Searching for Hope
in the Right Places

Key Verse: “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.”
—Luke 2:30-31

Selected Scripture:
Luke 2:22-38

AFTER EIGHT DAYS, JESUS was circumcised. Mary continued until the days of her purification were accomplished as per Leviticus 12:1-4. “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days.” This purification is followed by presenting two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and one for a sin offering. (vs. 8) This ceremony brought Mary back into atonement with God and made her clean. Then Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem.

At that time there was a man named Simeon, a just and reverent man, who was waiting for the “consolation of Israel.” (Luke 2:25) Simeon had recognized through the Scriptures that the Lord would come and bring consolation to Israel. (Isa. 40:4,5) It was his desire to see the Messiah before he died. Through the aid of the Holy Spirit, he came to the Temple at the time Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to be presented to the Lord. Recognizing him as the Messiah he took him in his arms and said, “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:30-32, New International Version) In this verse we see that the birth of Jesus would bring salvation for everyone. Hearing these words, Joseph and Mary marveled at what was spoken regarding their son.

Simeon, taking Jesus in his arms, spoke to Mary, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”—vss. 34,35

The sign of verse thirty-four, written about Christ, is found in I Peter 2:7,8 where it is written, “He is … a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word.” How true this was to Israel. They stumbled over this ‘rock,’ condemning him to death. (Luke 23:22-23) Further, Simeon revealed to Mary that a ‘sword’ would pierce her own soul. It was Mary who stood at the foot of the cross and watched her son die.—John 19:25

With Simeon at the Temple, there was a prophetess named Anna, a devout woman, a widow of eighty-four years of age, who lived in the Temple. She, seeing Jesus, spoke of him “to all them that looked for redemption,” which was to come to Israel and the world. (Luke 2:36-38) Many had been searching; looking for the redemption that the Scriptures revealed would come through Messiah, and the salvation he would provide.

Simeon and Anna went to the right place at the right time and found Jesus, having searched the Scriptures. We are to do likewise.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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