Reactions to Jesus

Posted: May 29, 2016 in Luke, Uncategorized

Luke 2:21-38, “Reactions to Jesus”

What was your reaction the first time you met Jesus?  How did you feel when you first knew who He was & that He is real?  What did you do?  I remember mine…  Each of us has our own story, if we’ve met Jesus.  We remember what it was like & the excitement that we felt.  The problem for us, usually, is that we’ve let that excitement & passion grow cold.  What is no longer new is often simply made to be routine & taken for granted.  Like the old saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt.”  Although we want to grow in our familiarity with our Lord Jesus, we never want to grow contemptuous of Him!  We want to be careful not to take Him for granted or lose the wonder of what it is to know Him.

So how to guard against it?  Follow the examples of Joseph, Mary, Simeon, and Anna.  These were also people who experienced their first encounter with Jesus: the parents a few days earlier, but Simeon & Anna at the moment the holy family entered the Jerusalem temple.  They were all amazed at seeing the Salvation of God, and the wonder that they had still impacts all of us today.

By way of context, Luke just gave us his famous Christmas account.  The Baby Jesus had been born in Bethlehem, with Joseph and Mary placing the glorious Son of God into a humble manger.  This was a sign that was announced to local shepherds by an angel, soon joined by a whole multitude of angels singing praises to God.  The shepherds quickly came, witnessed these things for themselves, praising God the entire way.

That was the birth, but as all parents of newborns know, things don’t exactly slow down once the newborn arrives.  Life changes completely, and there is much to do in adjusting to the new normal.  Such was the case for Joseph & Mary, and as they seek to be obedient to God, they introduce the Child to two others at the temple, who praise God for the Messiah & witness of Him to others.

Luke 2:21–38

  • Joseph’s & Mary’s obedience (2:21-24)

21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

  • Barely a week has passed before Joseph and Mary demonstrate their desire to obey God.  The first item on the list was the ritual of circumcision for the baby boy.  As we saw with the circumcision of John the Baptist, the Brit Milah ritual of circumcision follows through not only on the Mosaic Law (as seen in Leviticus 12 – and much more will be seen of that entire passage here), but stretches all the way back to the original covenant that God made with Abraham.  At 99 years of age, God called to Abram, changed his name to Abraham, and promised him & his descendants an everlasting covenant, of which the sign would be circumcision.  As the flesh of the male foreskin was cut away, it symbolized the removal of the flesh (lusts, rebellion) against God.  Ultimately, it was the hearts of the people that needed to be circumcised in humility – the physical circumcision was only the symbol.  To Abraham, God commanded that it be done for every male child who was born to the Hebrews, or lived among them in the Hebraic community (Gen 17:12).  When was it to be done?  The 8th day – and Joseph and Mary followed in perfect example.
    • FYI – one important factor in blood clotting is Vitamin K, which is extremely low in newborns.  Babies today are often given a shot of Vitamin K to guard against clotting issues – especially if a newborn male is to be circumcised.  When do levels of Vitamin K reach their peak level naturally?  On the 8th day.  God’s commandment stretching back thousands of years to Abraham was medically sound and scientifically perfect…exactly as we would expect it to be.
  • The second area of obedience we see with Jesus’ family is in regards to Jesus’ name.  Again, as with John the Baptist, there was no family reason to name this Child “Jesus.”  This was a name given to them by the angel Gabriel, by the command of Almighty God.  There was no other name Joseph and Mary could name the Babe – this is what God had commanded.  Why?  This spoke directly to His person and mission.  Remember that “Jesus” is the English transliteration of the Greek Ιησους, which is a transliteration of the Hebrew יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ (~ Yehoshua/Yeshua), or Joshua, which means “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation.”  Although it was a common name in Hebrew culture, it fit no one better than this Jesus.  He truly is the Lord God in the flesh, being the One who makes salvation possible (something that Simeon will immediately recognize).
    • There’s no need to capitalize every letter in His name, as does the editors of the NKJV, and they actually do a disservice here & in 1:31.  (1) The original writing made no distinction between capital & lowercase letters, not even in pronouns or proper names, but more importantly (2) the practice of capitalizing every letter for “LORD” in the OT is a specific reference in English to the covenant name of God, which was something the Hebrews considered irreverent to verbally pronounce.  The Hebrews traditionally spoke their word for “Lord” (Adonai – אֲדֹנָ֤י ) anytime the covenant name was seen in the text, so most English translations follow in the practice.  Capitalizing Jesus’ name here in the NKJV & KJV conflates the name of God the Son with the name of God the Father – something we need to be careful not to do.  The Son is fully God, but the Son is not the Father.  (Trinitarian theology 101) 
  • So Joseph and Mary were obedient in regards to circumcision & naming.  They also sought to be obedient in terms of presentation & purification…

22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

  • There are actually two things going on here.  In regards to purification, it is Mary’s & the whole prescription comes from Leviticus 12. Any time there was an emission of bodily fluid (either male or female), a person was considered ritually unclean.  Obviously there is a lot of fluid shed in childbirth, and for the case of a baby boy, the mother’s impurity lasted a total of 40 days (33 days after the 8 days waited for circumcision).  Once the time was completed, an offering was to be brought to God for her cleansing.  In Mary’s case, she and Joseph brought a pair of birds, which was allowed for those who could not afford to bring a lamb.  (BTW – this is proof that the magi did not visit Mary on the exact night of Jesus’ birth.  If she & Joseph had been given gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they would have had more than enough wealth to have brought a lamb to the temple.)
    • Is there application from Mary’s purification to us today?  Yes and no.  Obviously we are not Jews, and we do not need to follow Jewish purification rituals.  But where is our purity found?  In Christ.  For Mary (and all Hebrew mothers), blood needed to be shed to make them ritually clean.  For us, all required ritual sacrifice finds its fulfillment in the one sacrifice of Jesus at the cross.  Mary’s own Son would eventually shed His blood for the purity of His mother & the purity of us all.  We are clean in Christ!
  • The second thing is in regards to Jesus’ presentation.  Again, this is a matter of obedience for Joseph & Mary.  Due to the Passover, every firstborn among the Hebrews was strictly devoted to the Lord God.  When God redeemed His people out of Egyptian slavery, He did so through a costly price: the death of the firstborn.  The Hebrews had death pass over their houses because a sacrificial lamb was killed as a substitute for the firstborn male, but the Egyptians suffered a death in every house that did not believe.  As a result & memorial, God commanded that every firstborn male be given to the Lord in sacrifice, or redeemed at a price.  Obviously baby boys were redeemed, every man valued the same at 5 shekels of silver (Num 18:16).  It was a price low enough for every family to afford, and demonstrated that all are equal in the sight of God.
    • What makes this so interesting in regards to Jesus is that He IS the Redeemer, which Anna will recognize in 1:38.  The Redeemer needed to be redeemed.  Not from His own sin, of course, but from ours.  As Paul wrote to the Galatians, Jesus was born just like every other Hebrew child, “of a woman, born under the law” (Gal 4:4).  Jesus was born to redeem us from the law, but He was still born under it.  He Himself did not break the law, but we did, so He identified Himself with us in every way.
    • What a magnificent Savior – that He would come to us the way He did!  There is no extent in which He did not humble Himself.  There is nothing we endure in which Jesus did not join us.  He came to us in our deepest need, and He did it all.
  • What do we see from Joseph & Mary?  A unified heart to obey the Lord.  Would we have done the same?  There they were, with a new baby Boy, miraculously born to them.  They had already witnessed miracles, and they knew they had the Son of God in their arms.  How easy would it have been to take things for granted?  After all, they knew that God would protect them – He wouldn’t let anything happen to His Son.  Surely they could let some of the minutia go – they didn’t have to pay attention to quite everything in the Law, right?  Wrong.  Mary & Joseph had always been devout Jews worshipping God, and it was their love for God that caused them to be mindful in their obedience to Him.  All of His blessings to them in Jesus only strengthened their resolve to serve Him.  This wasn’t legalism; this was love.
    • Our love for God ought to transform our lives!  Our love for Jesus shows its sincerity by the way we seek to obey Him & live for Him.  That’s not legalism.  Legalism is a burden – legalism says “I have to.”  Love says “I get to.”  When we truly love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then we are excited to serve the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  We want to serve Him obediently.
  • So Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem in regards to the law…they couldn’t have had a clue what they would find there…
  • Simeon’s praise (2:25-35)

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. …

  • Joseph and Mary weren’t the only devout worshippers in Judea – there were others.  To be sure, the nation as a whole was in a sorry state of affairs, trapped in all kinds of ritualistic legalism & moral compromise.  But there were many who truly served God.  Luke showed us some in the parents of John the Baptist, in the earthly family of Jesus, and here also in Simeon of Jerusalem.  He also was “just and devout” – not saying that Simeon was perfectly righteous without a need to be saved, but that he lived his life in the proper reverence of God.  He did his best to live according to the law (as did many Jews, including Paul who could consider himself blameless according to the Jewish understanding of the law – Phil 3:6), and this was seen in his careful, cautious piety (i.e. “devout”).
  • What was Simeon doing as he worshipped God?  He was “waiting for the Consolation of Israel” – he was waiting for the Messiah.  The word Luke uses for “Consolation” is very similar to the word John recorded Jesus using in regards to the Holy Spirit as our Comforter/Counselor (Jn 15:16), coming from the same root word meaning “called alongside.”  The Consolation of Israel is the One who would come alongside the nation, offering the comfort of God to His people (Isa 40:1).  He could offer comfort because He could offer salvation.  The Messiah promised to deliver Israel from their enemies both without & within – the Messiah would bring the nation into a proper perfect relationship with God, as God always intended for them.  (This is something Jesus makes possible even today for the Jews, though they do not yet recognize Him.  They will, no doubt!)  The Consolation that Israel does not yet recognize is the Consolation we have available to us today.  He offers us the comfort of God & brings us into a right relationship with God.  He delivers us from the internal enemy of our sin & from the external enemy of death.  He truly is our Consolation!
  • Interestingly, this Consolation is also the “Lord’s Christ.”  He is given to Israel (and to us), but He is also the Lord God’s.  We think of Jesus as being Israel’s Messiah (Christ), and that’s not improper – but the only reason He is given to Israel is because He first belongs to the Lord.  After all, Christ/Messiah means “anointed One” with the idea of someone that is chosen.  If there is a chosen one, that means there must be someone doing the choosing.  God the Father chose God the Son to be the Messiah of Israel & Savior of the world.  This was His plan from before the foundation of the world – something which Simeon will acknowledge in his praise.
  • Before we look at what Simeon had to say about Jesus, notice first his interactions with the Holy Spirit.  More than any of the other synoptic gospels, Luke has much to say about the work and person of the Holy Spirit (which only makes sense for the author of the book of Acts) – and we see it here with Simeon.  Other people like Zacharias & Elizabeth had the Spirit come upon them for a singular moment of prophecy.  Simeon almost gives a preview of what a New Testament Church relationship with the Spirit is like.  Simeon had the Spirit – it was upon him (1:25).  Simeon was taught by the Spirit – he had received a revelation (1:26).  Simeon was led by the Spirit – he came into the temple at just the right time (1:27).  The Spirit of God was absolutely essential to Simeon’s worship and service of God, just as He is essential to us.  We cannot worship or serve God without the help and interaction of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  First & foremost, we cannot even be a believer in Jesus Christ without being born of the Spirit – that’s exactly what the Spirit gives us the moment we believe (John 3).  The Spirit seals us for heaven, granting us our eternal assurance (2 Cor 1:22). The Spirit teaches us as the anointing of God, confirming to us the truth of the Scriptures (1 Jn 2:27).  The Spirit empowers us to be witnesses of Jesus, making it possible for us to testify of Him (Acts 1:8).  The Spirit gives us gifts to build up one another in the church, and equips us as ministers to the world (1 Cor 12, Rom 12), and more.  The Holy Spirit is often the forgotten member of the Trinity, but He is absolutely essential to the Christian.  He was essential to Simeon even seeing Jesus for the first time.
    • He’s essential to some who are listening today.  Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit of God is active within the world, convicting people of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn 16:8).  IOW, if you are coming to the realization that you need to be saved, it’s because the Holy Spirit is the One revealing that to you.  Listen!  Pay attention to His leading, and come to faith in Christ!

… And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

  • Of all the days that Simeon could have gone to the temple, he came on this day.  Led by the Spirit, promised by the Spirit that he would lay eyes upon the Consolation of Israel, that is exactly what took place as he came in and saw Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.  He laid eyes on this tiny 40-day old baby and knew without a shadow of doubt that God had given His Messiah.  Mary and Joseph had come for reasons of obedient worship – Simeon came for joyful praise and he “blessed God.
  • We think of God blessing us, and proclaiming His blessing upon us – we might not often think of our blessing God.  God blesses us with His presence, His love, and His grace.  God blesses us with gifts, both spiritual & physical.  How can we bless God?  With our lips – with our praise!  We bless God when we speak well of Him in prayer.  We bless God when we speak well of Him as we testify to others.  No doubt you’ve asked God for blessing today (who hasn’t) – when did you last purpose to bless God?
  • Simeon did it through an impromptu psalm…

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation

  • Lord” here could be translated “Master” – it’s a different word than the usual word found in the NT for “Lord.”  Here, it’s δεσποτης, where we get our English word “despot.”  We think of a despot negatively, usually as a cruel dictator – but that’s not the case here.  Here, the idea is one of an absolute ruler.  God is all-powerful, and He reigns over all things.  Not everyone recognizes Him as the absolute King, but Simeon did.  Simeon saw God rightly, knowing that God has the inherent right to rule.  Thus Simeon served him as a slave.  And just as a king needs to give permission for their servants to leave the room, so had Simeon’s King given him permission to be dismissed.  For many years, Simeon had served the Lord (though we are not told his age), but it was finally time to go.  God has given him his leave – not out of displeasure, but out of peace. 
  • How so?  Everything had been done.  Every promise God had made was fulfilled.  The Spirit promised Simeon that he would see the Christ, and so he had.  When Simeon looked upon the Baby Jesus, he automatically saw the “salvation” of God.  Remember that is Jesus’ name – but it’s more than just a name, it’s His person.  That is simply who He is!  Jesus IS the salvation of God.  Don’t make the mistake of separating Jesus from what it is He gives.  When Jesus saves us, He gives us Himself.  We think of salvation as eternal life in heaven – as forgiveness – as blessing – as eternal happiness – and it is all of that, no doubt, but it’s more than all of the stuff.  True salvation is Jesus Himself.  Heaven wouldn’t be heaven without Jesus.  The very reason it’s wonderful is because Jesus is there in the midst. 

31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

  • Of course this salvation was not a surprise or something new.  This had been the plan of God prepared from eternity past, now made plain to all the world.  “All peoples” could experience God’s salvation in Jesus – Jew and Gentile alike.  Simeon uses the language of light in regards to both groups. 
    • To the Gentiles, Jesus reveals the true God.  Gentiles do not know how to worship God until we look at Jesus Christ.  As the Light of the World, Jesus shows us who God truly is as the Creator of the Universe, and when we look upon Jesus we look upon the Father. 
    • To Israel, Jesus bursts forth the glorious light of God.  The nation already had God revealed to Him, but they had difficulty worshipping Him rightly, being often distracted by the gods of the nations surrounding them.  Yet when Israel sees Jesus, they witness the Shekinah glory of God bursting forth from Jesus, and they worship Him as the God they always claimed to know.
  • Jesus has come as the light of God.  Have you seen Him?  Do you know Him?

33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.

  • Some things go without saying.  That Joseph and Mary would marvel is one of them.  Actually, some have questioned this, wondering why they would be amazed at this point, after everything else they already experienced.  The better question is: why wouldn’t they marvel?  This was all brand-new to them as well!  Joseph and Mary were just two regular every-day Jews who were called to an amazing privilege in being the family of Jesus.  They were not raised expecting this moment.  It was all unfolding right in front of their eyes, and they never stopped being amazed at this Child.  (Neither should we!)

34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against

  • Simeon had earlier blessed God – now he turned his attention to Mary, giving her a blessing & prophetic word.  Why did he speak directly to Mary & not to Joseph?  Perhaps he knew that Joseph wouldn’t be around long – perhaps God simply directed him to give this word directly to Jesus’ mother.  Either way, this was something God wanted her to know.  It was a sobering word, but it was still a blessing simply because it was the certain promise of God.
  • What was the word?  Jesus would cause the “fall and rising of many in Israel.”  How so?  He’s the Rock.  The Bible says that Jesus is a stone of stumbling & rock of offense (1 Pt 2:6-8).  Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith & we’re built up upon Him.  Others, however, stumble over Him being unable to lay their rebellion to rest.  Men like Peter and John were raised up from obscurity to help turn the world upside down.  Men like Pilate and Caiaphas were cast down before Him.
  • In the process, Jesus would be opposed.  As Simeon said, Jesus would be “for a sign which will be spoken against.”  Caiaphas, Pilate, Judas Iscariot, and others would speak against Jesus.  They would mock Him from the foot of the cross.  They would oppose His mission as it led there.  For all those who would come to faith in Jesus, there would be many more who actively opposed Him.
    • That hasn’t changed today.  Active opposition to Jesus runs rampant, exactly as it was prophesied to be.  More and more people of influence are speaking against Jesus – but keep in mind it doesn’t change who He is.  Jesus’ identity as the Christ, the salvation of God, and the Consolation of Israel does not rise and fall with popular opinion about Him.  He is who He is.  He is destined to be opposed, but He is also destined to return and to rule.  That much is clear by the fact of His victory over death.  It’s doubtful that Simeon or anyone else at the time had too much of a concept of Jesus’ resurrection (especially as they gazed upon the newborn babe), but we do.  When culture opposes Jesus, we remember His resurrection.  We remember His victory.  We remember His return.
  • That doesn’t mean things will be easy.  It wasn’t for Mary…

35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

  • Things wouldn’t be easy for the Messiah, nor would they be easy for His mother.  Simeon prophesied a day that a “sword” would pierce Mary’s soul.  This was not to be any tiny pinprick – this was a long broad sword that would feel as if it would thrust straight through Mary’s heart.  We have to wonder if Mary remembered the words of Simeon as she witnessed the spear pierce Jesus’ side as His lifeless body hung upon the cross.  No doubt she felt the pain in her own torso as well.
    • Objection: “Wait a second!  Wasn’t Mary blessed of God – the most blessed of women?”  Yes, but that doesn’t mean that life was easy for her.  We get the idea of “blessing” confused.  Blessing doesn’t always mean health, wealth, and luxury.  Those may be the things we seek, but those aren’t always God’s will for us.  To be blessed is to be in relationship with Jesus.  And to be associated with Jesus is to be acquainted with His suffering.  In fact, if we were to compare the faith of most American evangelicals with Christians around the world, we would invariably find them far more knowledgeable of the blessing of God even as they live in poverty & persecution.  Our desire for material “blessing” often blinds us to the other more lasting blessing of God.
  • Finally, Simeon states that Jesus is not only a Rock, but a Revealer.  Hearts and minds would be laid open before Him.  Just like the written word of God is living & powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword showing the thoughts and intents of our hearts (Heb 4:12), so does Jesus do the same thing.  People’s true selves are revealed before Jesus.  Those outwardly believed to be pious were often revealed as hypocrites, while those who were thought to be sinners were revealed as being truly humble before God.
  • So Joseph and Mary marveled at God and sought to obey Him.  Simeon was led by the Spirit to praise Him.  There was one more that day with one other reaction to Jesus…
  • Anna’s witness (2:36-38)

36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. …

  • Who Anna’s father was, we don’t know.  It was common to identify people by their fathers, and it was done usually with the thought of indicating something about them.  That’s not necessarily the case in every instance.  Anna’s background is interesting, if nothing else because it is so unique.  Her father’s name can be loosely translated “turning to God,” which is fitting for someone known as a prophetess.  Her tribe is that of Asher, which is truly unusual.  Luke 2:36 is the only mention of Asher in the entire NT.  They were part of the northern kingdom, and very little is said of them after the Assyrian conquest.  There were some specifically named of the tribe of Asher that came to participate in Hezekiah’s Passover (2 Chr 30:11), but that’s it.  Obviously the tribe did not disappear entirely – no tribe disappeared entirely.  God knows His people, and He has preserved them through the centuries.
  • Of course she was acknowledged as a “prophetess,” though for what reason we are not told.  It would seem that she followed in a similar prophetic tradition as Simeon.  He was not specifically labeled as a prophet, but the hand of the Spirit was certainly upon him in that way.  The reverse is true of Anna.  There’s no specific mention of the Spirit, but the people around her certainly recognized the work of the Spirit in her life.  (We don’t have to be overt with the Spirit for His work to be obvious!)
  • Not only was Anna Spirit-led, but she was faithful…

… She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;
37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

  • All her life, Anna served God.  She had spent only 7 years married, but lived the remainder of her 84 years as a widow.  If she had been married at age 14, that means she would have been widowed for 63 years.  All of that time she remained faithful to God.  We’re not told of any specific official role she had at the temple, but she never left it.  Apparently she had been given a room there on the temple grounds, and she constantly “served God with fastings and prayers.”  She sought the Lord with purpose.
  • Anna wasn’t someone who just showed up to church and went about her business; she was conscientious in her worship.  You can’t be otherwise and be involved in true fasting and prayer.  Granted, people can fast simply out of religious ritual.  Anyone can eat a big breakfast, skip lunch, and then have a giant fish sandwich at the end of the day.  That’s not the picture painted of Anna.  This is a picture of sincerity.  This is someone who intentionally sought the Lord on a regular basis, desiring to serve and honor Him.  This is someone who made her service to God far more than lip service; it was sincere.  (Thus a great example to the rest of us!)
  • So what did this faithful sincere servant of the Lord do when she encountered Jesus?  She testified of Him to all who would hear…

38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

  • Interestingly, we’re not told what interaction Anna had with the Baby Jesus, if any.  She came to the temple at the very “instant” that Simeon was giving his blessing to God & to Mary, and apparently that was enough to make quite an impact.  Seemingly she heard Simeon’s words and was able to give confirmation to the things he spoke.  Everything that Simeon said about the Messiah, Anna knew to be true.
  • How did she respond?  In two ways: (1) She gave thanks to God, (2) She testified to others.  Although Simeon’s primary response was to bless God & praise Him for the gift of His salvation, Simeon wasn’t the only one to do it.  Anna also raised her voice in thanksgiving to God, though the words she spoke aren’t recorded for us.  With her history in prayer, no doubt she was well-versed in giving praise to God – it was probably second-nature for her to do so (a good practice!). 
  • Beyond what she spoke to God was what she spoke to others.  She told them of the Redeemer who had come.  Anyone looking “for redemption” would find it in the Babe who had been born.  Those who knew that their sin left them as slaves needed to know that freedom was at hand, and Anna was glad to tell them.  The prophetess became an evangelist, and she was glad to tell the good news.
    • This is what we go when we tell the gospel: we speak to people about Jesus.  We tell them that all our sins can be forgiven, and that we can be redeemed – we can be brought into a right relationship with God. We tell them what it is that we ourselves have experienced, because we are the ones who have experienced Jesus first-hand (just like Anna).

Conclusion:
What’s your reaction to Jesus?

  • Joseph and Mary obeyed.  They had the Savior in their arms, but they didn’t take Him for granted.  Their desire was to walk with God in obedience.  This wasn’t their burden; it was their joy.
  • Simeon blessed God.  Filled with the Holy Spirit, Simeon knew the fulfillment of God’s promise immediately upon seeing Jesus, and he couldn’t hold back his praise.  He knew that his Master had been good to His word, and that the glory of God had come.
  • Anna gave thanks and testified.  It wasn’t just the four of them in the temple that needed to know of the redemption that God provided.  Everyone needed to know the Redeemer, and someone had to be the one to tell them.  Anna became that someone.

Obedience – praise – witnessing.  We don’t have to pick or choose…do it all!  We’ve experienced the most marvelous gift ever bestowed upon mankind when we experienced Jesus.  He is our salvation, our consolation, our redemption.  He is worth our service, worship, and witness!

Don’t let your reaction to Jesus grow cold!  Remember what it was like when you first met Him?  Ask God to help you rekindle that passion and excitement.  Ask God to help you recover the wonder of meeting your Savior.  Too often, we let too many things get in the way.  Be careful it doesn’t happen with you.  Look again into the eyes of your Lord, and serve Him like you did the day you first got saved.

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