Summary: Simeon and Anna waited expectantly for the Messiah's coming. Are we as watchful for his Second coming?
Putting out the Nativity set is a family tradition that kids remember all of their lives. One creative dad decided that he would build excitement for Christmas while teaching his kids to keep Christmas focused on the Savior’s birth. He carefully set out the Nativity - with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and Angels. But instead of putting baby Jesus in the manger, he put a mystery note with a clue as to where they could find baby Jesus. Every day the children would run downstairs to get their clue and see search for baby Jesus. Every night, dad would create another clue and hide the Main Attraction of Christmas.
Those children searched daily for Jesus. For the next four weeks, we will be studying about the people in the Christmas story who searched for Jesus, with the hope that each one of us will find Jesus and put him in the proper place of priority in our lives.
Some like Simeon and Anna searched with confident faith and eager expectation. Some like Elizabeth and John, and Mary and Joseph were surprised with unexpected news that the Messiah would be born. Others like Herod searched with the intention of destroying Jesus.
The four messages in this series are:
Simeon and Anna - How the Watchful Find Jesus
The Wise Men - How Seekers Find Jesus
Herod - How the Proud Find Jesus
The Shepherds - How the Humble Find Jesus
We begin today with Simeon and Anna. Their story is told only in Luke 2.
“And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 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. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:21–38, ESV)
THREE EVENTS in the life of Jesus are recorded in this passage
1. The Circumsission of Jesus. Luke 2:21. It occurred on the 8th day of the boy’s life as prescribed by the Law of Moses. “And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” Leviticus 12:3
The child’s name was given at the circumcision. “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:21, ESV)
The circumcision of Jesus signifies the obedience of MARY and JOSEPH. It also demonstrates that Christ came into the world in complete fulfillment of the Mosaic Law. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4–5, ESV). The obedience of his parents made Jesus eligible to fulfill the promises God pledged to Abraham. (Galatians 3:16).“Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.”