As good as it gets (Luke 2 v 33-39)
Luke’s Gospel begins with a rush of untainted good news. John is born to announce the arrival of the Christ: then Jesus Himself comes along. Elizabeth and Mary show faith: Zechariah learns to trust God’s word. The shepherds meet God’s
King with joy and praise. Simeon knows he’s seen what he’s been waiting for: God’s salvation wrapped up in a tiny bundle.
But Simeon knows something else, too—that it won’t always be like this.
Read Luke 2:33
• What does Simeon say Mary’s child will do (v 34-35a)?
By no means all those who think of themselves as God’s people will welcome God’s Christ. And some surprising truths about people’s inner relationship with God will be made clear.
TIME OUT… Read Luke 18:9
• Who falls, and who rises, in this parable?
• What attitudes of heart is Jesus comparing here?
This played out many times throughout Jesus’ ministry. Read Luke 5:27 to see Jesus turning expectations on their head. He hadn’t come for the “righteous” (those who thought they were good enough for God) but for “sinners” (those who knew they weren’t).
• What does Simeon say will happen to Mary (2 v 35)?
There are few things more painful than watching your child die. Mary would one day experience that pain (23 v 49). This is the first hint in Luke that the crib would lead to the cross; that the reaction of Elizabeth, of the shepherds, and of Simeon would not often be seen again.
• Do Simeon’s words in verses 34-35 suggest that Christ will succeed, or fail
Read Luke 2:35
Anna tells everyone she can find that this child is crucial for bringing about something.
• What is it (v 38)?
Simeon’s and Anna’s words set up a tension that will be resolved only at the end of this baby’s life. He is the all-powerful
Christ, come to redeem Jerusalem, to bring His people back to God; but He will have to be opposed by Jerusalem, and die just outside Jerusalem, to do that.
Thank Jesus the Christ that He came not just to rule, but to redeem, to rescue.
Ask Jesus to show you where the thoughts of your heart displease Him: any ways in which pride, selfrighteousness, or disobedience are creeping in.
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