Summary: At Christmas we often look at the Prophecies concerning the coming of Christ, here is the story of a prophecy concerning the purpose of his life
The Story of a Prophet
We all know the Story; we’ve heard it over and over again. If you close your eyes you can almost picture them, the Old Testament words that are read each year during Advent. The words of Isaiah and Micah that relate to the coming messiah. They are repeated in sermons, songs and printed on Christmas cards.
Most of us can even recite bits and pieces of those prophecies some are from the Prophet Isaiah “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” and “The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)”
And Micah’s word about where Jesus would be born “But you, O Bethlehem, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.”
And those words were read and repeated for hundreds of years within the Jewish community as they looked to the one who would free them from their oppressors and restore Israel to the glory it had experienced under King David.
And all of those prophecies were fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
The Old Testament Prophecies have all the earmarks of a great story as they point toward the coming Messiah. They are repeated in sermons, songs and printed on Christmas cards.
We all know the Story; we’ve heard it over and over again. But there is another story, a story seldom told that is part of the Christmas Narrative as well.
Over the Christmas season our theme has been “The Story Seldom Told” so instead of focusing on the Mary and the birth of Jesus we looked at Elizabeth and the birth of John.
Instead of looking at the 3 Kings, who were actually weren’t kings, they were identified as Wise Men and there was no number mentioned, so instead of looking at the undetermined number of men of non royal descent we looked at the two kings who were actually mentioned by name in the Christmas story, King Herod and King Jesus.
And last Sunday instead of spending time on the journey that Mary and Joseph made from Nazareth to Bethlehem which fulfilled the prophecy of Micah we looked at how they had to flee Bethlehem and go to Egypt to escape the jealous wrath of King Herod who saw in this new born child a threat to his leadership. And that journey fulfilled another prophecy.
Tonight we aren’t going to focus on the prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus, instead we are looking at the prophecy concerning the purpose of Jesus.
Maybe you remember looking at your newborn child and imaging all the possibilities wrapped up in that tiny person. And who someday they would provide for you in your golden years.
In Luke chapter 2 we read how Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to be dedicated and circumcised. I would suspect that they saw this as an incredible opportunity, Jesus was probably the only one of their children to be presented to God at the temple. The rest probably were presented at the synagogue in Nazareth where they lived.
And it was during the dedication service that they encountered a man named Simeon. We don’t know a lot about Simeon. The bible doesn’t record that he was a priest or a religious leader we are simply told that he was righteous and devout and that the Holy Spirit had come upon him.
And on the day that Jesus’ mother and Joseph took Jesus to the temple we read Luke 2:25-32 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
Here is the story of a man who was living in the hope of a promise. The bible tells us that Simeon was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah.
And when I read the words of Simeon I realized that I was reading words of hope, a hope realized and a hope foreseen.