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May 26, 2021 12:00 am
We do know is that the Simeon hear his name by the way, means listening that he has indeed been listening exactly how old is he were were not were not told, but what we do know is that he's hanging on to this promise from God that he will not die. He cannot die before meeting the Messiah again. I tell you something you don't want to either you die either side trust for yourself about the Christmas story and the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. They probably know some things about his later life and ministry as well. But what about the time in between there so much more about Jesus that we need to remember here on wisdom for the heart.
Stephen David is moving through the early chapters of Luke's gospel. Luke doesn't draw the curtains with the manger and then jump right to Jesus public ministry today. Stephen explores some of the important figures that Jesus met along the way.
Well, in the final scene wraps up in a typical Christmas play. Mary and Joseph say farewell to the shepherds in a return to their fields and their flocks as the text tells us praising God for all they've seen and heard without the curtain closes and the first half of Luke chapter 2 is tucked away until the next Christmas season as the average person what happened next, and you might be greeted with a blank stare and LOL I don't know of never got much further than that friendly for the world at large. That's really where they'd rather stay.
It's it's a lot safer to keep Jesus and then manger as I let them grow up certainly turn into be soon coming judge of the world.
That's keep them as a cute little baby but is is that really all there is. Remember, remember, if you're if you're new, you may not advertisement but Luke is writing to a Gentile aristocrat on the name of Theophilus here at the two-volume book Luke is volume 1 ask is volume 2. They're both written at the same man and he tells them I'm writing you this so that you can have certainty so that you can believe the authenticity of the gospel and in the veracity of the deity of Jesus Christ.
And in Luke is the only one actually of the gospel writers that includes these events that take place in his childhood and it's fascinating to uncover this together with you – was go back to Luke chapter 2 and three very important meetings to take place of the first board meeting is when Jesus meets Moses, so to speak.
Jesus meets Moses in verses 21 to 24 just as a very quick overview Jesus as our babysitter unities to the law given by God to Moses that you could circle the phrase the wall several times in these opening verses, verse 22. According to the law of Moses. Verse 23 as it is written in the law, the Lord. Verse 24 according to what is said in the lot, even over verse 27 where they are going to do them according to the custom of the law. Jesus came to deliver his people always born under the law is gonna obey the law. Galatians, for he came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. 95 Jesus is certainly break religious customs. He certainly break religious tradition break legalistic, man-made rules, but he will not break the law of Moses, which means even before Jesus could knowingly keep the law.
Mary and Joseph are keeping the law, introducing him to these regulations as they as they should look at verse 21 were told that as the law is delivered to us. We know from Genesis 17 that he circumcised on the eighth day this is going to induct Jesus into the covenant family of Abraham. This is going to to bring him into the national family of Israel. These are the credentials that are very important. If he is to meet the qualifications of the law, by the way, this is really not a small thing here.
The circumcision this is really a statement of faith by Mary and Joseph there you follow God's law to follow God's word. They're not there not better than trying to throw away their nation because they can live under the cloud of suspicion which is remarkable there back in Nazareth, where everybody is looking at them sideways now. Why would they care about the law they broke the law. Their illegitimate child is exhibit a day. They think they are carrying on, no matter what people said or thought or whispered or believed they are committed to identifying their son with the law of God and the people of God according to the word of God so that he could be in the will of God is to great courage gives us insight into the resolution as a couple to do the right thing and this is the end of it. There matters related to other laws in verse 22, the time came for their purification. This is primarily for Mary.
According the law of Moses. They brought them up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord as 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 offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord that you have two events here to ceremonies taking place. The first is what we call a ceremony of redemption. Notice the text. Again, every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord nor holy simply means rather Woodley separate or separated unto God. God is his claim on the first born Jewish male. There considered separated on to God and now if the firstborn son is from the tribe of Levi is really kinda being registered here is getting drafted later. He could be to serve in the priesthood. If he's not from the tribe of Levi which Jesus is not from the Royal tribe of Judah and the parents are still, according to the law acknowledging God's ownership over their child. God's rights over their newborn son's life in the ghetto acknowledge that by paying this fee this tax to the priesthood of redemption tax numbers 18 tells us it was five shekels and after little research you discover. That's about three days wages so this is this is no small amount and there essentially metaphorically symbolically buying their child back as it were, so every every parent is acknowledging what I firstborn that God owns the womb that God owns the child the God is the giver of life. Life cannot exist without the decree and ordination of God. Life begins with God's decision. So imagine, though, this irony here.
They show up to pay five shekels there redeeming their son to the priest, but there there there really doing whether the redeeming the Redeemer there there there purchasing the wind that would come to purchase a people for God's good pleasure in the second event refers here to will call the ceremony purification only give you little back story to set the stage according to the law. Mary is ceremonially legally unclean for 40 days following the birth of a male. The birth of Jesus, having delivered a baby and the issuing of blood. She is now ceremonially unclean. Choosing to spend the next 40 days, then in her home.
She's not required to attend any religious festivals or events, worship services, she's not required to bring the sacrifices. There are no requirements for her outside the home.
So for 40 days she's able to stay indoors with her newborn and she's essentially cared for and waited on by family, friends and and and she has.
She has an opportunity here to figure out a thousand things related to her firstborn child.
Finally, this is remarkable insight into the wisdom of God as a relates to the law of God and even went out of his covenant law there still insights gleaned from how God designed things that were wise to respect this would give this newborn mother time to heal time to adapt, time to bond with her newborn time to figure out so many new things in overtime is an interesting how we we produce that amount of time for newborn mother newborn baby to her mother and in that time of meditation and healing and maybe curious asked my mother how long she stayed in the hospital after I was born. She still owes customer. I stayed in the hospital for seven days she will be needed extra rest before she brought me home was a perfect show seven days and and I asked the hospital of the total hospital bill was $145.
I know that dates be terribly hard to believe after hearing the figure that are barely out of my 40s. But over the decades, at length of stay is the client ended today.
The amount of time a young mother is given during the birth of a child and wheeling around is about 32 hours is all now that insurance is all that is give you nearly need a and and is it the inside of God. Interesting where here and there's time given when Marcy delivered our twins, the firstborn's we she was in hospital for four days four days.
In fact this is this will tell you how much time is a change in 35 years since they were born, there was such a desire and intuitive cultural understanding that we ought to help every couple to just want to get their feet on room and and to help them in their own relationship that this hospital had the practice that the night before.
The mother was discharged in this case Marcia and they did this for all the parents. They are assured us into this little private dining area where we were served by the hospital staff. A candlelight steak dinner. Can you imagine why it's candlelight dinner cooked order before going back home to me that would be our last quiet dinner for 18 years.
So times of change have it that you see built into the wall of Moses insights be easy to miss. This is God's grace and concern for the mother and the marriage and the baby home and the further our culture gets away. Guess what happens here just the statistic herein.
Insurance number you need to get out as quick as something else going on here. Notice universe 24 and offer a sacrifice according to what is said of all the Lord appeared turtledove or two young pigeons turtles were just a little more expensive. They migrated pigeons were just as they are today very common.
This is the sacrifice for purification I get a little back story.
According to the details given in Leviticus chapter 12 Mary is to bring to the priest sacrifices to atone for her uncleanness and the sacrifices were to be set up as a lamb and a turtledove or pigeon of the Lamb would be for a burnt offering in the pigeon for a sin offering these animals would be purchased by the priest. There they kept animals to be purchased for those bringing sacrifices. However, if she and her husband were too poor to purchase a lamb which would be quite expensive. She could purchase another picture which would be very inexpensive to take his place. So here you have reference to the fact that Mary is fulfilling the law by offering a pair of either turtledove's or pigeon she she falls into that category. This was known as the offering of the poor. They were poor as dirt. This poor couple the scene but yet again it's it's marked with such wonderful irony as Mary and Joseph were watching the smoke from these two birds ascend to heaven bringing about ceremonial cleanliness for standing there by the closest gate to the sanctuary just outside the court of the women and men are watching this and and although there too poor to buy a sacrificial lamb. I would've it occurred to her holding her holding the sacrificial lamb. The final sacrifice that with these ceremonies accomplished. Having introduced to Jesus, as it were, to Moses the law, we would've expected and and you would expect Mary and Joseph to turn and slip out of the temple unnoticed out there back in the crowd and on their way back to Nazareth except God the father had other plans and a couple of other meetings that were highly significant. Look at verse 25 were Jesus meets Simeon that it was a manager is with his name was Simeon and this man was righteous. The disease right with God devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. That's biblical terminology from Isaiah for the Messiah of the console or the comforter, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. This is before the church agencies before the spirit dwells the believer.
He would come upon an individual's for certain occasions and reason for it. So Simeon is given revelation that some Old Testament scholars believe that Simeon here is the Simeon the famous sign of of the Rabbi hello, the father of the apostle Paul's tutor Gamaliel. This would have then been the same. Simeon, who will become the president of the Sanhedrin the Supreme Court of Israel, he becomes president of the Sanhedrin in A.D. 13 is a highly respected leader. But what's especially interesting which makes it impossible to confirm this is the same Simeon, though I believe myself, it is is is that the mission the commentary of Jewish custom law they they would include biographies of famous rabbis and spiritual leaders but it ignores in this period of time. Simeon, it omits any praise for this great leader and it's quite possible the reason why is this Simeon will become a follower of Jesus Christ. So were not interested in him, or disorder, we can ignore the pages of Israel's history. What we do know is that this Simeon here his name by the way, means listening that he has indeed been listening to the spirit of galley verse 26 and it'd been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ the Lord's Chris Doster, the anointed, this is a messianic term, so verse 27 is there in the game of the spirit of 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. So get this scene here is a man more than likely middle-aged or older.
He's been given revelation from God that he's not gonna die before he literally physically meets and verifies, which is important reason.
This is included, the true Messiah. How long as he waited were not told exactly how old is he, where were not were not told, but what we do know is that he's hanging on to this promise from God that he will not die. He cannot die before meeting the Messiah and can I tell you something you don't want to either you die either to you've met the Messiah entrusted him for your salvation. So every day. Simon is wondering, is this the day. Every time he sees it a little little boy run across the temple because he wonders if that's the one time he sees a couple bringing in shallow water. I wonder if that's what you see some young Jewish man striding into the temple.
I wonder if he's the one.
Well according to the text.
Finally, the spirit of God tells them they see it poor as dirt couple standing there holding the little baby boy.
He's he's the one he's the Messiah to go to verse 20 goes over took him up in his arms and blessed God, I love this. There is no reference to him asking Mary, can I hold your baby just went over there and I picture holding this baby up with tears streaming down his cheek and he actually begins to sing. These are poetic with meter lines. This is a chance to be that were identical chanting begins to chant in it in a song as to stanzas once personally others prophetic verse 29 there's the personal testimony Lord. Now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word.
Lord, you promised me that I would die until I have verified the Messiah now have 20 anytime sign that we are from history to live quite a bit longer but this means he has nothing holding him back.
He's not afraid to die because he's met the Messiah, my 90-year-old father almost 91 told me this past week as we are sitting at the table just out of the places you not want to do and I'm not afraid to die, but afraid. He said I'd rather remain living so that I can take care of your mother to go first.
But apart from that, I'm not afraid to die.
The only people not afraid to die are those who know the Messiah. Simeon says I met him and I'm ready now. There's a prophetic stance only verse 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation that you've prepared in the presence of all peoples.
This polite for revelation to the Gentiles award that come from, but that's a radical statement. This is before any of these introductions or changes in any start out with them. Remember Lucas writing a Gentile aristocrat and he's telling him Jesus was born for you for the Gentile world is born as a note this a a lights for revelation what you do is get a turn on the light is the world are absolutely was a dark believe it is dark.
Now you bad boy do we do about turning on a light week we gather we curse the darkness. So how bad are terrible were here to show the world the light and this is what is come to turn on the light and then notice and for glory to your people Israel and other words, Jesus is the Messiah is offering salvation to the whole world. Yes, very personal things to say verse 34 to hold this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for assignment as opposed so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. He's gonna reveal what's in people's hearts.
You know he saying here you saying a lot to know your baby's gonna grow up and cause a lot of trouble. A tremendous amount of trouble.
People are either going to stumble over him or receive them to build their lives around really get a triple room that there either gonna follow his ultimatum.
He's a he's an intersection man you come to him you come to an intersection where my going to do with him. There will be eventually enough people who will want to get rid of them and Mary not go back to the parentheses. This is directly to her. Mary, a sword will pierce through your own soul off so this is in the little sort used in Hanahan, this is a reference to a sword and just think Goliath sword dictates but one is gonna rip you up.
Mary is gonna tear you up. His life will bring you great pain and this would be unique to her as his mother.
One of the last scenes she's there to cross right with other women. Along with the apostle John. This statement implies that Joseph will of passed away prior to the ministry of the Lord Jesus or Joseph would been included. Please. He's really preparing Mary, I think, uniquely, even as a mother for this incredibly difficult life. Listen here baby is the Messiah ponytail. What that means to you.
It's going to be a sword is just Kennecott into your life and bring great sorrow's was tremendously helpful.
I'm sure she thought of it often over the years she suffered uniquely one more meeting Jesus now meets Anna. This is a rather surprising temple visit for them. They just thought they go out for a couple of pigeons and be on their way were told in verse 36 about this elderly woman, a prophetess should receive revelation from God.
She'd been married for seven years. She's remained a widow beyond her marriage and that seven years which puts her probably serving as a widow in the temple for about 60 years. In verse 37 tells us that she's now 84 years old. She has more than likely lived in one of the temple apartments no doubt appreciated by the priest for her service to devout women bitter volunteer ministry and through probably offering from them. She was fed and cared for as she cared for faithful women who came to the temple. Notice verse 38 coming up that very hour she arrives she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Again, messianic terminology, she becomes as a matter she's going all over that temple is here. You gotta see you got here I saw. Let me explain it. She'd no doubt heard more the story you know what I really wish I to tell you this if there are times when you'd like to have one more verse following this one where this would be verse 39 and it would go something like this. Here's what I would like to see and a great crowd gathered around Simeon and Anna Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus and they began to worship him and praise God for the Messiah, who was born in the light that has not come in to the world hallelujah is a verse like that. The crowd gathers the biblical record here.
The priests were religious leaders rushed across the temple Plaza to gather around them and to see for themselves and to hold him and to hear from Mary and Joseph. These incredible tales of what it happened in their lives of a miraculous conception Angel visitations in the Shekinah glory while in the almost nobody shows up and people are busy. I have stuff to do. They have other pigeons.
The second but took no notice of the one struck me, who represented everything around them. There he is the shewbread bread of life on the table in the holy place, he is the candelabra shining as the light of the world is the high priest going to the very holy place. He is the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat. He's the incense wafting its way sweet aroma to heaven. He is the lady for her and the water for cleansing guilt them. Shane is the finial that will be ripped in giving the rollbacks to God, no one but if you were listening. No one but if you care about.
Thanks for being with us today. This is wisdom for the hearts Stephen Davey is working his way through the first three chapters of Luke in this series called good news of great joy. Stephen is the pastor of the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. In addition, he's the president of shepherd's theological seminary.
There's a new opportunity that you might like to know about Shepherd seminary has a program called Route 66 where you go through the complete Bible all 66 books in one year. People who live near us come in person, but there's an online option where ever you are, you can be part of this special program that grounds you in an overview of the Bible to learn more about Route 66 visit shepherd's.ED you are email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or phone number is 86 648 Bible thanks again for studying God's word with us. Join us next time. For more