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Luke 2:22-40 (2)

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Intro

How many of you have something you are believing for before your days are over?
Is there anything that you truly live in anticipation for? 
Most but not all of the things that we believe for, fall into three categories:
1.Things we personally want to experience or own; i.e
2.Things we want others to experience or own; i.e
3.There are the things that we believe for or live with anticipation for, that are bigger than what we can fully understand or influence completely; i.e
We know it would be life changing but we are not really sure what that means or even looks like!

3 Things to remember

A few things to remember if our perspective is going to come from a biblical, God centered mindset.
1. God wants to give us the desires of our heart, yet He alone understands how our requests will play out in light of eternity.
2. Because God sees our requests in light of eternity, the timing issue is beyond our ability to fully grasp or understand!
3. Because God is Sovereign, we are called to trust his timing; for the purpose of growing in our relationship with Him.

overview

The piece of scripture we are unpacking today is one of those sections where there is the obvious happening
(i.e baby Jesus being presented in the temple) but yet so much more is happening!
There is the cultural anticipation and tension surrounding this time. ( Roman Occupation)
There is the religious anticipation and tension of the Israelites.
There is the internal family anticipation and tension of what they were experiencing around the birth of Jesus.
This part of the story of Jesus' early days as a baby is linked to both past and future truths that help us to zoom out from the obvious to see the grander more amazing storyline.

Read NLT

Our new testament minds may have trouble understanding why Jesus' mother and father were still acting as if the old testament Law of Moses needed to still be obeyed!
But sometimes it is easy to forget that the primary reference of life was still the old testament scriptures for Joseph and Mary.
Although over the past 9 months they had been exposed to a much different experience of Gods power and vision, they are still subjects of the Law of Moses and the religious culture of their day!
But do not miss this, it doesn't mean they were any less impacted, spiritually, mentally or emotionally than we are by our relationship with God in the 21st century.
They are doing what they know to do because of their desire to be in communion with the God of Isreal.
For Joseph and Mary it was a step of faith to present Jesus for the purpose of obedience and blessing!
Although we are not under the Law we still can learn from the Law when it comes to disciplines that draw our hearts and minds to God and away from this world.

Simeon

The Jews regarded their own nation as the chosen people.
By far the greater number of them believed that because the Jews were the chosen people they were bound some day to become masters of the world and lords of all the nations.
To bring in that day some believed that some great, celestial champion would descend upon the earth; some believed that there would arise another king of David’s line and that all the old glories would revive; some believed that God himself would break directly into history by supernatural means.
But in contrast to all that, there were a few people who were known as the Quiet in the Land. They had no dreams of violence and of power and of armies with banners; they believed in a life of constant prayer and quiet watchfulness until God should come.
All their lives they waited quietly and patiently upon God. Simeon was like that; in prayer, in worship, in humble and faithful expectation he was waiting for the day when God would comfort his people.
God had promised him through the Holy Spirit that his life would not end before he had seen God’s own anointed king
Augustine says this about Simeon: Notice what he said. You see, he was being kept until he should see with his eyes what he already perceived with faith.
Sometimes when the things that we believe for by faith; seem to be slow in coming to fruition: maybe it is because God is working inside "our believe" to develop a deeper faith that only comes through time!
Simeon was, "righteous and devout"

Simeon is a picture of being lead by the Spirit

It says, the Holy Spirit was upon him and that day the Spirit led him into the temple.
We want to be like Simeon as followers of Jesus. Not in some weird spooky way that weird out people but in the sense that we are positioning ourselves to respond when the Spirit of God whispers into our heart!
Simeon is also an example of what it looks like to bear the fruit of the Spirit as is also the prophetess Anna.

Simeon's prophecy

Looking at the words of this prophecy and blessing, we can understand why even though Mary and Joseph were amazed!
Even though they had heard from Angels and Mary had became pregnant by a move of the Spirit, they now were hearing from a complete stranger the true identity of their baby boy!
The grandness and scope of this baby's impact would reach into ever crevice of humanity and would forever change the world!
He is a light to reveal God to the nations!
Simeon knew that no one could release a man from the prison of the body with hope of life to come, except the anointed One whom he enfolded in his arms.

Simeons Blessing

He then turns to Joseph and Mary and paints a picture of the things to come ending with verse 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
So the blessing ends with what must of been a sting in the ears of Mary!

Anna the prophetess

With the words of Simeon still ringing in their ears another voice rings out! When I think of Anna the only modern reference I have is Mother Teresa, Anna is the picture of devotion!
37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.
I want to be like Anna! She talked about the child to everyone! She didn't need a title and she wasn't waiting for a church campaign! She had seen the King of Kings and she was going to tell everyone!

Jesus' childhood

Not a lot is said in scripture about Jesus' childhood other than the following scripture that talks about his encounter with the teachers of the law when he was 12.
Outside of the cannon of scripture there are accounts and stories but I believe that the summation found in verse 40 serves to properly depict the character and formation of Gods son as it relates to him being both fully divine and fully God.

Conclusion

What can we learn and more importantly what God do in us and through us as we reflect upon what we have heard this morning?
1. We are reminded that the season that we celebrate is more than the presents and gatherings. It is about God’s Amazing love story.
Maybe why that is we feel a little more love during this season?
2. We are blessed because of God’s gift to us! Simeon’s and Anna’s devotion were birthed out of a love for their God and a Hope!
3. This story reminds us not to give up! To continue to dream and Hope and center life around a bigger truth!
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Luke 2:22–24 ESV
And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (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 to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
Luke 2:22–24 ESV
And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (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 to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
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