Discipleship Is Looking For God

We continue to celebrate Jesus’ Birth, and I want to encourage you to look at this coming year through the lens of Christ. What this means is putting Christ in the foreground of you view so you do things with Him in view. If we live with a continuous view of who Christ really is our future will be bright. Christ came to be the light of revelation for all the nations. This text gives us two big ideas as to how we are to biblically follow Christ. Being on the lookout for what God is doing. Being obedient while being on the lookout. 4 examples of how we are to be as followers / disciples of Christ: Joseph, Mary, Simeon and Anna.

Matthew 2:21-40

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.

  • Named & Circumcised on the 8th day (today is the 8th day…imagine)
  • 41 days from birth they take the 10 mile walk from Bethlehem to Jerusalem
  • Star is still up there…they just do the next thing they know they should do
  • The way they looked to the future is by letting God continue to lead

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.”

  • This is an example of a clear command from God and a timely obedience to it
  • They saw something special was going on but didn’t seek special treatment

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.

  • Scripture gives this man high praise
  • Not just waiting but eagerly awaiting…
  • God promised him he would see the Messiah before he died

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!”

  • Divine Appointments: They happen when you are looking for the Messiah
  • Holy Spirit Guidance (Simeon) and Basic Obedience (Mary & Joseph)
  • Simeon recognizes Messiah because of his consistent walking with the Lord
  • He knows that this baby is going to be the salvation of all nations
  • He is the light that will help everyone see God!
  • Total Recognition of four Spiritual Realities
  • Jesus IS God’s salvation
  • God gives Christ to all kinds of people
  • Jesus is A Revelation of what God is all about
  • Jesus is EVERYTHING to God’s people, the Spiritual Israel

Living In Light of Christ means you are on the lookout for what God is doing
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.”

  • 1st the shepherds now this…
  • Simeon blesses them then makes the pronouncement to Mary:
  • This child will define who rises and who falls
  • Even though He is a sign from God He will face much opposition
  • He will cause many to get real, but all of that reality will be painful for Mary

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.

  • She is called a Prophet where Simeon is not…
  • She had lived a lifetime of devotion (Set Apart)
  • Made the most of her situation & trusted God had her where He wanted her

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 persistent in her pursuit of God, an example of Spiritual Consistency
  • She lived in God’s presence looking for what HE was doing
  • When she saw God at work she told others who were intentionally seeking

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.

  • They knew what was expected of them and they did it!
  • That is what God expects from us: once we know what He wants, we do it!

Four people looking for God

Four people with incomplete pictures of what God is doing

Four people willing to do what it takes to see God

In your life as a disciple we can be like the examples given in Scripture

Application Suggestions:

Be like Mary & Joseph; while the info is still making sense, focus on obedience.

Be like Simeon: when you know what God wants, be on the lookout for the how, where and when.

Be like Anna, when you know how, where & when to be for God, be on the lookout for what.

Be on the lookout for The Spirit’s scheduling of ‘Divine Appointments’.

Be persistent in your looking for God and His revelation

These are Be-Attitudes of Christ’s Disciples