Term 2 – Week 3
Big Idea – Simeon sees God’s salvation for all people in the child Jesus
- The children would see Jesus as their salvation and the salvation for all people
- Belief – Jesus really is God’s salvation, promised, predicted and arrived in the arms of Simeon who was waiting to see the Messiah. We should ‘see’ Jesus as salvation just like Simeon.
- Behaviour – May we praise God like Simeon and seek for other people to ‘see’ Jesus in the same way?
Jesus has been born just as was promised to Mary, just as she believed would happen. Elizabeth and Zechariah have given birth to John, the prophet who make the way for the Messiah. Mary and Zechariah sang / prophesied about God’s salvation and the fulfilment of the promises God had made to their ancestors. Luke is recording this birth of Jesus within the frame and model of Old Testament promise, prophecy and praise. Luke is at pains for us to notice the depth of fulfilment the birth of Jesus brings to those of Israel who see it. We could spend weeks looking into the links Mary and Zechariah make to OT prophecy.
Since the birth of Jesus in 2:7 we get three ‘revelations’ as to the identity and purpose of this child. We see angels again proclaiming this time to traditionally outcast shepherds, of the baby, a ‘saviour born to you’; we have this passage where Simeon proclaims salvation and revelation for ‘all nations’ through this ‘child’; and then 12 year old Jesus himself identifying the temple as his ‘Father’s house’, and the place of his belonging. In this chapter Luke is drawing our attention to the identity and purpose of this son born to Mary, revealed of a baby, a child, and a preteen. As Luke collects these events together he wants us to find the identity and purpose of Jesus inescapable.
The focus of our lesson is on Simeon, an elderly devout Jew who was waiting to see the ‘consolation of Israel’, the final and complete salvation for which had been promised so long ago during the time of Israel’s exile. He would not die before seeing the Lord’s Messiah, as told so by the Holy Spirit. He was a prophet, for the ‘Holy Spirit was on him’, typical in the pattern of Old Testament prophecy. He is moved to go to the temple, just as Jesus’ parents brought Jesus in line with the requirements of the Law. Notice how Jesus was not burn as an usurper to the Law. As his parents fulfilled the law’s requirements, Simeon is drawn to praise God for this child. We see again the fulfilment of promise. As the angel said in 1:37 , ‘no word of God will ever fail.’ This means Simeon may be dismissed in peace, we assume this as meaning he is ready to die.
We get to the verses that serve as our memory verse this term – Simeon declares that Jesus who he sees before him is the ‘salvation,’ ‘prepared’, planned and ready for ‘all nations.’ A ‘light’ for Gentiles and ‘glory’ for Israel. Notice again how Jesus is born into Israel as the saviour for the glory of Israel, yet time and again we see this offer expanded to the Gentile world. He finishes his prophecy with a warning to Mary – Jesus will divide people, and be rejected, and her soul will be pierced by the sword. Amidst the praise and wonder of this salvation is a sombre warning to Mary of the nature Jesus’ ministry, marked by division, rejection and ultimately death; the sword that will pierce her soul.
‘my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel’
Super Saviour – Colin Buchanan
this has been put together using purchased external material and therefore this resource may only be used by Dundonald Church. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org