Week 10 | Sections 12, 13
How many people there are still in need of consolation. People who are ensnared by the evil and wrong doing of others and those who are embroiled by their own vices be they from striving or indulgence.
The good news is that our consolation has come. This was the was the truth that the Simeon, the president of the Sanhedrin, and Anna, the prophetess, discovered that day when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple as an infant.
Indeed, freedom is freely available to all those who accept the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Luke 2:21 | Section 12
Luke 2:22-38 | Section 13
22 When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses3 were fulfilled, they brought him4 up to Jerusalem,5 to present him to the Lord6 23 (as it is written in the law7 of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.8 This man was righteous and devout,9 looking for the consolation of Israel,10 and the Holy Spirit11 was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.12 27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law, 28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,13 29 “Now you are releasing your servant, Master,according to your word, in peace;14¯15¯16 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared17 before the face of all peoples;18 32 a light for revelation to the nations,and the glory of your people Israel.” 33 Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him, 34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the falling19 and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. 35 Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” 36 There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, 37 and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn’t depart from the temple, worshiping with fastings and petitions night and day. 38 Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem.
- What do you find most touching about this story?
- What was your own experience with the dedication or baptism of an infant?
- What assurances of grace can be communicated by this act? And what benefit do they bring?
- Why is peace so hard to find? What disturbs your own sense of peace?
- How might Scripture, grace, and faith mitigate disturbances that so easily beset us from the intention of God?
Consecration, consolation, Divine plan, humanity of Christ, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit,
- (Gen 17:12) – Christ was circumcised because it was the faithful responsibility of his parents, as theological reason says understands that Jesus didn’t have a sinful (Adamic/fallen) nature, nor need to cleanse his heart, for which it was a symbol. See also notes from week 9.
- See Luke 1:31, Week 9
- Read Lev 12:1-8 – This purification was for Mary and for the sake of the law as Jesus was not in need of purification himself. Following the guidelines in Leviticus, Mary would have waited 40(1) days counting from the day she birth (the religious observation was 80/1 days if a woman gave birth to a girl).
- The journey from Bethlehem to Jerusalem was about 6 miles (see distances in the Bible). One researcher, Arthur Blessitt, has calculated that “Mary the Mother of Jesus walked at least half the distance around the world at the equator and that in the course of his adult life Jesus of Nazareth walked almost the distance around the world at the equator”. From his experience walking the roads, he says, “In the summer time the heat could reach up to 120 F. and in the winter there is often snow along that route. The way included mountains, valleys, rivers, desert and wilderness. [Back then] There were bandits and killers hiding along the wayside.”
- Perhaps they entered through the gate of Nicanor which lead to the Women’s court.
- This would be the first time Jesus went to the temple (foretold Malachi 3:1).
- Gill explains this well: “The reason of this law was this, when God smote all the firstborn of Egypt, he saved the firstborn of Israel; and therefore claimed a right to them, and obliged their parents, excepting the Levites (which Mary was not), to redeem them at the price of five shekels, which were about twelve shillings and six pence of our money, and which was given to the Levites.” (Exodus 13:12-15; Numbers 3:12-13, 46-47; 18:15-16; Exodus 13:2,12; Lev 5:11; 12:8) — See also Galatians 4:4 “born under the law” – Jesus was under the law, and subject to it, but as such he was also able to overcome it and redeem us all (see consolation vs 25).
- It is uncertain, but many scholars have reasoned that this is Rabban Simeon, (son of Hillell who for 40 years was president of the sanhedrim). Simeon succeeded Hillell, and he was the father of Gamaliel – the rabi who instructed Saul (the Apostle Paul).
- That would be that he feared God, avoided evil; respected by others, and devoutly observant of the law.
- “The comforter” (Zechariah 3:8; Isaiah 61:1-3). This comfort was not to all, and not just the Jews, but to those who would receive him. Read: Lk 2:34-35
- Both Simeon and Anna were sensitive to the Holy Spirit. They felt prompted, they went, they spoke. Remember too that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
- That is “the anointed one” (Isa 28:5) the “glory of Israel and light to gentiles” (Lk 2:32)
- This portion is called the “Nunc Dimittis” Listen to this version presented by “New York Polyphony”. The name of this passage is derived from the first words of the original greek text (now, depart). It is interesting to note how given the revelation of seeing the Messiah, Simeon felt free to release his mortal life, and embrace eternal life.
- Read Phil 1:21 and 1Pt 1:20-21 and know that every believer may be assured of departing this world in peace.
- that this chapter began noting that all this happened during the time of Augustus Caesar. He ruled with such power that there was subservient “peace” for 16 years. In fact the temple of Janice, the god of war, was closed – for it was only opened when the Roman troops were sent to battle, so that the people would come pray for victory.
- The names of Jesus in Scripture include: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isa 9:6″ See also: John 14:1,27; 16:33; Phil 4:7; Col 3:15.
- Indeed God had been planning this for some time – 1Pt 1:20-21 – “For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
- Read Isaiah 49:6 The disciple should read and study all of Isa 49 this week. Read also: Ps 27:1; 43:3; Dan 2:22; John 8:12; 1John 1:5)
- Isa 8:14 “he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.” Read also: Mal 3:2; Ps 118:22; Mt 21:42