Friday, February 21, 2020

2020.02.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 2:25–35

Questions from the Scripture text: Who was in Jerusalem when Joseph and Mary took Jesus for His firstborn-sacrifice (Luke 2:25)? What kind of man was he? For what was he waiting? Who was upon him? What had the Spirit revealed to him (Luke 2:26)? Who told him to go to the temple (Luke 2:27)? Whom did Simeon meet there (Luke 2:27-28)? What did he do with the baby? What does he call God in Luke 2:29? What does he call himself? What does he know is about to happen to him? Why (Luke 2:30)? For whom is this salvation (Luke 2:31-32)? Who are amazed at Simeon’s words (Luke 2:33)? Whom does Simeon bless now (Luke 2:34)? What does he say will happen to many in Israel? What kind of sign will Jesus be? What will happen to Mary’s soul (Luke 2:35)? Why?
Those who are righteous and devoted to God and looking for Him to show compassion to sinners by His salvation… should expect that others will despise them for Christ’s sake and that belonging to Him will bring us pain.

But, we rejoice to cling to Christ. God is our Sovereign Master (“Lord” in Luke 2:29 is not the usual word, but the one from which we get the word ‘despot’), and we are His slaves (“bondslave,” not “servant” as translated in verse 29). We’re not so much looking for our comfort as we are looking for His glory—and it gladdens us to see Him saving sinners from among ALL peoples, and sending His gospel for to the NATIONS. And, yes, we rejoice in the history of Israel and their greatest glory—being the nation from whom Christ came!

What it must have been like for Joseph and Mary—hearing about the glory of their almost-six-week-old son! It is no wonder that they wondered (“marveled,” Luke 2:33) at these things.

But let us learn with them to be willing to endure anything—and everything that is required of us—for the sake of Jesus. If it was Mary’s “blessing” to have a sword pierce through her heart for the glory of Christ (Luke 2:35), then let us too learn to “rejoice and leap for joy” when they hate us and exclude us and curse us and cast out our name as evil for His sake (cf. Luke 6:22-23).
When have you suffered for the sake of Christ?
From this passage, how can you prepare to rejoice when it happens?
Suggested songs: ARP45A “My Heart Is Greatly Stirred” or TPH270 “At the Name of Jesus”

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