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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


6. Jesus Circumcised and Presented to God in the Temple (Luke 2:21-38)

LUKE 2:25-35
25 Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking 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 should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law, 28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 “Now you are releasing your servant, Master, according to your word, in peace; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared before the face of all peoples; 32a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.” 33 Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him, 34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. 35 Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

The Holy Spirit promises his prophets as he desires. In Jerusalem, there was an aged man called Simeon who regularly attended the services of the synagogue, and was justified through his faith in daily offerings. He walked humbly in the ways of the Lord, and because of his many prayers the Lord gave him insight so that he might study the Old Testament to realize beforehand the essence of Christ, and to look forward to the Coming One. For all those who devoutly study the Scriptures which speak of Christ the Savior yearn for his coming.

The holy aged man had a special revelation from God that he would not die before he had seen Christ. The divine Spirit led him into the temple when Joseph and Mary came with the child to present him to the Lord. Their clothes were not luxurious, nor did the child appear as a prince. Yet when Simeon came near to the holy family, the Holy Spirit enlightened his eyes until he saw, among the crowded people, the Unique One who was simultaneously both God and man. The aged man came, in faith and joy at the power of God, to Jesus’ parents, took the child up out of the arms of his astonished mother, bowed down in submission to him, and praised God in words that display the innermost depths of the New Testament. Figuratively, all the fathers of faith bowed down in the person of old Simeon worshipping the divine child and giving much praise to God. This is a symbolic indication that all the New Testament is subject to the Founder of the New Testament.

The word “now”, to all those who were waiting, meant the arrival of God, and the end of their expectation. God has communicated with men. This is the aged man’s statement that he had achieved his end, and that he was prepared to die joyfully, for he feasted his eyes on the Savior. He did not call him a Savior, but immediately saw complete salvation flowing from him. He saw all the powers and blessings pouring out of him, and confessed the peace of God on all creation. Simeon did not only seek his own peace, but yearned for the salvation of the whole world. He was truly pious and longed, in the love of God, to lead all those who were going astray.

This aged Simeon was confirmed by the New Testament as the first Jew who through his deep study of the Old Testament, realized more than all other scribes and Pharisees, that Christ was not only Savior of his own people, but also the Savior of all the nations (Isaiah 52:10). The Jewish commentators passed over this verse and did not explain its meaning. They also neglected the truth that Jesus would open the eyes and the hearts of all the nations to heal them with his salvation. However, the Holy Spirit revealed in the word of God’s spiritual two-edged sword that Christ is the Savior of the world, as our comfort, truth, and eternal power.

Yet, the Spirit in blessing did not spurn the people of the Old Testament, but testified to them that they had no value except in Christ, for all men are sinners, but the Savior could bring back the glory of God to those who went astray, for the Son is the incarnate glory of God. The Jews without Christ are void of God’s glory and blessings, and fall into condemnation and wrath.

Jesus’ parents did not understand these powerful words, and were amazed. However, Mary kept the prophecies of the Holy Spirit in her heart, and was prepared to accept bitterness for the sake of the Savior’s coming. The prophet Simeon blessed Jesus’ parents so that they might realize and accept the revelations of the Holy Spirit. He went on, speaking in discernment:

“Do not think that God’s Christ only comes with light and joy and love; for his coming also means spiritual war, radical separation, and wrestling between heaven and hell. Christ is like a rock in the wide river of nations, which divides them into two groups: those who refuse the Son of God and fall to destruction and hell, and those who see the Redeemer, become saved by him, and rise from the dead spiritually now and physically thereafter. This fact was realized at the time of Christ by his people and is still being realized among the nations. Nobody can ignore Christ. You can either refuse him and fall into hell, or love him, become a member of his spiritual body and then go to heaven. What is your attitude toward Christ? Do you submit to him, or do you disobey his love?

Mary had to bear the hatred poured out on her Son. She did not die by a sword that pierced her body, but the sufferings of her Son on the cross left her broken and helpless. She asked herself if the prophecies of the angels, the words of Elizabeth, the statement of the shepherds, and Simeon’s discernment were wrong! She also wondered what the divinity of her Son meant. But he who was raised from the dead revealed to her that he had to suffer as a ransom for us. All believers were crucified with him that they should not boast of their own merits, but live out the benefits of the Savior’s salvation. Mary’s spiritual death was made on the cross, and her renewal in the resurrection of the Victor. She believed in the truth. Yet the cross does not mean uncovering fearful thoughts only in Mary, but also in us all. Judas, Peter, Caiaphas, Pilate, and all the people stood unveiled during Jesus’ trial. Before his holiness our hearts are made manifest, and we can only confess that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

PRAYER: Holy God, we worship you because you called us in your Son, saved, and sanctified us. We ask you to enlighten the minds of many, so that they may come into your salvation and not perish. Overcome all our pride, selfishness, evil thought, and evil intent, so that we may live a holy life before you without disobedience.

QUESTION 28: What did the Holy Spirit reveal through the aged Simeon about Jesus, the Savior?

LUKE 2:36-38
36 There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, 37 and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn’t depart from the temple, worshipping with fastings and petitions night and day. 38 Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem.

The Holy Spirit does not dwell just in men, but also in women. Not only in virgins, but also in those who are married and widowed. A widow came from the north east. She realized, after her peaceful married life, that life fades and vanishes away as a cloud. Only with God we find our rest and joy.

This widow remained night and day near the house of God. She prayed for the coming of Christ, and asked that his people would be prepared to receive him. Yet, when this woman found that her prayers did not change much in the nation, she also fasted crying out to the answering, living God. Then the Holy Spirit led this servant of the Lord to Jesus, and she recognized in the Child the incarnate Lord and his glory. The words in which she praised God were not recorded for us as were those of Zacharias and Simeon. Yet we find recorded that she was not satisfied with songs and praises, but communicated the knowledge of God in Christ to all those who waited for him. Imagine this strange thing: that the Holy Spirit made an aged widow of 84 years into an effective preacher. This blessed Spirit had also employed the despised shepherds to inform others of the divine joy. Are your mouth, feet, and heart being used to glorify God before all those who seek him?

The Son of God came into the temple, but the scribes, leaders, and priests did not notice him at all, for the gift of prophecy was withheld from them. However God honored the aged elders who were waiting for the Lord’s coming through seeing his humble Son. The Holy Spirit led them into faith and praise.


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