Luke 2:22-38

The Gospel According to Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Continuing through the Gospel of Luke, coming to a very fascinating passage of Scripture with two New Testament prophets, one a prophetess. Confirmation of the saving nature of Jesus Christ is given, the current consolation of Israel is immentent. Christ will accomplish His purpose of raising some and not others.

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So we’ve seen this absolute, intense amount of Joy around Jesus Christ, so far. When He was conceived, while He was still in the womb, and when He was born.
Certain individuals had been absolutely ecstatic over even just the idea of Jesus Christ let alone when He was finally outside of the womb.
You start to get the impression that you’re own the right track as a Christian the more you understand your own value of Jesus Christ.
These are examples and descriptions of the kinds of attitudes and reactions to Jesus Christ that should be present in our lives.
And of course the reason why there is so much excitement over Christ is because, like our passage reveals, there is so much need for Christ.
And the need for Christ has to do with what He can do for our lives and with our lives.
And the main issue, the biggest issue, sometimes even really the only issue whereby Christ is exceedingly excellent is our sin.
Unless Christ isn’t exceedingly excellent to us because our sin is exceedingly excellent to us.
And that’s the purpose of our text tonight:
Purpose “Grasping the Value of Christ”.

The Value of Christ for His Parents

The context starts off with Jesus in a sort of baby dedication. But it’s interesting what’s going on here.
Jesus’ parents, Jospeh and Mary are shown to be very devout Jews.
They have three reasons for coming up to Jerusalem according to the Law of Moses.
They are supposed to go to the Temple for Mary’s purification. According to Old Testament, women who give birth are ritually unclean ()
So Mary needs to be ritually pure again. They also came to present their firstborn to the Lord, and to dedicate their firstborn to the Lord.
Now what’s important here? The fact that verse 22 says that Jospeh and Mary were coming to Jerusalem to present Jesus, but also for their purification.
So this actually more than just Mary’s purification. This the purification of the parents.
Which could also refer specifically to their dedication to the Lord. This is obviously their devotion to the Lord.
But the concept of a purification in the Temple is very synonymous with dedication to God.
And the reason this is significant is because their son is their high priest. They’re taking their son to the Temple to be dedicated and in turn they are brought into the Temple by their infant son and dedicated.
It’s also fascinating because they bring turtle doves and young pigeons which means they couldn’t afford a lamb.
Which is also significant because they brought the Lamb of God to the Temple with them.
They couldn’t afford a lamb and yet even now God provides the Lamb, the Lamb of God for their total purification and dedication to God.
What Jesus is to His parents is their access to God.

The Value of Christ for a Prophet

Then we have this guy Simeon. He is also considered righteous and devout.
He is waiting for the “consolation” of Israel. This word means to stimulate into a belief or an action.
The verb form means “to comfort”. Simeon has been looking for the comfort of Israel.
And God promised him that he would see the Lord’s Messiah before He dies.
And by the power of the Holy Spirit, a common theme so far, Simeon recognizes the Messiah in the child of Jesus.
And now notice, Simeon takes Jesus and Blesses God.
And he says,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
29 “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
according to your word;
According to Your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
32 A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
So the text says that he was waiting for the Lord’s Christ, but he says that he can now die, basically, in peace. Because he has seen the Lord’s salvation.
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
That this salvation is prepared in the presence of all peoples. For Gentiles and for Israel.
So God’s promise to him wasn’t just that he would see Jesus before he dies but he would see the start of the total restoration of all of God’s people.
And remember this is written to Theophilus as perhaps a textbook of how the Gospel includes Gentiles
And what it means for Gentiles to be apart of the people of God.
And here’s the point: he waiting his entire life to see baby Jesus. And then he says God can now let him depart in peace.
He’s saying he’s ready to die because he saw infant Christ.
His whole life was about waiting for Jesus. His whole life was about Christ, all that he found worthy and valuable
What he found to be the most significant event of his life was seeing Christ, who still hasn’t accomplished the Gospel yet.

The Value of Christ for a Prophetess

Simeon isn’t the only one who has waiting their whole lives for this moment.
In verse 36 we have Anna, a prophetess, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher.
She is described as not even leaving the temple, worshipping God, fasting and praying night and day.
Giving thanks to God.
Now, just in case you might think that it’s too much of a stretch to see these as examples for us, what she does in response to Christ is similar to what the Christians do in Acts:
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
There are some very consistent themes that have popped up in our passage:
Devotion and Righteous
Lifelong anticipation
And all of this with Jesus who hasn’t even become a teenager yet.
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