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December 19, 2021 1:00 am
Old man had served in the Temple in Jerusalem all his life. The moment for which she had been born came one day when Mary and Joseph brought the child Jesus to him, led by the Holy Spirit. This man knew he was beholding the hope of his nation as well. As the hope of all the world today what he had to say to a young Jewish couple about the baby they were presenting from Chicago.
This is The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching with pastor Erwin Blitzer.
Today we continue a four-part answer to the question raised by a Christmas Carol, who is he in yonder stall. Later Erwin Blitzer will talk about the response of Simeon, who said he is a light to the Gentiles pastor, Luther comes now to open today's service we want to welcome you to The Moody Church this morning were glad that you are worshiping with us. This happens to be the third day of advent the third week of the event and we will be again lighting a candle, showcasing much of the diversity that we have here at The Moody Church. I believe it's the candle of joy and we will be singing Joy to the world for the Lord has come join me if you would in prayer. Father, we want to thank you today for your love and for your grace. Thank you for the gift of your son and all that that means the implications that go on for all of eternity.
Help us to worship him acceptably.
Today we pray in Jesus name on my soul magnifies the Lord in my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has nothing to humble servant for you called from now on all generations will be call me blessed or he is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name Mary CS by those who fear him generation to generation concerning the salvation of prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours. Search and inquiry carefully requiring one person or time the Spirit of Christ in them, indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories it was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you the things that have now been announced to you through those who preach the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven things into which angels long to look though you have not seen him, you love him, though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, for you are obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. On this third Sunday in Advent like the rose-colored candle of joy.
You don't have to be around Moody Church very long before you realize that were always talking about Jesus not only talking about him but worshiping him and the reason for that is because were preparing for heaven because after all heaven.
Jesus is going to be central. The worship of the Lamb is going to be the theme of heaven forever and ever and were getting ready for heaven. Number of years ago there was a liberal minister and Episcopal minister by the name the Bishop TypeKey actually died in the Judean desert looking for the Dead Sea Scrolls, but because he didn't believe the Bible he thought he knew what lay on the other side his son committed suicide after his son committed suicide.
He noticed that when he came home. That is when Bishop I came home, no matter how he left the curtains. They were always drawn at a certain way that his son liked not only that, the clock on the wall would often stop at the very moment that his son died so he thought to himself I'm going to get in touch with my boy. He's trying to connect so Pike went to a medium and thought he was connecting with his son and then he wrote a book about it, which I read many years ago entitled the other side in this experience of going to a medium he thought he was connecting with his son because he didn't believe the Bible and he didn't know that the Bible teaches that there are familiar spirits, that is spirits who are familiar with the person who lived and so in the communication process. The spirit sometimes show up because they knew the person and will actually impersonate the person and say some things about them. One of the questions Pike asked was this. Do you hear much about Jesus. On the other side and I'm paraphrasing now but his son said, essentially, no dad, we don't hear a lot about Jesus here on the other side. Now you've heard me say this before.
If you die and you're in a place where you don't hear a lot about Jesus, you are in deep trouble and in deep trouble forever.
I'm reminded of the words of Dante abandon all hope, ye who enter here so that's why we worship Jesus here because we know that we talk and worship him here and were going to talk and worship him forever and ever and do so very, very gladly, aren't you glad we know what the future holds in this series of messages were answering the question, who is he in yonder stall after singing that beautiful song where reminded of the question and today once again were going to give an answer to that question as to who he really is in the first message I pointed out that he was the son of God. The second message is the Savior today. He is the light to the Gentiles.
Let me paint the picture from Luke chapter 2 would you turn there in your Bible, please. The book of Luke chapter 2 we must understand historically that in those days when a child was born. There were certain rituals that took place when a male child was born. For example, the first ritual is in chapter 2 of Luke verse 21, and that is after eight days Jesus was circumcised and he was called Jesus because the word means God saves or Savior. That's the word chosen for him by God is communicated to the angel and so Jesus is circumcised.
There's a second event and that is this that when a woman gave birth to a child for 40 days she was considered to be impure, not morally, she could go about doing all the housework and having all the interactions but she was not allowed to go into the temple until 40 days later and when they went into the temple.
They were to offer a sacrifice and there were various prescriptions you could bring a lamb and so forth, or two turtledoves or two pigeons and that's what they brought. According to the text as you'll notice there in verse 24, indicating again that Jesus was brought up in a very poor home. He knew what it was like to have to make do. Because money was scarce. They were not a wealthy family. Even though Joseph was a carpenter. They were still quite poor. Actually and so that's what they brought to the temple. There was 1/3 ritual and that is that the firstborn was to be dedicated to God. Now, the firstborn of course was very important in the family line. All others also. The children belong to God, the firstborn was special and they were taken into a temple to present him to the Lord. There would also be a payment made, it would be as if they were buying him back from God redeeming him as a symbol of redemption is all that is happening because Jesus was born into a very Jewish observance home a home that was committed to fulfilling the details of the law and what was happening in Israel. Well, there were many people who are looking for some kind of a deliverer, because remember they were under Roman occupation.
Everywhere you went use of Roman soldiers and that it was humiliating because after all the Jews were God's chosen people and here they are under the thumb under the heel of the Roman empire. Not only that, but there were high taxes. The Romans would tax the men that wasn't a very happy occasion. None of us enjoys pain or taxes.
Remember that line says I'm supposed to pay taxes with a smile.
I tried it, but they actually want my money to well you know what taxes are like and so I and control wherever you went over these Roman soldiers who wanted to tell you where you could go what you could do and so forth and so they were looking for another David would be able to fight like Goliath. He fought Goliath in and conquered the Roman legions that were there and about the independence of the Jewish nation but there was also a small group called a remnant actually called the quiet of the land based on Psalm 35 where you have a reference to the quiet of the land and they were looking for a different kind of deliverance. They knew that there was a problem more serious than Roman. That was the problem of sin in the human heart and they were looking for that Redeemer, the deliverer who yes might eventually read them of Rome, but what they really needed was a Savior to save them from their sin and that introduces us to a man here in the text, whose name is Simeon. We think that he was an old man Bible doesn't say yes but he soon expected to die so I assume that he was old, but let's notice the description of him. What a remarkable man. Verse 25 now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon and this man was righteous and devout, that be wonderful if we could say that about ourselves, waiting for the consolation of Israel, isn't it a piece in the Messiah. I didn't check with Tim but I think I'm right on this where it says comfort me comfort my people, says the Lord. That's based on Isaiah chapter 40 is looking forward to the time when God is going to bring deliverance and Simeon was looking forward to that time that great time of deliverance, waiting for the consolation waiting for the comfort that the Messiah would bring to Israel and notice three references to the Holy Spirit in relationship to Simeon. He was looking for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him is not said about a lot of people in the Old Testament after the time of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is actually with in all those who trust Christ as Savior. But here the Holy Spirit of God came upon Simeon Old Testament expression. Not only that it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. He knew that someday before he died he did actually see the Messiah, the Lord's Christ, and furthermore he came by the spirit into the temple because remember he has to meet Joseph and Mary at just the right time so he comes being led of the Spirit into the temple, he lifts the baby Jesus into his arms. Don't you wish that you have had a cell phone camera and could've taken a picture of that. We have many diagrams of it. Many paintings of it, but Simeon is holding the baby Jesus and he gives what in the book of Luke is really song You'll Notice That First of All, in Chapter 1, You Have the Song of Elizabeth, Mary and Zechariah Chapter 2. You Have the Song of the Angels and Now You Have Simeon's Song Famous Lines. Let's Look at Them As If We Are Reading Them for the First Time He Takes the Baby in His Arms. Jesus Is about Six Weeks Old and Blesses God and Said, Lord, Now You Are Letting Your Servant Depart in Peace, According to Your Word for Mine Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation That You Have Prepared in the Presence of All the People a Light for Revelation to the Gentiles, and for Glory to Your People Israel. Just That Are He Talks about Being a Light to the Gentiles.
Now This Is an Old Testament Expression. Simeon Was Led of the Holy Spirit, but He Was Taught in the Scriptures. For Example, in Isaiah Chapter 49 It Says Them. Is It Too Small a Thing for You to Be the Redeemer of Israel Know I'm Going to Make You a Light to the Nations, and Light to the Gentiles, so That My Salvation Gets Proclaim Anne's of the Earth. Again We See Here That Jesus Isn't Just the Jesus of of the Jews Are the Jesus of the West. Jesus Stands As the Savior of the World. Now Notice What the Bible Says about the Need for Light It Says a Light of Revelation to the Gentiles. Why Did the Gentiles Especially Need Revelation Well of the Law and What God Had Communicated to the Prophets Was Actually Quite Limited to Israel. Now They Were Supposed to Share the Light Which They Didn't Do Very Well at All. But the Point Is That the Gentiles Basically Were without Any Special Revelation They Had Natural Revelation.
They Had the Stars in the Heavens. They Had Conscience and They Would Be Judged by That but There Was No Specific Revelation to the Gentiles. So They Walked in Darkness. First of All I'd like to Say a Word about 10 Philosophical Darkness.
I Have To Hand It to You Greeks I Won't Ask Whether There Any Greeks Here. I Know That There Are Some Who Are. But I Have To Tell You Hands down.
I Personally Believe That Title and Aristotle Were Two of the Smartest Man Who Ever Lived. Could You Imagine Writing Books and Then 2500 Years Later PhD Students Studying Philosophy Are Still Writing Books about Plato and Aristotle and Suck System Thinkable, and the Fact That They Lived at the Same Time and That Plato Actually Taught Aristotle's Amazing and and yet after All of Their Metaphysical Reasoning That Some of Us Read Years and Years Ago They Could Not Ultimately Come to Light the Can Only Speculate Why Is It Because They Weren't Brilliant. They Were Incredibly Brilliant but Philosophy Students.
Please Note This Philosophy Does Not Have the Building Blocks Necessary for Us to Understand Ultimate Reality and God Philosophy I I'm Just Quoting Here from Aristotle Himself.
In His Book on the Ethics Wretched Raise Children of Chance and Tribulation. Why Do You Force Me to Tell You the Very Thing Which It Would Be Most Profitable for You Not to Hear the Very Best Thing Is Utterly beyond Your Reach Not to Have Been Born Not to Be Nothing. That Is the Best. However, the Second Best Thing Is for You to Die Soon Hopelessness. Brilliant Philosophy Needs the Light of God's Revelation We Needed God to Step Out Of Heaven and Say This Is What God Is like. And This Is Why He Created the World Philosophy Can Get Us There.
So There Was the Darkness of Philosophy. Not Only That Kind of Darkness but Moral Darkness. Here You Are, You Know You're Following Your Own Desires Driven by Desires and Your Conscience Troubles You, but Where Are You Going to Find Where Will There Be an Actual Forgiveness and a Heart Change. I Feel Sorry Today, for Those Who Are into Secular Psychology in Secular Psychiatry Because in the End, There Is No Hand from Heaven to Help the Clients You Are Just Left with Your Own Your Own Struggles and Somehow You're Trying to Make Sense Out Of Them. You're Trying to Deal with Them, but There Is Seneca Seneca Said All That I Hand It May Come down from Heaven and Delivered Me from My Besetting Sin, and in the Secular World Today. There Is No Hand from Heaven Coming down and Bringing Deliverance. So There Is Moral Darkness Spiritual Darkness. The Bible Says That the Nations They Grow after God, They Did the Best They Could with What They Had to, but They Could Never Have the Assurance That They Really Connected so That's Why Simeon Is Saying That Jesus Is Going to Be a Light to the Gentiles and What That Means Is That Jesus As a Light to the Gentiles Is Really the Light of the World Know Jesus Didn't Say I Am the Light of Jerusalem. I Am the Light of the Jews. I Am the Light of the World, and the Invitation to Come to That Light Is Given to All People.
Everyone Listening to Me Today. You Are Invited to Come to the Light of the World. So According to Simeon Jesus Is Going to Be the Light of Revelation to the Gentiles As Predicted Several Times in the Old Testament, but Furthermore Light Is Really Needed for Life. Isn't It Because the Light Is Going to Bring the Life.
In Fact, Life Also Brings Light As It Says in John Chapter 1, but What We Need, Really, Is to Be Made Alive. The Bible Says That in Our Natural State.
We Are at in Trespasses and Sins. Dad, Jesus Is Able to Make Us Alive. Jesus Is Able to Help Us See the Big Picture of Who We Are and What Our Need Is You Know, Sometimes without Jesus We Are like Ants on a Rembrandt Painting, We Notice the Change in Color. We Notice the Roughness of the Canvas.We Can See the Big Picture. When Jesus Comes He Is Able to Connect Us to God to Answer the Big Questions of Life to Speak about Eternity with the Same Authority That He Could Speak about the Thing Nature to Be God of Very God, What a Revelation That Came from above to Earth in Jesus Christ and and to Give Life to Connect Us with God.
Some of Us Have Been Reading You Know Kristin Empowers You Maybe Heard about Her. She's Been a Democratic Strategist and a Fox News Contributor and She Got Saved Recently and Am There Is an Article about How She Be Was a Reluctant Follower of Jesus, Because She Basically Was Atheistic in Our Thinking. But through a Series of Events, She Began to Have a Hunger for Reality and God. That's Always a Good Thing If You're Listening to This and God Has Birthed within You a Hunger for God Cultivate That Hunger Because It Only Comes Because of His Grace, but Eventually She Was in a Bible Study and I'm Quoting Now Directly from Her Testimony As an Atheist As a Skeptic Because Somebody Challenged Her and Said Will You Know Is a Secularist, You Should Have an Open Mind While Yeah Okay so She Went to the Bible Study over a Period of Time. I Remember Walking into the Bible Study. I Had a Knot in My Stomach in My Mind Only Weirdos and Zealots Went to Bible Studies.
I Don't Remember What Was Said That Day.
All I Know Is That When I Left Everything Had Changed.
I Shall Never Forget Standing outside That Apartment on the Upper East Side and Saying to Myself, It Is True, It's Completely True. The World Looked Entirely Different That They All Had Been Lifted off of It. I Had Not an Iota of Doubt.
I Was Filled with Indescribable Joy. That's What Happens When You Connect with God. The Light Gives Us Life Now. The Light Also Is Necessary for Guidance. I Won't Say Too Much about That except to Say That I Think I Told You This Once This Sounds Really Weird. I Got Lost in a Closet at Home That Is Scarcely Big Enough for You to Turn around and Because It Was Totally Dark and I Couldn't Find the Door. And Even When I Did I Was Confusing It with Some Shelves and I Was Just Saying I Don't Know How to Get Out Of Here. If You Ever Really Been in a Dark Place.
Now Imagine Living in a Maze. Mets Basically Were Many People Live Today.
They Try This, They Try That They Try That and Somehow It Never Comes Together for Them They Can't Find Their Way. The Bible Says That There Those Who Stumble in Darkness and Don't Know What It Is That They're Stumbling over and My Stumbling over a Piece of Gold or Pizza Coal. It's Hard to Know in the Real Dark Dark Place and Then Just a Little Bit of Light. What a Difference That Makes Immediately.
You Know Your Surroundings so Light Is Needed for Guidance.
Light Is Also Going to Be Rejected.
You'll Notice That Taft Simeon Isn't Finished and His Father and Mother Marveled at What Was Said about Him That Was Said about Jesus and Simeon Blessed Them and Said to Mary, His Mother, Behold, This Child Is Appointed for the Fall and the Rising of Many in Israel for Sign to Be "and a Sword Will Pierce through Your Own Soul Also so That Thoughts from Many Hearts Be Revealed. Jesus Is Going to Be the Revealer of Arts You'll Notice That There Are Three Figures of Speech. There the First Is a Stone That's the Imagery and the Scripture Says Them for the Fall and the Rise of Many Jesus Will Explain This Later That He's like a Stone. If You Fall on Him and Are Humble, He Will Receive You. If Not, Eventually the Stone Falls on You, so There's a Stone There's a Sign That Is a Miracle.
Jesus Is Going to Perform Miracles That Are Going to Be Opposed and Then to Mary Personally. Sword Will Pierce Your Heart and Some of You Dear Mother's Were Listening to This, Even Though the Words Were Directed to You.
You Know about That Sort Don't You When You See a Child Die or Going off Them on the Wrong Road and Mary Will Eventually Stand There at the Cross but Not Everybody's Can Accept the Light. Let Me Now. Help Us to Bring This down so That This Message Becomes Transforming and Help Us to Understand What Is at Stake. First of All Let Me Say That to You Will Never See the Light in Jesus Unless You're Looking for the Light You'll Never See It Unless You're Looking for It. You Know, Rebecca and I Love to Attend the Krista Kindle Marked Effect When We Were in Geneva.
They Had Just Excuse Me, Not Geneva, but Rather Vienna.
They Had Just Set It up and It Was so Cold but to Walk among the Shops to Drink Some Hot Cider to Buy A Few Trinkets for the Christmas Tree Just Loved It and and You Can Do That Here in Chicago to Buy the Way We've Done It Just Downtown. It Really Is the Christ Child Market. That's What It Is. How Many of Those People Really Are Looking for the Real Christ. That's the Question Most of Them Are Just Going by Now That Was True Also in Simeon's Time. You Know We Read This and We Thank All You Know They Took This Baby and They Handed It to the Priest. Simeon, There's No Evidence That Simeon Was a Priest. He Was Just an Old Man in the Temple Looking for the Consolation of Israel and Was Led of the Spirit to Be There in the Women's Section Though. Men of Course Could Also Go into the Women's Area Where Jesus Was with His Mother and Is Wandering around and Suddenly the Lord Says, Look at That Date. That's What You're Looking for Because He Was Looking for the Consolation He Was Looking for the Light If You Don't Look for It. You'll Never Find It.
At the Very Fact That You Are Listening to This Message Is a Good Sign. Some of You Perhaps Have Never Trusted Christ As Savior and and Your Hearing This Message.
I Hope That within You. There Is a Desire to Find the Light Finally Find Reality If Not You Can Miss It. It Is a Tragedy Deserving of Tears That When Christmas Is Evaluated in Our Wonderful Country. It Is Evaluated Purely on the Basis of What Was Sold and Whether or Not It Was a Good Season. We Do Have To Ask the Question, Where Is Christ in the Midst of Christmas Multitudes Walk by Have No Idea What It Is When We Are There in Vienna.
I'm Sure That No Matter Whom You Would've Asked among the Multitudes Who Really Is Christ to You Later Thought of the Merchandise.
The Lovely Bargains the Wonderful Evening at the Krista Kindle Marked Tragic Are You Looking for and I Hope so Because If You Look for Him. You Will Find Him. Secondly, the Light That Reveals Is the Light That Heals the Light That Reveals Is the Light That Heals You See Jesus Doesn't Just Shine a Light on Us Because That He Wants to Embarrass Us, or Shane's Jesus Shines a Light Because He Wants to Really Heal Us, but We Can't Be Healed until We See That We Need to Be, so the Light Reveals, but the Light Also Feels That Jesus Said Men Loved Darkness Rather Than Light, Because Their Deeds Were Evil.
So If You Want to Continue to Live in Darkness, That's Your Choice. But in Living in Darkness.
There Is No Possibility That the Light Will Heal You Because the Moment the Light Comes, It Dissipates the Darkness Is Your Heart Open to the Lord Today so That Light Can Shine in. Whoever You Are the Sum Total of Who I Am and Who You Are, Are the Thoughts. The Attitudes of the Heart. What We Did This Last Week with Her Thoughts or Feelings or Attitudes Because Man Looks on the Outward Appearance, and the Lord Looks upon the Heart. That's Who We Are. I Encourage You to Come to the Light Today to Confess Your Need so That You Might Receive Healing and Help Because That's Why the Light Has Come As a Final Lesson and That Is This That When We Accept the Light When We Accept the Light, We Die in Peace, Your Bibles Are Open Again. Aren't They. I Hope That They Stayed Open.
You'll Notice That He Begins in Verse 29 Now, Lord, You Are Letting Your Servant Depart in Peace, Some Translated. Now I'm Ready to Die, Which Is Clearly the Implication That Word Depart Is Sometimes Used for People Who I Have a Tent and They Are Putting the Tent down and There Parting on the Next Leg of Their Journey. I Sometimes It Is Used for a Ship That Is Been Tied up and Now the Ship Is Ready to Part and so They Take Away the Anchor They Take Away Whatever It Is the Rope That Is Been Keeping Outdoor the Chain in the Harbor and It Is Departing Quite Literally It Could Be Translated This Way. Now, Lord, Dismiss Your Servant. I've Done My Job. I'm Finished My Work. You Fulfilled the Promise to Me. I Saw the Lord's Christ to before I Died, and Therefore Now I Can Be Dismissed in Peace. And That's the Way in Which God Intends His Children to Die. Now the Reality Is That Because Death Is so Final. Because Even Those Who Write Books about What'll Happen One Minute after You Die, Don't Always Know Exactly What's on the Other Side of the Curtain, It Can Be a Time of Apprehension, but It Doesn't Have To Be Years Ago I Told You about a Very Well Known Preacher's Name, I Will Not Mention Necessarily, but He Had Been the Pastor of a Large Church Is a President of the Seminary.
He Helped Billy Graham. During Billy's Early Years of Ministry, and I Had the Privilege of Meeting Him Once or Twice When I Was at a Bible Conference and I Read about His Death. He Was Deeply Troubled, Even He Was Deeply Troubled and Apparently Some People Sit and Well Look at What You've Done. Look at the Books You've Written Your President of the Seminary Pastor of a Large Church. Think of All the Sermons That You Preached It Brought Had No Peace but Then Someone Else Said, Please Remember That All That Is in Effect Washed Away Where Received and We Are Welcomed by God Purely on the Basis of the Blood of Christ That Cleanses Us from All Sin. And That Gives Us an Entry into the Kingdom of God and As a Result of That He Died in Peace, How Would You Face Death. Now That's the Question the Baby about Whom We Are Going to Sing and Who We Are Invited to a Door Is the Light Is the Light That Came to Redeem Us from Our Sins and Prepare Us for Eternity. What a Marvelous Savior, a Light to the Gentiles.
A Light to All Who Desire to Believe, Will You Spout Together in Prayer Our Father, We Thank You Today for the Coming of Christ, We Thank You That Because He Is the Savior, Not Just of the Jews, but Is Also the Savior of the Gentiles in the Light to the World That We Are Invited to Participate in That Light. Pray That Those Who Have Struggles in Their Soul at This Moment May Come to the Light to Receive Christ As There Is to Know That His Death Satisfied Your Requirements so That When We Believe We Are Accepted and Welcomed into Your Heavenly Kingdom Bring about the Transformation. The Cleansing That the Light Brings and We Ask the Lord, That We Shall Adore Him. The Savior in the Light of the World in His Name We Pray. Amen on Today's Moody Church. Our Astronauts Are Spoke on the Words of Simeon to Mary and Joseph Telling Them That Their Child Was to Be a Light to the Gentiles.
This Was Part Three in a Four-Part Series Answering the Question. Is He in Yonder Stall Next Week. Join Us for Part Four.
As the Wise Men Proclaim He Is the King This Christmas Series Will Encourage You in These Troubling Times All Four Messages Can Be Yours on CD for a Gift of Any Amount to The Moody Church over Call 1-800-215-5001. Let Us Know You'd like to Support Moody Churches Ministry Are Think You Will Come As a Pair of CDs You Can Enjoy Again and Again. Call 1-800-215-5001 or You Can Write to Us at Moody Church Media 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 Online Go to Moody Offeror.com That's Moody Offeror.com.
Join Us Next Time for Another Moody Church. Our with Pastor Erwin Lutes Are in the Congregation of Historic Moody Church in Chicago. This Broadcast Is a Ministry of The Moody Church in