses 29-32 reveal?

Simeon’s praise should most definitely give us hope in our everyday lives! Simeon knew who baby Jesus was as the promised Messiah and the hope of our salvation, and he took the opportunity to make his understanding clear to those who could hear him in the temple.

His praise gives hope and glory to Israel in that they are the people from whom God has fulfilled His promise, the promise to make right what had gone wrong in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve chose sin over their relationship with God.

Simeon also gives Gentiles hope in salvation because he knows Gentiles will also be included. He provides a glimpse into the future mission of Jesus, and all His followers, to reach the world. We can find hope in that because we have an open door to salvation because Jesus came for Gentiles just as He came for Jews. 

As Simeon was ready with praise and bold declaration for all that he knew about God, so are we called to live the same. Take some time to consider how often praise to God is on your lips and how quick your heart and tongue are ready to tell others around you of Who Jesus is as Savior and coming King!

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