Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Text Luke 2:22-40

                             Lectionary Gospel Reading    QUICK OVERVIEW
                                               For January 1, 2006       Cycle B

Text:  Luke 2:22-40

Key Word:  Expectancy

Key Verse:  Luke 2:38  “And she (Anna, a prophetess), too, came up that same hour (to the temple as she attended all services all her life, and overheard Simeon talking with Mary and Joseph about the Christ child)  and she returned thanks to God, and talked of (Jesus) to all who were looking for the redemption (deliverance) of Jerusalem.”  Amplified Bible.

Key Thought:  The expectant hope for the long looked-for Messiah of the faithful remnant in the Temple was suddenly fulfilled when the Christ child was presented for dedication by His parents.

Outline of Ideas Presented in the Text:

Devout Joseph and Mary were careful to obey the ceremonial laws given by Moses that   required the first-born son to be dedicated to the Lord.  So they brought Jesus to the Temple and made  the minimum sacrifice of the poor.  Verses 22-24.

Simeon, an elderly spirit-filled believer, was eagerly expecting the Messiah.  He had been shown earlier by the Holy Spirit that he would see the long looked-for Messiah.  He was providentially led to be at the Temple right when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus for dedication.  The Holy Spirit pointed Him out and Simeon eagerly took the Jesus the Christ child in his arms and prophesied, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in poetic form over the child. Verses 25-28.

He thanked the Lord for fulfilling His promise to him of letting him see the Messiah that had come for the salvation of all (not just Jewish as Luke the Greek physician writing for the Greeks was careful to point out) peoples.  That would be the greatest honor to the Jews. He asked God’s blessing on the family and prophesied further that Jesus would divide the Nation as some would reject Him to their ruin and some would humble themselves and accept Him and be raised to new life.  He would also be a marked man much attacked by men who thereby revealed their malicious intent.  This would cause Mary much grief.  Verses 29-35.

The Holy Spirit guided another elderly and very dedicated believer, the long widowed Anna, to meet the Christ child.  Anna also was known to prophesy under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  For many years she had been faithfully attending public services at the Temple along with some others eagerly expecting the Messianic Deliverer of Israel.  She overheard Simeon prophesying and eagerly saw the Child and told others that the Messiah had come.  Verses 36-38.

When Joseph and Mary had fulfilled all their lawful obligations in dedicating Jesus, they returned to their hometown of Nazareth in the northern hills of Galilee.  Luke skips over the visit of the Magi and the flight to Egypt and the family’s return.  Like the other Gospel writers, he gives a brief summary of Jesus childhood and goes on to concentrate on His public ministry.  This summary pointed out Jesus growth in body and soul, growing in God’s favor and wisdom.  Verses 39-40.

Application:

Have I dedicated my children to the Lord or do I seek my own selfish ambitions for them?

Am I faithful in attending public worship as these believers were?

Am I eagerly expecting Christ’s Return?  

Have I fallen in humility before Christ in repentance and been raised to new life in Him?
Or have I rejected His claims on my life to my detriment?

Joe Sturz
www.joesturzlectionary.blogspot.com  







  

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