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Promise Delivered!

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We’re celebrating the birth of Jesus next weekend both Saturday and Sunday
Today we leap many days past the birth
Mary and Joseph, obeying the law, brought their child to be dedicated—according to the law and custom of the Jews
Note to note: there is much linkage in the Gospels to the Law and tradition of the Jews
We often blow past it without noting its significance; if it’s in our Scripture, we should be taking note--
If nothing else, we must note that Mary and Joseph, though singled out for this blessing and given their personal notice by the Angel of God, still obeyed the law
So they came to offer the required sacrifice, it would be the sacrifice of poor parents (obviously before the gifts of the Magi)
…and so we meet Simeon: a minor player with a major message
He was a prophet of the OT type, given a message to pass along
In some ways, this was a...

A Personal Promise

Simeon—don’t know much about him
He was righteous (relates to his dealings with men)
He was devout (relates to his dealings with God)
He was waiting for the consolation of Israel (v. 26)
We may assume that it was the high point of his life
We are not given the means of that revelation—no need to speculate on it
From all we see, we know that he was in tune with the Holy Spirit

it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ

That’s all we need to know
He would see the one man who would enable the restoration of the relationship between God and man; Messiah, Jesus

Recognition of the Promise

The promise here being the one to fulfill that Protoevangelium—to bruise the head of satan
…to win the conflict that had begun on that fateful day in creation when Adam and Eve fell
In the words of Paul, years later, explaining this:
Romans 5:9–11 ESV
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Explanation of the Promise

Mini-sermon here

…your salvation...

Addressed to the Father
In a culture influenced by the self-righteousness of Pharisees, a reminder of who it is that works salvation: God Himself
Some components of this salvation Col 2 13-15
Colossians 2:13–15 ESV
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

prepared in the presence of all peoples

Nothing here happened in a vacuum
With Roman rule in place (…all the world should be enrolled) records were well-kept and available
Now, Jesus is being presented as the first-born male “holy to the Lord”
All very much public; by the time of His death, the world had gotten pretty small!
By 49 AD the whole Roman world was aware of Him

a light for revelation to the Gentiles

Remember that promise to Abraham? All the world would be blessed through his offspring?
Here it is! Is 42 6
Isaiah 42:6 ESV
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
We, as Gentiles are the recipients of this blessing.
This may have been something of a surprise to those in his hearing
They expected a Messiah to redeem Israel, but those awful Gentiles?

glory to your people Israel

Yes, the Gentile world would share in the blessings

Postlude to the Promise

There was a somber and even unhappy component within this promise
Mary’s son would die
Her own heart would be pierced with grief in the final hours of her son’s earthly ministry v.35

Our Part in the Promise

As we, over this next week, take part in the celebrations, enjoy the company of family and friends, remember what this is really all about
The world was a bleak place
There was no hope…except that God made a promise
We celebrate the arrival of the promise
…look forward to the completion of the promise; the second coming of the Lord

of course, the questions

As Simeon was looking forward to the coming Messiah and clearly recognized Him when He appeared...
Do we recognize Jesus for who He is?
First and foremost, is He YOUR Savior
Are you trusting hin Him and Him alone to save you from your sins?
Have you truly repented of your sins?
Are you looking at life with an eternal perspective?
Are you moving to be more like Jesus?
If He came into this world to leave us as we were, that’s not much of a salvation
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