22 Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸν νόμον Μωϋσέως, ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα παραστῆσαι τῷ κυρίῳ, 23 καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ κυρίου ὅτι πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν ἅγιον τῷ κυρίῳ κληθήσεται, 24 καὶ τοῦ δοῦναι θυσίαν κατὰ τὸ εἰρημένον ἐν τῷ νόμῳ κυρίου, ζεῦγος τρυγόνων ἢ δύο νοσσοὺς περιστερῶν. 25 Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος ἦν ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ ᾧ ὄνομα Συμεὼν καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος καὶ εὐλαβὴς προσδεχόμενος παράκλησιν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, καὶ πνεῦμα ἦν ἅγιον ἐπʼ αὐτόν• 26 καὶ ἦν αὐτῷ κεχρηματισμένον ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου μὴ ἰδεῖν θάνατον πρὶν [ἢ] ἂν ἴδῃ τὸν χριστὸν κυρίου. 27 καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν• καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ 28 καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδέξατο αὐτὸ εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας καὶ εὐλόγησεν τὸν θεὸν καὶ εἶπεν• 29 νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου, δέσποτα, κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ• 30 ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν σου, 31 ὃ ἡτοίμασας κατὰ πρόσωπον πάντων τῶν λαῶν, 32 φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν καὶ δόξαν λαοῦ σου Ἰσραήλ. 33 καὶ ἦν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἡ μήτηρ θαυμάζοντες ἐπὶ τοῖς λαλουμένοις περὶ αὐτοῦ. 34 καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς Μαριὰμ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ• ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον - 35 καὶ σοῦ [δὲ] αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία - ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί. 36 Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ• αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς 37 καὶ αὐτὴ χήρα ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων, ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ ἱεροῦ νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσιν λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν. 38 καὶ αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐπιστᾶσα ἀνθωμολογεῖτο τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐλάλει περὶ αὐτοῦ πᾶσιν τοῖς προσδεχομένοις λύτρωσιν Ἰερουσαλήμ. 39 Καὶ ὡς ἐτέλεσαν πάντα τὰ κατὰ τὸν νόμον κυρίου, ἐπέστρεψαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν εἰς πόλιν ἑαυτῶν Ναζαρέθ. 40 Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πληρούμενον σοφίᾳ, καὶ χάρις θεοῦ ἦν ἐπʼ αὐτό.
Jesus Presented at the Temple 22 And r when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem s to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in t the Law of the Lord, u “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in t the Law of the Lord, v “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was w righteous and x devout, y waiting for z the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not a see death before he had seen b the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when c the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and d blessed God and said, 29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant 1 depart e in peace, f according to your word; 30 for g my eyes have seen your h salvation 31 i that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 j a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and k for glory to l your people Israel.” 33 And m his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed n for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign o that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” 36 And there was p a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. 1 She did not depart from the temple, q worshiping with r fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were s waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. The Return to Nazareth 39 And when they had performed everything according to t the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of u Nazareth. 40 v And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
Now we have what many longed to see Introduction What have you been longing for, some of you, this Christmas? What do you long to see on your deathbed? cf news of abolition of slavery. People who live to see their daughter's wedding etc. Missionary hearing of first conversions. [imagine a man who orders a parcel and waits and waits] Privilege of having what others longed and longed for. It teaches us the value and weight of it! Imagine Simeon and Anna's joy. Nunc dimittis. Catholic canticle/sung prayer. Also Lutheran order of service. And Anglican book of common prayer. 1. Faithful Israel recognises the true Israel v22-24, v27, and v39 according to the Law. Mary's purification. At least 40 days after birth. One for a burnt offering (pleasing to the Lord - to hear entreaties etc); one for a sin offering (to bring forgiveness). v25 Simeon righteous and devout, and longing to see Isaiah 40 fulfilled. v25 righteous? Yes, in the Lord's sight. Covenantal righteousness achieved by Jesus and revealed in Simeon's conduct. Show your faith by your works. Waiting for the consolation/encouragement/comfort of Israel. Alluding to Isaiah 40 presumably! [Lots of subtle reminders that, along the whole of history, God has had His faithful ones quietly getting on with godliness and the love of Him - cf Elijah, Samuel, and certainly so today] v36-38 Anna in the came category as Simeon; constant in worship and longing to see what Isaiah had promised. To see this new Exodus. v38 waiting for the liberation/deliverance of Jerusalem; again Isaiah 40.1-10. Straight after this we actually have John the baptist in Luke 3 preparing the way, as Isaiah 40 calls for. [Luke is like an artist deliberately using a style or setting to make us make the connection between the two] See how devout Israel is prepared for her Messiah. Young poor parents, yet going to do what is required of them by YHWH ( Leviticus 12.8 ). The man Simeon meditating on YHWH's words (and Anna too). In the temple. The Old Covenant births the New. Faithful Old see the New as the glorious reality of what had been shadows beforehand. [those who are listening hear the doorbell and receive the gift] 2. Praise be to God: now we have what many longed to see v29-32 Simeon's song. Same point as last week about reading the cross references and getting the significance. v29. What he longed to see, he had now glimpsed. v30. This baby is God's salvation. His Yeshua, His Jesus. The Spirit has pointed this out to him. v31. In the presence of all nations. Again and again at his birth. cf the wise men coming; a picture of the nations bringing their riches to Jesus. [All around the world this morning, people are worshiping Jesus - isn't that amazing!] v32. A light for the nations/light for revealing the nations/light to reveal to the nations. And glory of your people Israel. Jesus will be the great crystal that refracts and displays the glory of God. He is the true light and the true Israel. 'Out of Israel I called my Son'. v29-32 key. Here's the divine interpretation of Christmas. Your long-promised (Isaiah) salvation is delivered and now tangible [cf tracking an amazon order]. [Not yet fully unwrapped, but it's here]. All peoples. From Israel, a light for all peoples. v34 falling and rising; like language of raising valleys and flattening mountains of Isaiah 40. Division, hardening, repentance. The proud shall fall, while the humble shall stand and rejoice. Glory of God: He has given the consolation of Israel, the deliverance of Jerusalem, by giving Himself FCF: we are unable to restore or redeem. All we can do is wait - and we struggle to do that. We don't grasp and marvel at our privileges. [baby born with great privileges, which it did nothing to earn] Person of Jesus: He is the true Israel, the faithful obedient Son showing the glory of God to the nations - cf his birth/the magi, or the Greeks who come to visit. Or the Centurion at the cross, and nations passing by. In a few chapters he will be tested 40 days and prove faithful. Work of Jesus: He achieves redemption and restoration through putting to death in himself the curses. And being raised to life. If we are in him we are participants in the righteousness he has achieved for us. He keeps covenant, and then shares those covenant blessings with us. He has achieved the greater exodus, the consolation, the liberation. Repent and believe: Make sure you are part of the true Israel, by faith in Jesus. All that is his is yours. Praise him for the enormous privilege in which you stand! Conclusion Christmas is when the great gift arrived, and those longing for it saw it and were overjoyed. We are living with the gift unwrapped, and still being unwrapped. cf Matthew 13.16-17, Luke 10.21-24; many longed to see what you see. 1 Peter 1.10-12 they were serving you, who have now had the gospel preached to you! Quote from Carson's recent email. 'It's a wonderful time to be alive.' We live in times that are immensely challenging. Worldwide, very large numbers of people have never heard the gospel -- and this in a world where democracy is in declension, social and military strife abound, persecution is on the rise, and the great gods of consumerism and power beckon with seductive power. In the West, the freedoms we thought sacrosanct are being eroded, and many seek shelter in secularism, political correctness (especially in the sexual and gender arenas), new forms of xenophobia and racism, and candid spiritual indifferentism. Yet at the same time, in many countries God is raising up a fresh cadre of young pastor-theologians who want to learn how to provide Spirit-anointed exposition of Scripture for the people of God, who volunteer to serve in Muslim-dominant nations, who throw themselves wholeheartedly into our cities with a Calebite spirit ("Give me this mountain!"), who want to be clear and passionate about the gospel, and who, far from being afraid of the "other," cry to God for mercy to enable them to love their neighbors as themselves. This is a wonderful time to be alive. If the challenges are great, so are the opportunities -- and in any case we serve a God who is more interested in our faithfulness than in our fame. We serve the Lord Jesus, who has promised to build his church. Prayer for the church family. Either lighten the burden or strengthen our backs. 2. The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the Father's glory, of one substance and equal with him who made the world, who upholdeth and governeth all things he hath made, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her: and the power of the Most High overshadowing her; and so was made of a woman of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David according to the Scriptures; so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion; which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man. [LBCF VIII.2] 5. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of God, procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him. [LBCF VIII.5] 6. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages, successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent's head; and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the same yesterday, and today and for ever. [LBCF VIII.6]