The Gospel of Luke is a journey starting with an amazing coming and ending with an even more incredible going. The Advent of The Messiah, The Christ… It’s a big deal! It is not by chance that Luke writing under control of the Holy Spirit points out a strong connection between Jesus and The Temple in Jerusalem. To truly understand the ‘New Covenant’ that Christ brings we need to keep it connected to the previous revelation of God and the Temple is a central part of that
21 Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived. 22 Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
- Circumcised on 8th day & named as the angle instructed
- Then 5 day walk (65 miles) to The Temple
- It is totally ironic that Joseph & Mary take Jesus to present him to ‘The Lord’
23 The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.” 24 So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
- They buy the birds, take them to the priests, they are killed as a sacrifice
25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
- There were groups of devout Jews who were focused on the Messiah
- Simeon was being led by The Holy Spirit to anticipate the Lord’s Messiah
- He thought the Messiah was just for Israel…
27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30 I have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared for all people. 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
- The place to see God’s Salvation was the place it had been foreshadowed
- Simeon was in the place where Law would meet Grace…The Temple
- He knew what he was looking at the moment he saw Jesus the Messiah
- Waiting for Israel’s Salvation, but when he saw IT, he knew it was for everyone
- The Christ / Messiah is how God has chosen to reveal Himself to all people
33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
- Remember the Wise Men had not come yet, just some Shepherds…
- Mary visited by Gabriel & her experience with Elizabeth
- Joseph visited in a dream by an angel
- Simeon’s ‘pronouncement / prophecy’: big picture, then personal about Mary
- The Temple is the place where God had revealed Himself to his people before
36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four.
- The title of ‘Prophet’ was serious business (you had to be right EVERY time)
- Being this old and still being called a prophet meant you were the real deal
She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
- She was anchored to the Temple
- She happened to be there when Simeon declared what God had shown him
- Her first response is praise, then she turns into a messenger (great credibility)
39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.
- Based on the Gospel of Matthew this didn’t happen for two more years and then a stay in Egypt before getting back to nazareth
- Wiser than normal… Obvious favor of God upon Him
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. 43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, 44 because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.
- Yearly trek to Jerusalem for Passover Festival was common
- When the festival was over everyone headed home, except Jesus
- They assumed he was with other family, but is a no show @ dinner…
45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
- They go back and search for two days (one day to get there, two searching)
- Think how distressed they must have been!
- And there he is in the Temple, in the mix, blowing people’s minds!
48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” 49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what he meant.
- Shocked to find their 12 yr old son trading scripture insight w/ religious teachers
- They are hurt that Jesus had been inconsiderate of them
- Jesus is confused they didn’t know where he was, he thought it was a given
- He didn’t realize they didn’t understand his connection to the Temple
51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. 52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
- This is not to say that he had not been obedient previously
- Good translation: ‘He continued to be obedient’
- Mary is putting all the pieces of the puzzle together
- Again the mention of Christ’s wisdom and favor with God AND everybody…
Why does this scripture detail a connection between Jesus and The Temple?
Since Jesus came to end the need for the Temple, why is it the location of this story?
Where do you see connection between the Temple and The Messiah?
What’s significant about Jesus being at the Temple in this story & throughout his life?