Jesus Dedicated in the Temple
The Child is Born
Day 19 Thursday, December 16th
1. Recognize the Context:
In Luke 2:8-14, the shepherds encountered the angel of the Lord, and they were instructed not to be afraid. This angel announced the good news of the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord. Then suddenly, a chorus of angels began to rejoice, and the shepherds went to Bethlehem to see the child. They spread the message concerning what they had seen and heard, and the people marveled. Mary meditated on what she heard and experienced. The shepherds then returned and praised God. On the 8th day, in accordance with Jewish Law, Joseph and Mary had Jesus circumcised (verse 21).
2. Read the Scripture: Luke 2:22-32
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."
3. Reflect on the Scripture:
In verses 22-24, Mary and Joseph presented the purification offering (Lev. 12:1-3) and dedicated Jesus in the temple as their firstborn (Ex. 13:2, 12). Their offering of a pair of doves instead of a lamb indicated their lower economic status.
In verse 25, Simeon entered the narrative as a righteous and devout person, indicating his faithfulness to God. He was waiting for the restoration and comfort of Israel, a theme found in the prophets (Isa. 40:1, 49:13, 51:3, 61:2). In verses 25-27, the Holy Spirit's presence is mentioned three times. The Spirit was upon him, the Spirit revealed Simeon wouldn't die before he met the Messiah, and the Spirit directed him to the temple courts.
When Mary and Joseph dedicated Jesus, Simeon held him and praised God with a song (2:29-32). Unlike the two previous songs by Zechariah and Mary, Simeon's song used the second person singular in response to God, which seemed to reflect Simeon's unique relationship with God.
In verse 29, Simeon is presented as a watchman ready to be released from duty because his waiting has been satisfied. As God had promised, Simeon had looked into the very eyes of salvation (1:69, 2:11). Verse 31 echoes Isaiah 52:10, which indicated God's salvation would be seen by "all the nations." Simeon said this salvation would serve two functions. It would be revealed to the pagan Gentile nations, but it would also bring glory to the people of Israel.
4. Relate to life:
Remember, it is important to be a doer of God’s Word, not merely a hearer or reader (James 1:22-25). Here are some practical ways to actively respond to God’s Word. Consider these or create other ways you can apply the message.
Today, prayerfully consider how God’s faithfulness to Simeon, Israel, and all the Gentile nations was demonstrated in Christ.
Prayerfully consider Simeon’s faithfulness to God as he waited for God to fulfill his promise.
Prayerfully consider how God’s faithfulness to his people impacts your life today?
To do: (With the Holy Sprit's help)
In view of the prayer suggestions above, what is one thing you want to incorporate into your life today? Think about your attitudes, actions, and words.
To study: Read and study the verses above.