Look, The Messiah!

Preached January 1 2017 at Riverview, Columbia, TN.

simLuke 2:21-35 (KJV)  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.  [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.  [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.  [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,  [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.  [33]  And Joseph and his mother marveled 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;  [35]  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.  

Christmas is over, and the birthday of Christ slowly passes from memory. So many people will reset their internal clocks and we’ll wait until next year when we sing Christmas hymns and carols. The story of Christ has been told, of His birth, of that miraculous night.

Christ Must Fulfill The Law To Be Messiah

Eight days after the birth of Christ the story continues two very necessary things in the life of Christ. The Bible tells us that Jesus fulfilled the Law of God perfectly. Jesus told us that He came to fulfill the Law. He said:

Matthew 5:17-18 (KJV)   Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.   [18]   For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

It was not enough that Jesus be born of a virgin, incarnate and sinless into this world. When Christ came He would fulfill the Law perfectly. He would in no way be a sinner, for no sinner (no matter how sincere) can pay for the sins of other sinners! Christ came to fulfill the Law. He lived a pure and sinless life. Though the Pharisees and Sadducees sought to find sin in Him they had to manufacture charges and hire liars to besmirch His character. Jesus was sinless. The Bible declares that Jesus is the High Priest Who …

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV) … who in every respect has been tempted as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN.

Jesus is the Lamb of God without either spot or blemish. The Scripture declares that God the Father …

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) … For our sake he made him to be sin WHO KNEW NO SIN, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 John 3:5 (ESV) You know that {Jesus} appeared in order to take away sins, and IN HIM THERE IS NO SIN.

Jesus Christ was born of the virgin through the operation of God the Holy Spirit. The Angel told Joseph “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). He was born sinless. But what happens next is not to be ignored. It is not unimportant. Born sinless, Jesus was also initially helpless.

If Joseph and Mary dd not keep the Law and do as the
Law commanded everything would be lost!

Christ became flesh and dwelt among us. He came unto His own (John 1:11). Jesus came first for those

Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  [5]  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Here then is the Christmas Story, part 2. We read:

Luke 2:21 (KJV)  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 

Two very important things happened here. When God made His promise to Abraham -long before there was a written Law of Moses or for that matter an Israel – God told Abraham that every male of the covenant had to be circumcised. God told Abraham …

Genesis 17:10-13 (KJV)  This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.  [11]  And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.  [12]  And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.  [13]  He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

What if someone DIDN’T want to be circumcised? God said in Genesis 17:14 (KJV)  And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

For Jesus to be the Savior of His people He would have to be circumcised on the eighth day according to God’s Law. If He was not circumcised He would have been cut off from His people whether He was Messiah or not. The Jewish people both circumcised and named their children at the same time. When Jesus was circumcised He was named “Jesus” which literally means “God our Savior”.

Can you imagine being named “God our Savior”? Yet this name was appropriate for Jesus, for He is Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23).

What else had to happen in the life of the Baby Jesus? We are told:

Luke 2:22-23 (KJV) 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;)

The Law of God required two things of Mary and Joseph. First, when a woman gave birth to a male child she was to be considered “unclean” for 40 days. God told Moses …

Leviticus 12:2-4 (NKJV) “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. 3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.

Following the time of purification the firstborn male was consecrated to God at the Temple (see Exodus 13). Pharaoh wanted the midwives to kill all the firstborn males, but God demanded that the firstborn males be consecrated. Following her time of purification Mary and Joseph had to travel the six miles from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. When you made an offering to God you gave according to what you could afford. The well off offered a lamb without spot or blemish. But the poor offered two pigeons or turtledoves. Do you see what was offered for Jesus?

Luke 2:24 (KJV) 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. 

Loving God Means To HEAR And DO What He Says

He was born into this world of poor parents, hard working blue collar people. Yet they kept the Law and honored their Creator to the best of their abilities and sustenance. I think this is why the Lord God chose Mary and Joseph to be the parent and protector for the Messiah.

Mary and Joseph loved the Lord,
So they kept God’s Law

If Christ had been born to a so called “Nominal Christian” or a “Cultural Christian” those people would have ignored the Law of God and so tainted Christ. Christ might or might not have been circumcised. The offering for the firstborn might or might not have been given. The Lord says:

John 14:23 (NLT) “All who love me will do what I say…”

and in 1 John 5:3 (NLT) … Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.

Those who love God HEAR God and DO what God says. Mary and Joseph HEARD God. They DID what God said. They did not DEBATE, but spent their time DOING His Will … and so were blessed. Obedience is the hinges that the door of blessing hangs upon.

The day that Jesus was dedicated in the Temple the Priest did not know who He was. The others in the Temple that day passed by the Messiah, thinking this was nothing more than a newborn baby. But our text tells us there are two others – one man and one woman – who find the Baby Messiah.

Simeon Loved The Lord And Was Blessed

Luke 2:25-26 (KJV)  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.  [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. 

Here we see one of the BEHOLDS of Scripture. Behold Simeon! The name “Simeon” means “He who hears and obeys”. Simeon was not a Nominal or Cultural believer. We are told that Simeon is JUST and DEVOUT. That doesn’t mean that he was part of the holier than thou party, the Pharisees or Sadducees. The Bible tells us even in the Old Testament that:

Habakkuk 2:4 (KJV)  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

A truth that the Apostle Paul echoed in the New Testament as he wrote:

Galatians 3:11-12 (KJV)  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  [12]  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

Simeon loved God and heard God and did what God told him to do. He trusted God. His faith was in God his Savior. Simeon was DEVOUT, DEVOTED TO GOD. He wasn’t self righteous, but looked to God for his salvation. Simeon loved the Lord, and the Lord loved him. What was Simeon doing in the Temple? He was:

waiting for the consolation of Israel

Do you see that word “consolation”? This is the Greek παράκλησις paraklēsis, which means “Someone who calls alongside so as to comfort or embrace”. The Messiah was coming, and Simeon was looking for Him. It was revealed to Simeon that he would not see death before he had seen the Messiah.

Simeon listened to God. We read that:

Luke 2:27 (KJV) 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,  

The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would see Jesus before he left this life. The Holy Spirit led Simeon to Jesus. Simeon listened to God and heard His call. Beloved, you will not be blessed listening to public opinion or by following the crowd to destruction. The blessings of God come to those who HEAR and FOLLOW God – ALWAYS. We rob ourselves of blessing when we do not follow God nor hear His Word.

You do not look for flour in a tea bag.
You do not find the sea in the desert.
You cannot find eternal blessing in the temporal.
You must come to Him and hear Him as Simeon did.

Simeon got to do something that few people have ever done. We read:

Luke 2:28-29 (KJV) 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:

Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms. I find this amazing. Simeon held Jesus, and holding Jesus asked God to let him “depart in peace, according to Thy Word”. Simeon was not afraid of death. He held the Messiah in his arms. God answered his prayers. He got to see the Comforter of Israel in the flesh. As Simeon saw and held Jesus in his embrace he saw a Messiah not just for himself, but Simeon said:

Luke 2:30-32 (KJV) For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,  [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.  

Let’s examine Simeon’s testimony.

  • Mine eyes have seen THY Salvation”. Oh how politically incorrect Simeon was! He is praising God and saying “here alone is Your Salvation”. There are no other Saviors, no other Messiahs, no other way unto God. Here in this Baby is the “hopes and fears of all the years are met in THEE tonight”. God has given but one Savior to mankind, and that Savior is the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Which Thou hast prepared before the face of ALL PEOPLE”. That Christ is the Messiah was not hidden. God prophesied the Coming Christ from Genesis to Malachi. He gave illustrations of His crucifixion in the Sacrificial Laws of Moses. I am told that there are 353 prophecies that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God did not hide His intent. He sent His Son to be our One and Only Savior.
  • A light to lighten the Gentiles”. It is God’s intention through the Messiah to save not just Israel, but all people regardless of race. Christ would be born of Israel for Israel, but also for whosoever will believe in Him. Simeon looked backward to the promise God made through Isaiah saying:

    Isaiah 49:6 (NKJV) Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

    This Precious Jesus, this little God-Man, was not just born into this world for Simeon and his people. He came to die for ALL (2 Corinthians 5:15) because God …

    1 Timothy 2:4 (NKJV) … desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

  • and the Glory of Thy people Israel”. Jesus Christ is the Shekinah Glory of God lost from an unbelieving Israel, but found by those who love God. Not all Israel is Israel (Romans 9:6). There will be many Jews who rejected Christ as Lord and Savior who will, like the rich man of Luke 16:23 who “lift up their eyes in Hell”. Oh that they had lifted up their eyes to Heaven while on this earth. Jesus wants no one in Hell. We choose Hell by rejecting Christ.

After praising God and witnessing that Jesus is the One and Only Christ Simeon blessed Mary and Joseph:

Luke 2:34-35 (KJV)  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;  [35]  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 

Though Simeon blessed them both he only addressed Mary. Why? I believe it is because though Joseph was a good Stepfather it was Mary that would be with Jesus all the way to the Cross. When the soldier drives a spear into Christ’s side I asm sure this was like a sword piercing her own soul. God through Simeon would tell Mary that her Son would suffer and die, but that His death would not be in vain. Through Christ “the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed”.

What a person thinks of God is revealed in how they respond to Christ.

God sent Jesus to this earth to make payment for our sins. If we receive Him as Lord and Savior then the Bible says that there is no condemnation before God. But if we reject Him, refusing Him and Savior and Lord, then we are condemned already, just as Jesus would later tell Nicodemus.

John 3:18-21 (KJV)   He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.   [19]   And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.   [20]   For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.   [21]   But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Have you believed on Him. Have you embraced Jesus as Simeon did, and are His arms around you? If so, praise God, you are children of light. If not, today is the day of salvation. Receive Him as Lord and Savior.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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