Summary: We are all part of God’s plan at a point on His timeline. If God is central in our lives, our lives are meaningful, whether we grasp that or not. Today, we will look at 5 different lives which converged at a point in time. We are going to note their di
2003: It’s About Life
1. Here we are, ready to mark the passing of another year.
2. Someone once said, "About the time you decide to make the most of your life, most of it is already gone."
3. Indeed, the older you get, the faster the years zoom by.
4. We realize that we merge into life like a car on an expressway. We travel our distance, get off on the off ramp while another driver enters from a ramp further down the road.
5. As Christians, we know this road is headed somewhere. It’s destination is God’s sovereign purpose, glorifying Himself through the Church Age, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Nation of Israel, the Millennium, the Great White Throne, and finally the Eternal State.
6. But it is hard to figure out how our car on that expressway contributes the whole. We often live our entire lives without figuring that one out.
7. Today we are going to look at 5 different lives which converged at a point in time. We are going to note their differences and their common focal point.
MAIN IDEA: Our main thought today is this: We are all part of God’s plan at a point on His timeline. If God is central in our lives, our lives ARE meaningful, whether we grasp that truth or not.
I. First of All, Let’s Look at 5 Different Lives Converging In A Single Location and At A Single Point of Time (21-38)
A. Jesus: Early Stage of Life
1. Jesus at this point was a mere infant….
(1) circumcision @ 8 days/Synagogue in Bethlehem
(2) all Jewish boys….Abraham…
(3) naming ceremony: Yeshua (Hebrew, Greek, English)
(4) Angel had pre-determined to name Him Jesus
same name as "Joshua" who is crowned in a drama foreshadowing the Messiah in Zech. 6:9ff
2. When Jesus is 30 days old, time for "Redemption money" (explain)
1. Names his stepson, responsible to see to it that the law is observed
2. Joseph is more than a by-stander; he is the responsible for both the physical and spiritual well being of his family; small now, but he and Mary would have 4 boys and several sisters born after Jesus (Matt. 13: 53-58)
3. He is in that stage of life often considered prime time: young adulthood…
(1) newly married, begins with the "ultimate" blended family!
(2) although given a truly unique responsibility, he was probably anxious to settle down and get on with normal life…that would have to wait until they got back from Egypt…
C. Mary: Entering A complex but exciting stage in life
1. This poor woman had been through a lot---scandal, childbirth, marriage, wonderful but traumatic experiences
---in our day, we would say she had a "lot to process"
---from a simple life to a very complex one
2. Now she followed the requirements of the Law/ 40 days after childbirth
(1) offering 2 turtle doves (fairly poor—Magi not visited yet w/gold)
(2) mikvah (ritual immersion)
3. A lot to adjust to:
(4) frightening future…
D. Simeon: Near the End of His Life
1. An old man—righteous and devout
(1) Holy Spirit had revealed to Him that He would see the Christ
---vocally, through a dream/vision---who knows…
(2) implication: both he and Anna old…why old people here?
(3)John Piper: they represent the Old Covenant—transition
2. Note His prophecy: (29-32)
(1) now let me die
(2) a light to the GENTILES and the glory of ISRAEL….
(3) Luke includes this event to show God endorsed the spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles as Simeon predicted…
E. Anna, the 84 year old prophetess (36-38)
1. Anna had lived a tragic life…
2. Married 7 years, then widowed; now 84 (husband probably dead 60 years)
(1) she spent her time, day and night, praying in the courts of the Temple….
(2) Question for you to contemplate: Was hers a wasted life?
I think NOT….
(3) if you are single, divorced, widowed, or lonely, YOUR LIFE IS NOT ON HOLD when it comes to your relationship to God…
3. She thanked God and spread the Word about Jesus…
Our main thought today is this: We are all part of God’s plan at a point on His timeline. If God is central in our lives, our lives ARE meaningful, whether we grasp that truth or not.
II. These People Were Certainly Very Different From One Another: But They Had A Common Focal Point
1. Jesus put Himself in the spotlight: "I am the way…the Good Shepherd..the Light of the World…The Resurrection and the Life…"
2. The Pharisees hated Him not because of His moral teachings as much as they did because, "he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:18); HE HIMSELF IS THE MESSAGE.