22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth 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 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
- Waiting … prosdexomai, to look for, to receive to one’s self. He was telling others. Much like Bro Leonard’s friend at the pipe yard in Houston who was always looking up to the sky, looking for the Lord’s return. He had a zeal about him for the Lord’s promises!
- The consolation of Israel … this takes me back to Isaiah chapter 40 where the prophet began his pronouncements of the Lord’s actions to redeem the nation Israel from their sins and to bring to pass for the nation the promises made to Abraham concerning the land and the people, the Messiah and the blessings.
- Isaiah 40:1-3 “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
- The message of God’s prophets and in NT times, the apostles and Christ was this ”People of Jerusalem, Take courage! Be comforted, the time of your redemption is here!”
- speak comfortably … speak upon the heart. God’s desire is to win the hearts of His people! The message is for the inner man. God is not satisfied with the external rituals, which was the common understanding of the religion taught by the rabbis at this time. God wanted a resonse from the heart of His people. That’s what He desires from us as well! And look at what was spoken to the heart of the people, and what John the Baptist would soon be preaching, and what Simeon here saw in the infant in his arms.
- that her warfare is accomplished … her troubles are finished. Her long enmity against God has been filled up to the brim. It’s over. There is now One who has come and made reconciliation for the people so that they can be made right with God and restored to a relationship with the God who made them and loves them. The warfare is ended for all who will lay down their arms of rebellion against the Lord.
- that her iniquity is pardoned … all the crooked things done in rebellion against God are now pardoned. They are pardoned because the sacrifice made on their behalf has been accepted. See Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” This is how Jerusalem’s iniquities have been pardoned and is still available to that city today.
- for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins … While the nation has been in rebellion against Jesus Christ she has suffered greatly– for 1900 years she was out of the land, having been brought back only in the past century and having been an independent nation for only seventy years. Also, we see in Ch 39 that Isaiah spoke of Jerusalem’s future exile to Babylon. There was a second scattering of Jerusalem among all nations that took place in 70 and 135AD. Thus, we see her sent away from the land and into captivity two times for her sins against the Lord. She indeed has suffered greatly for her sins. God’s wrath is just. She has not suffered twice what was deserved, for God’s justice only exacts that which His law demands.
- But I think we also see in this that the Lord, having now been pleased to forgive her iniquities upon her repentance and return to Him and to His Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, will pour out His great riches of love, grace, and mercy upon the descendants of His friend Abraham. We see here the beginnings of the Lord’s comforting of His nation.
- McGee said that it was the practice in Judah that if a man borrowed against his property and owed a mortgage, that a written copy was nailed to the debtor’s doorpost for all to see. The one that loaned the money kept a copy for himself. Once the debt was paid, then the one who received the payment would take his carbon copy and nail it on top of the original copy on the debtor’s door post, showing that the debt was paid and nothing more was owed.
- I like that picture, perhaps that is what is being spoken of here by Isaiah. If so, then our Saviors last cry on the cross “It is finished!” becomes even more vivid in our mind’s eye.
Let’s return to Simeon in Luke 2:25
- They Holy Ghost was upon him … The Holy Ghost only works with those who are submitted to the Lord and His will. So here we see that Simeon was a man that was just and devout. He took the word of the Lord and made it his to believe and obey in every aspect of his life. He knew the Scriptures, thought upon them and as we just saw, embraced them and spoke of them.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
- He knew and had thought upon not only Isaiah 40-53 but also Daniel 9:24-27. He knew that at this point it had been some 450 or so years since the command went forth to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem as recorded in Nehemiah chapter 2. He knew that it was getting within a few decades of the Messiah’s coming to Jerusalem. And the Holy Ghost has told him that he would get to see the Lord’s Anointed One, the Messiah, before his death.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
- Thy salvation … Isaiah 25:9 “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
- salvation … the Hebrew word here is YeShuA’. That’s right. Jesus is merely the Greek rendering of the Hebrew name YeShuA’ and it means Salvation.
- Simeon saw this little baby, heard His name Yeshua and immediately His mind raced back to Isa 25:9. He saw that which he had been waiting for as we saw in vs 25.
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
- Isaiah 25:7-8 “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.”
- During the kingdom age, when the King is here in Jerusalem, Satan will have been banished to chains and the veil of blindness that he had placed upon the eyes of the last for the past six thousand years will finally be taken away. And then Israel will be able to see, appreciate and enjoy her glory, the Lord Jesus Christ. They will meet the One who for them, and for all nations will have swallowed up death in victory!
- There will no longer be a need for Him to rebuke His people, for they will all have turned to Jesus of Nazareth by this time.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
- set … keimai a setting up, put in place. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has been set forth as we saw in Rom 3:25 to be the propitiation, through faith in His blood, for the sins of all the world that will believe in Him. And notice what Simeon says He has been set forth for, the …
- fall and rising again of many in Israel … fall and resurrection. He was thinking of Dan 12:2 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” The Gospel of Christ is the one issue that the Jews had to face. Unfortunately for them, the nation rejected Jesus as their Messiah. But for the Gentiles that enmity against the Lord became our gain as we have seen many times in our recent studies.
- and for a sign … semion elsewhere translated miracle. The singular miracle in focus here is that which is God’s power unto salvation, the Gospel of Christ– His death for our sins, His burial and His resurrection from the dead on the third day, all according to Scripture. This is the sign, the miracle, that supernatural event that every person on earth must face, What will you do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The Jewish leaders early on started lying about it, saying His disciples stole His body from the tomb. And that nation, for the most part has rejected the gospel and the person of Jesus Christ ever since. But Gentiles also must make a decision when confronted with their sin’s penalty, their coming judgment and their need for God’s righteousness provided only in Christ.
- Shall be spoken against … The Jews, and all lost men speak against Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Their eyes remain blinded because of their sin and their own self-righteousness. The lost many times mention the name of Jesus Christ, but rarely with any semblance of reverence and respect. Normally, His name is blasphemed and used as a curse word.
- But Simeon saw who this special little nearly seven-week old baby was.
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
- Luke sometimes will give an account and jump to its end, or conclusion, and then begin another account on a slightly different subject matter. He is not giving a police report. He is presenting the truths of the life of Jesus Christ that to be most surely believed.
- He does not give the account of the flight to Egypt, but jumps ahead to when Joseph and Mary returned from Egypt, saw a son of Herod on the throne in Jerusalem and so decided to return to Nazareth, their hometown in Galilee to the north.
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
- He grew up like any young Jewish boy in Israel would have done, but He was a bit different. Being God the Son come in the flesh, He was sinless, and in fellowship with God the Father—thus growing physically, spiritually because God’s favor, or grace, was upon Him.
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
- Just as the Law required every male to do, they went up for this week-long feast. This first Passover event in the life of our Savior shows him at the age of 12, wise beyond the years of any normal Jewish 12 year old, and it is here noted that He made an impression upon the doctors of the Law in the temple.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
- Astonished … this word is used three times in Acts by Luke,
- Of Paul’s conversion and preaching in Acts 9:21 “But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?”
- Of the Jewish companions of Peter when Gentiles received the Holy Ghost and spake in other languages in Acts 10:45 “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
- And those at the Prayer Meeting for Peter when he was locked into prison when he showed up for the meeting himself in Acts 12:16 “But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.”
- These Scholars of the Bible in Luke2:47 were blown away is how it might be phrased in our modern slang. His answers to their questions, and His own questions of them were unsettling and caused them to marvel at Him as to how He could have such wisdom and insight and understanding of the things of God at such a young age. These were the masters that taught the Jewish leaders in matters of the Law, and here they were face to face with the incarnate Living Word of God—and they knew it not as He took them to school.
- You know, being a scholar of the Bible does not in itself make one a spiritual person. For if these scholars had been submitted to the Lord and His will, and had the Holy Ghost upon them, as did Simeon and probably Anna as we saw earlier, they too would have stood and bowed before Jesus and began praising the Lord for sending them His Messiah.
- Isn’t it wonderful today to have the full Word of God, both the Old and New Testaments that tell us everything we need to know of our Savior and our God. The book that makes us wise unto salvation, the book that shows us Jesus, the book that the Holy Ghost uses to speak to us, to reveal to us and to bring us into submission to His will. That shows us His promises that give us hope, His commands for us to follow, that gives us the light we need to live for Him in this dark and unfriendly world that we must travel. This book that shows us Jesus so that we can share Him with others, and that one day we can recognize Him by His scars and His glory when we go to meet Him face to face.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
- Joseph was a carpenter(Matt 13:5), and Jesus is not talking about the vocation that he had learned from His step-father. He was telling them that it was a necessity for Him to be occupied primarily with His Father’s matters, His word and His will, imparting it to others. He was ready at twelve, but it would be another eighteen years before His Father would call Him into that work of ministry for which He came to fulfill– to reveal the Father to mankind and carry out the work required to bring about the redemption of Adam’s lost race.
- This shows us that we also being adopted and new-creation children of God should have the primary focus of our lives upon the things of our Father. We should be yielded to His will and the work of His Spirit in our lives to bring us to will and do of His good pleasure.
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
- He went back home with them to Nazareth and continued to be subject to His mother and to Joseph His step-father. And meanwhile, Mary kept all these sayings in her heart. And as we saw in vs 19, she kept these things in her heart, and as in that instance of the shepherds sayings and visit, she pondered these things in her heart.
- As Bro Leonard mentioned last week, the Lord was building her faith in those things He had promised her by the angel Gabriel.