Saturday- Week 3
Jesus Presented at the Temple
Presentation of Jesus at the Temple 12th century
by unknown Georgian artist; Tbilisi, Georgia
Luke 2: 21-38
21 On thle eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[d] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Simeon’s Prayer and Prophecy
Simeon’s prayer also known as Simeon’s Song (vv.29-32) is often referred to as the Nunc Dimittis, which means ‘now you dismiss’ in Latin. What are four things Simeon’s prayer tells us about Jesus?
[This Holy Child would bring salvation (Psalm 98:3);
His salvation would be for ‘all people’ (Isaiah 52:10);
That He would be a ‘light’ to the Gentiles (Isaiah 9:2)**;
He would be the glory of God's people- Israel (Isaiah 49:3)]
**This meant that Gentiles would be called out of the darkness and into the light, which reaffirms that the aforementioned ‘all people’ did indeed include the Gentiles--as many Jews believed the Messiah was sent only for their nation (Acts 11:18).
Simeon prophesied three things, what were they?
[He would Cause the falling and rising of many;
He would be a sign from God, but would be spoken against and hearts would be revealed;
Mary would be pierced with grief.]
What does each mean?
[Falling and rising: “Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and, ‘A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.”- 1 Peter 2:7-8 (See also: Isaiah 8:14, Psalm 118:22)
Spoken against: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.”- Isaiah 53:3
Hearts revealed: “..He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”-1 Corinthians 4:5
Pierced with grief: “Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”-- John 19:25-27]
Prophecy of Anna
How old was Anna? What was unusual about this?
[No one knows really. Some versions of the Bible say ‘she was a widow of about eighty-four years,’ other versions say ‘she had been a widow for eighty-four years,’ while our version (NIV1984) states ‘she was a widow until she was eighty-four.’ Therefore, commentators do not agree on her age.
Many believe that the eighty-four refers to the length of her widowhood; therefore, adding seven years of marriage, and assuming she was at least fourteen years when she married, she was possibly 105 years old! By this time in history, people lived much shorter lives, and given her advanced age, it is also impressive that she still participated in regular fasting (which was probably no more than twice a week, as the strictest Pharisees observed; see Luke 18:12).]
The Lord provided two witnesses of His Son’s arrival and future purpose this day. What is the significance of two witnesses?
[“One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Deuteronomy 19:15
“Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
2 Corinthians 13:1b
“In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I am one Who testifies for Myself; My other witness is the Father, who sent Me.” John 8:17-18
And in Revelation 11, the Lord sends the Two Witnesses to testify to the truth of His Word and work.]
Why did the Lord choose a man and a woman to testify to His Son’s power and purpose?
“And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” Joel 2:28 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy…’”Acts 2:17-18]
Close in Prayer
Sometimes the Lord takes a long time to answer prayer. However, He is faithful (Psalm 89:8; 1 Thess. 5:24), and there is a purpose to everything He does and allows (Romans 8:28) . If you have been waiting a long time for God to answer a prayer for you, don't give up. Ask the Lord to give you patience and grace while you wait for an answer.
Make a Joyful Sound!
Choose a song from Songs for Advent Week 3 or choose your own.