Views from the Pew – 12.22.21

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What did you learn from Sunday’s sermon, “Raising Jesus”?

Q1: Define abandon to faith as illustrated when the shepherds said “let’s go see”?

Q2: How did Mary react to raising the son of God?

Q3: On what day was Jesus circumcised?

Q4: Why did they offer two turtle doves instead of a lamb and a turtle dove?

Q5: Why didn’t Joseph go buy a lamb with the gold the magi/three wisemen brought?

Q6: What does Simeon tell Mary that she does not know yet?

Sermon Summary & Answers

This Sunday’s sermon, “Raising Jesus” looks at Luke 2:15-52. The shepherds were first to hear in Luke 2:14 when the angels said peace between God and man had arrived, and the shepherds made a simple declaration, “let’s go see,” and they dropped what they were doing and went to see. Remember, they were shepherding flocks in the field at night. But with reckless abandon, they were like, “we have to go see this!” Lots of people do this, consider the disciples: they drop whatever they’re doing when Jesus says follow me. It’s an abandon to faith; when Jesus makes the call, we follow immediately and that’s what the shepherds did. Luke 2:17 when the shepherds see this then they go tell about this child. Then in Luke 2:20 the shepherds went back to the fields glorifying God for all they had heard and seen! Let’s go see, let’s go tell, and then let’s worship. They’re praising God when they saw exactly what God had said. The heart of every worshipper is rejoicing for having seen come to pass what God said would come to pass.

Now, in Luke 2:19 Mary’s reaction is to treasure all these things and ponder them in her heart. At 13 years old, her measured response is to treasure and savor these things while thinking deeply about these events between her and what God is doing. There is a seriousness to a mother’s joy, as with a father, in minutes after the child is born something settles in their hearts; a great responsibility has been given, and their response necessarily becomes more measured. This couple clearly experienced all of that, but in a deeper way than us parents ever could; the reality is they’re going to raise Jesus, the son of God. He is now their responsibility.

Time points of reference noted by Luke from Jesus at 8 days old to 30 years old:

  • Luke 2:21-When 8 days had passed…
  • Luke 2:22-When the days for their purification were completed … (40 days)
  • Luke 2:40-the Child continued to grow…
  • Luke 2:42-And when He became twelve …
  • Luke 2:52-And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature … (30 years)

Luke 2:21 says 8 days passed, and it was time for Mary’s baby to be circumcised and given a name. This is illustrated in Genesis 17:10-12. Mary and Joseph are doing what God told the Jews to do. God told Moses and his descendants including Mary and Joseph to keep this covenant. God makes a promise, and He will keep it, but we, like Mary and Joseph, respond to the promise with obedience! This is a redemptive promise, the cutting away of the flesh, with pain and blood and precise timing. The eighth day matters! We don’t know why, but Pastor Steve speculates that in six days God created everything, the seventh day He called all creation to rest, and on the eighth day, it was time to get up and serve the Lord. It was our turn to move, act, and respond to all God has done. So, they’re parenting did not rest solely on their efforts but on the promises of God, His covenant, and the new extension added to this generational promise.

But, this child is different. This is God in human flesh. Why circumcise Jesus? Luke wants us to see that He was human and like every other boy. He was born the way all Jewish boys were and circumcised like all Jewish boys were. The foreskin is a symbol of the cost and His price to pay. Jesus would be found obedient to every element of the law. And this same question was asked when John baptized Him. Jesus will keep all covenants before He pours himself out as an offering. Luke wants us to see His humanity and obedience to God. And now, the day has arrived that Mary and Joseph affirm His name; Jesus. The Savior of the world now lives in their house.

Luke 2:22, marks forty days that have past, when the days of purification were complete. They brought Jesus to Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord as it is written, every firstborn should be called holy. Luke wants us to see how they respond to raising Jesus. Every child is born a sinner except this child. He is perfect, but His mother still bears the mark of the curse in birth, pain and bloodshed, so forty days had to pass then they’re allowed back into ceremonial worship. Again we see this devout Jewish couple obey God’s law at every turn, they are faithful to what God commanded them, and remind us that we can’t do this alone. We can’t bear this responsibility, so we have to trust God and obey the expressions He’s called us to. So, on this fortieth day, they are giving this child over to God as was told to Moses to do with all the firstborns of every womb. The firstborns belong to God. Jesus belongs to his father. We all have to place our trust in God and not our own ability to raise our children. Do you ask what will bring glory to God or what will bring glory to you? Every decision you make has to have that in view, not what’s best for the child in that moment. There is only one goal: to raise our children for the glory of God. Everything else is shallow and empty. Luke 2:24, Mary and Joseph dedicate Jesus and offer sacrifices as the law says, and they bring a pair of doves or pigeons. Leviticus 12:6-8, explains the two offerings, a lamb for a burnt offering and a turtle dove or pigeon as a sin offering, but if you can’t afford a lamb take two doves or two pigeons. Luke wants to tell us they’re poor yet faithful and raising a child doesn’t depend on means. The fact that they don’t have a lamb to give also tells us the magi or wise men weren’t there and hadn’t brought gifts yet.

How profound? Every child is dedicated to God with a lamb, but here, the child is Jesus, He is the lamb. How fitting there’s not another lamb! Oh, Mary and Joseph can’t afford a lamb as they present THE lamb!”

Pastor Steve Wilson

What were Mary and Joseph thinking? While walking in perfect obedience, were their hearts somewhere else? Luke 2:24-25 said Simeon at that moment enters their life. He is righteous and waiting for this day, the presence of the Holy Spirit is on him (like Elizabeth, John, and Zecharias). Luke 2:26-27 notes that Simeon wouldn’t see death before he has seen Christ, and in Luke 2:28-32 Simeon took baby Jesus into his arms and through the Holy Spirit declared peace for himself and that salvation is available. There is peace for Jews and Gentiles, and the mystery is revealed that it’s always about the Jews and Gentiles!!! So, what were Mary and Joseph thinking? Luke 2:33, forty days is a long time to maintain zeal, and Mary and Joseph are again amazed, thrilled, and their excitement is back again because of Simeon! Religion keeps moving them along, but this encounter gives them another dose of the thrill of God working in mysterious ways! You are carrying peace and salvation! They needed to hear that. Luke 2:34-35, Simeon said to Mary, a sword will pierce your own heart as she hears that some will be saved and some won’t and does not know that she is being told she will have to watch her son be crucified; all of that, to this end, the thoughts from many hearts will be revealed. This child will cut through the facade and reveal truth.

There is no bluffing with Jesus, you see Him for who He is or not at all. If you don’t see him and accept him, there’s no joy in Christmas for you. Look at Him, this baby! What do you see? That will reveal your heart. Look at Him and ask yourself who is He? How you answer won’t determine who He is but how you answer will determine who you are!! He is who He says He is. Who do you say He is? Your answer tells us who you are!”

Pastor Steve Wilson

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  1.  To drop whatever you’re doing. When Jesus says follow me, we follow immediately.
  2. She treasured and savored these things while thinking deeply about her responsibility to raise the son of God.
  3. The eighth day
  4. They’re poor, and to dedicate their child, they need to offer sacrifices as the law says in Leviticus 12:6-8, if you can’t afford a lamb take two doves or two pigeons.
  5. This tells us the wise men weren’t there and hadn’t brought gifts yet.
  6. He tells her a sword will pierce her heart meaning she will watch Jesus be crucified.