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Posts tagged ‘Anointed of God’

Demanding signs or denying yourself

Matthew 16:1-4

We have read in the account of the evangelist Matthew (chapter 16) how once again Jesus was tested and how the Sadducees and Pharisees expressed what many people today also want to see, namely signs of Jesus and/or signs of God.

The religious leaders asked Jesus for a sign from heaven. They wanted proof that Jesus was sent from God (Matthew 16:1). Today there are still many who doubt Jesus was sent by God. There are lots of people who have made Jesus into their god but still are not quite sure what to believe and for sure do not really follow him.

At the beginning of our era the Nazarene master teacher Jeshua was in the midst of the chosen people of God. They had enough scrolls with ancient writings from sent ones from God or prophets who told about the man who would come to save the world. The son of man Jeshua or Jesus gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansed lepers, cast out demons, and preached with astounding authority. It seemed not enough to come to see he was a special man with special gifts which could only come from the Most High God above all gods.  What more did they want?

For those who could see that preacher and miracle maker, many did not come to realise the Son of God was standing right in front of them. Today a lot of people still can not see who Jesus really is.

A member of a small country Missionary Baptist Church who calls himself

a regular guy, who loves God and God’s Word. {About Me}

got to see how Jesus was

not a shy retiring type of man who always spoke words designed to make everyone feel “included.” {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

and writes

He sometimes told it just as it was, without mincing words. He rebuked evil and demanded obedience. No one was excluded from following, but those who chose to do so found the company to be exclusive. {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

Jesus knew for what reason he was here on earth. He knew very well his chosen position and wanted to do God His Will instead of following his own will. Naturally in case Jesus would have been God than Jesus would always have done His own will. But Jesus knew he had to deny himself and asked the same of his followers. They too had to become one with him and one with his God, the God of Israel, Who is Only One God Who is One and God of gods.

Jesus was willing to give his life for others and required this too from those around him. Jesus said to his disciples and to the people around him

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” {Matthew 16:24}

Anyone who wants to call himself “Christian” should followChristJeshua the Messiah. We must know it is not so easy as many think because discipleship is costly. As followers of Christ Jesus we must deny ourself [set aside selfish interests], and “take up his cross (or his stake)” [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow him, which mean we have to believe in him and be conforming to his example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in him. That last bit may be not something we have to face in these times, but in several countries many believers still have to do, plus it can well be we shall have to face a time where it shall happen or that we shall be tested in very fearful circumstances.

After Jesus had died and had shown himself after his resurrection, the apostle Paul was ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the master Jesus. {Acts 21:13} His knowledge of Christ led Paul to reassess the ways of truly pleasing and serving God. His re-evaluation indicates the profound and lasting effect of his experience of the meaning of Christ on the way to Damascus some twenty years before (Gal 1:15–16; Acts 9:1–22). He therefore wrote

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. {Philippians 3:7}

What are the things you would not mind counting a loss or to consider as worthless for Christ, with the knowledge that Christ has shown you that what you once thought was valuable is worthless. We are surrounded with a lot of materials which seem to be very valuable, costing a lot. Lots of people give a lot of attention to what they have and like to show off their earthly goods. Today there is not so much interest in Jesus or in God.

For those who are interested in Jesus, the majority consider him to be God and do not see that he is the sent one and the anointed one from God (Moshiach; Mashiach; Messiah; Kristos or Christ). Jesus is anointed to be ‘King‘ in the Kingdom of God. This is a huge deal and a turning point for the disciples of which Peter recognised him as the Kristos or Christ and said

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” {Matthew 16:16}

Those who want to call themselves Christian should, like the apostles, grasp that Jeshua or Jesus of Nazareth is Messiah, or recognise Jesus as the Kristos – Christ or Messiah and as the son of the Living God. At the same time they should try to come to live and to be like Christ and should take him as their foundation of the church (not Peter). Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 3:11 ,tells us:

“For other foundation can no man lay, then that is laid, which is”,

not Simon Peter, but Jesus Christ.

“No other foundation can man lay, but that which is”.

From the early Messianic writings we learn the disciples of Christ talked about the gatherings they had and of small groups or congregations that formed. Jesus wanted that people became united under him and would come together to congregate, to gather, to meet as brothers and sisters. At their meetings they had to learn about the Word of God, studying the Scriptures. That would be the best way to come to learn the truth and to have a thoroughly grounded faith. And the roots have to go deep and become strong. Therefore each member in the group has to help the others. One of the difficulties being not to focus any-more on the worldly goods and aspects but on the heavenly matters.

The biggest thing Jesus wants from us is….us. As we grow in faith we put what we think we want aside, and come to see what He wants. Ultimately we will come to desire the same for ourselves as He desires for us. {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

To get to know what Jesus wants we have to read the gospels and learn from them. In a certain way it is also a matter of wanting to become a slave Of Jesus instead of being a slave of this world. When you want to call yourself a Christian you too should want to become a disciple, which means to be a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of Jeshua (Jesus Christ), making them his rule of life and conduct. The Pharisees prided themselves in being disciples of Moses (John 9:28) but they had entered a lot of human teachings and rules in their teachings, like the contemporary churches also have done. The majority of so called Christian churches give more importance on human teachings and church doctrines instead of Biblical doctrines. As members of such churches people, like in the time of Jesus, are also confronted with the choice they should make.

The church in our Western capitalist society a is undergoing historical realignment. Until recently Christians have been divided mostly along denominational lines. But now Christian denominations are dividing within themselves between those who believe the Bible and those who do not.

Today we are confronted by the same choice the disciples of Jesus  and the people around Jesus had. We can either keep following those who keep to human doctrines and heathen rites or go for those who want to follow Jesus in all aspects. We can see that those who trust Scripture are now a remnant in many denominations. In some cases they are leaving their institutions behind because they can no longer participate in the disobedient course being taken by spiritually darkened leaders.

Our times are characterized by increasing scepticism towards God’s word and expanding secularism in every facet of life. As a result, biblical illiteracy is growing by leaps and bounds, and church participation is faltering.

We should know that Jesus should be our most important teacher, but that all the words of the other prophets are also of importance and that we, like Jesus, should always follow God’s Word and do the Will of God.

Though we can not be a direct disciple of Jesus, by his teachings, given to us by the Bible, we have enough instructions and guidance to become a real follower.

Christian discipleship is summed up in the Great Commission. After the resurrection and before Jesus ascended into heaven, the master teacher appeared one last time to his disciples (they were eleven in number at that time, since Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus and hanged himself). Christ had given such convincing proofs of his resurrection, as made their faith to triumph over doubts. He now solemnly commissioned the apostles and his ministers to go forth among all nations. This is the moment that he delivered the famous calling for disciples known as The Great Commission:

18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Amen. {Matthew 28:18-20}

Christian discipleship continued to grow when the followers of Jesus gathered in Jerusalem and Peter outlined criteria for selecting a twelfth disciple to replace Judas Iscariot. The Scripture says they drew lots and the lot fell to Matthias. These men, who had previously been disciples, or followers of Jesus, were now to become apostles, or messengers. Their intention was to spread the Word, and beginning with Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came and indwelt them for the first time, they did! (See Acts 1 and 2.) The purpose of the church of Christ is to teach the words of Jesus and bring unbelievers to belief in Christ as their Lord and Saviour; baptizing them, and teaching them to lead other unbelievers to saving faith in Jesus. A Godly environment of each community or church is key to the good health and continued success of the congregation.

even when you are only with a few nothing should resist to come together in somebodies house, like the first Christians did. They gathered in private as well in public houses. We too still can hold a gathering in our own house or find a place to meet with others. No matter our nationality, gender or bloodline we can call others to join us in peace to study the Word of God and to praise the Most High. We should spread the message of Christ and get others to believe they should have faith in the sent one from God.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. {John 3:16-17 New International Version}.

We should show to others the one who can be a light for everybody. We can proof to them that when they together with us want to follow Jesus they don’t have to walk in darkness any more, because they will have the light that leads to life. {John 8:12}

Thanks to the faithfulness of those apostles, who clearly understood their role as messengers of Christ, we have their gospels and letters to go by. Later, when Paul was added to their number (by virtue of his Road to Damascus encounter with the risen Christ), he wrote letters to all the churches he helped create. These books and letters became part of the New Testament of God’s Word, and unlike those first disciples, we have all of Christ’s instructions at our fingertips!

Sharing the message of Jesus we can give everybody around us the opportunity to come to see that Jesus is the way to God and God’s ultimate means of revealing Himself to us.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. {Hebrews 1:3 New International Version}

We have Jesus now as our mediator between God and us. We need no other mediator between God and us. He is also our best high priest. For making “church” we all have to work together in the spirit of Christ. Our faith in Jesus and in his heavenly Father should be the fuel that keeps our aircraft of our life flying.

With faith, you are on the go, there is no stumbling block on the way. All mountains are made plains. {Understanding the power of faith}

United as brethren and sisters, as sons and daughters of God, you shall find you shall be able to accomplish more than on your own. Surrounded by big institutions or well-known denominational churches it demands courage to step out of them and to go for a smaller church or just for meeting with other people who prefer just to keep to the inspired and infallible Word of God. But be sure it pays to choose the right path and to believe in the sent of God who gave his life for sinful humanity.

Are you a person who wants more signs than the one God has given the world? Do you need other proofs that Jesus is the sent one from God, His only begotten son, who by giving his life brought salvation by paying the full ransom price?

Are you preferring to belong to the main churches which keep to human doctrines, feasts and rites, or do you prefer to follow Jesus and keep to the God given feasts and rituals?

Are you willing to keep following the world or willing to follow Jesus?

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Preceding

Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

More than just a man with authority of speaking

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

Matthew 10:24-31 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Do Not Fear – Preach!

Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:21-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Think God’s Thoughts

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

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Additional reading

  1. Jehovah God Almighty greater than all gods
  2. What sort people of faith do we want to be
  3. Truth, doubt or blindness
  4. Knowing The Truth and Loving The Truth
  5. The true light in recorded words
  6. A Book to trust #2 Book of Truth
  7. A Book to trust #6 True God and true words
  8. Torah hanging on two commandments and focussing on a Mashiach
  9. Messianic prophesies 1 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  10. Messianic prophesies 2 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  11. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
  12. The Right One to follow and to worship
  13. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  14. Concerning Christ #1 A god or the God, a son of man and son of God
  15. Concerning Christ #2 Divine source, connection and divine human being
  16. The sent one from God
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  18. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  19. What Jesus did: First things first
  20. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  21. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  22. A call easy to understand
  23. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  24. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  25. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  26. Fellowship
  27. Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation
  28. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  29. Jesus, A way given to find the right way to God
  30. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  31. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  32. That everyone may honour the Son and sent one from God
  33. Thought for Wednesday Believe in the one God has sent
  34. The saviour Jesus his human side
  35. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  36. Memorizing wonderfully 70: Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God
  37. The habitual misreading of John 1 and the ‘Word being God’ #1
  38. The habitual misreading of John 1 and the ‘Word being God’ #2
  39. Memorizing wonderfully 42 Equality with God & doing nothing of himself
  40. Memorizing wonderfully 44 Showing the works from his Father
  41. Memorizing wonderfully 46 Believe in the sent one from God, who is the Way to God
  42. Memorizing wonderfully 49 John 17:1-11 The sent one from God and eternal life
  43. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  44. Our life depending on faith
  45. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  46. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  47. An atoneless religious system or a hope giving religious system
  48. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  49. Christianity primarily a matter of imitation
  50. United people under Christ
  51. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  52. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
  53. A House for God in our 21st century

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Related

  1. You are Invited
  2. The Set Up
  3. Sent by Christ; March 27, 2018
  4. 15th Sunday of the Year: Sent by God for work in the world.
  5. 15th Sunday of the Year: Called by God. Catholic Inspiration
  6. Are You Willing to Submit Your Will to God?
  7. Submitting Your Will to God Simplifies Your Life
  8. God First, Then Extras
  9. Discipleship
  10. Why Discipleship Weirds Me Out
  11. The Tree of Life: thoughts on discipleship and roots
  12. “Evangelism” or “telling God’s story”?
  13. A Worthy Life
  14. Out of the Abundance of the Heart
  15. Saved, healed and delivered
  16. Grasping the Gospel
  17. Get Down With the Program, Preacher!
  18. When Process Stops So Progress Can Happen
  19. The Theology of Jesus: Part 9 Ecclesiology
  20. Christ Is The Light Of The World.
  21. Following Jesus
  22. Take Up Your Cross And Follow Christ
  23. Lenten readings – Christ is the way to the light – the truth and the life
  24. Follow, Carry the Cross

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

LK2:25 Now look, there was a person in Jerusalem named Simeon. And he was righteous and reverent[1] and was waiting for Israel’s consolation,[2] and holy Pneuma was upon him. LK2:26 For it had been revealed to him by holy inspiration[3] that he would not experience death until he had seen YHWH’s Christ.[4] [Psalm 2:2] LK2:27 So under inspiration[5] he arrived in the temple [courtyard][6] and when the parents of the little boy Jesus brought him – for it was according to custom regarding an infant – LK2:28 and thus Simeon welcomed [the Christ] into his arms.[7] Then he blessed The God and said: LK2:29 “Absolute Sovereign,[8] now You may dismiss[9] Your servant in peace according to Your message. LK2:30 Because my eyes have seen Your salvation [Isaiah 40:5] LK2:31 that You have prepared in the presence of all the people – LK2:32 an apocalyptic illumination[10] to the non-Jews and a glory to Your people Israel.” [Isaiah 46:13] LK2:33 Now [the infant’s] father and mother were amazed at the things Simeon had said. LK2:34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to [the infant’s] mother Mary: “Behold, this One is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed[11] – LK2:35 (and also, Mary, your own soul will be pierced by a sword!) – that the thoughts of many hearts may be exposed.”[12]

 


[1] Righteous and reverent: Or, just and devout, upright and devout. It means the person was law-abiding and observed Jewish rituals.

[2] Waiting for Israel’s consolation: Or, TCN: lived in constant expectation; TAY: constantly expecting the Messiah to come. [Isaiah 40:1; 49:13; 66:11]

[3] Holy inspiration: Or, divinely revealed. The Greek is KECHREMATISMENON [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5537, having been instructed. (GRN)]

[4] YHWH’s Christ: Or, the Lord’s Christ, Lord’s Messiah, God’s Anointed. Likely drawn from Psalm 2:2. For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Revelation 11:15.

[5] Under inspiration: Or, by the spirit, inspired by, led by, moved by.

[6] Temple [courtyard]: The Greek is HIERON and always refers to the temple compound and not the Temple proper. Women were not permitted into the inner courts so this was possibly the Court of Women.

[7] Simeon welcomed [the Christ] into his arms: Is it possible this was the priest who circumcised Jesus?

[8] Absolute Sovereign: Or, Sovereign Lord. [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #1203] For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Acts 4:24.

[9] Dismiss: Or, depart, discharge, die in content.

[10] Apocalyptic illumination: Or, KJV: a light to lighten; ASV: a light for revelation; NEB: a light that will be a revelation. Drawn from Isaiah 42:6. The Greek is PHOS EIS APOCALYPSIN.

[11] A sign to be opposed: Or, NEB: a sign which men reject; BAS: a sign against which hard words will be said; GDS: a portent that will be much debated; KNX: a sign which men will refuse to acknowledge; NOR: a controversial figure.

[12] Exposed: Or, revealed, laid bare, brought into the light of day.

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Saint Simeon with the Christ child.

Saint Simeon with the Christ child. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting

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Find also to read:

  1. Jesus Messiah
  2. Written to recognise the Promised One
  3. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. The Christ, the anointed of God
  6. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites

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  • Simeon: An Advent Reflection (knowjesusknowjustice.wordpress.com)
    The first messianic prophesy is in Genesis and was written by Moses. And while there is a great deal of debate on the exact date of the writing of Genesis, let’s just say Genesis is where everything begins. Now consider this. The last prophesy of the Messiah’s coming appears in Malachi. That book was written around 430 BC. The point is this. Literally from beginning to end, the Old Testament speaks of the Messiah’s coming. For millennia, God revealed things about Himself, His plan and His Christ through His inspired Word to a people who were waiting. Generation after generation waited and hoped for the Messiah’s coming, but from the greatest to the least, from the most righteous to the most vile, none would see prophecy’s fulfillment during that time.
  • Sermon Redux – Part 4 of The Stars of Christmas – ‘Simeon and Anna’ – Luke 2:21-38 (edraby.wordpress.com)
    If there are two forgotten characters of the Christmas story it is Simeon and Anna.
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    Simeon and Anna bring back the prophetic into the story and call us to be reminded  that God is weaving together a lot of prophecies into fulfillment in Jesus.
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    Simeon knows that Herod is not the Messiah nor have many others who have come along and tried to usurp Herod.  Simeon has been told he would not see death until he has seen God’s Christ.We need to understand that when we look a Jesus as an infant.  As Isaiah 52 says, there was nothing physically marking about Jesus to set him apart.  He looked like any other Jewish baby of Palestine.  He did not have a halo about his head.  He was in the temple because his earthly parents have brought him to be dedicated to God an circumcised.  This was a perfectly normal thing for Jewish parents to do if they were in range of Jerusalem to do it.  There was nothing unusual to mark Jesus out.  You might even begin to think that even Jesus parents were beginning to see Jesus as normal in some ways.  They had both received visits from angels, the shepherds had come a mere eight days before when Jesus was born but other than that no one was saying or marking out their son as special.  The one thing that is missing is the prophetic voice of a prophet proclaiming to people who this child is.

    That is where Simeon comes in as well as Anna.  Simeon only sees a poor Jewish couple coming to the temple and it is at this moment that he steps forward and asks to take the child in his arms and then he prophecies over Jesus and his mother.  In so doing he quotes several scriptures but the most direct reference is to Isaiah 52 which he echoes.  In so doing he announces to the world that this child who seems ordinary is actually extraordinary and is God’s chosen one.  Simeon tells anyone who will listen this is the case.

  • Relishing the Myth: Simeon the Righteous, the God-Receiver (Repost – 2013) (unsettledchristianity.com)
    Ancient historians tell us that the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.) wished to include texts of Holy Scripture in the famous Library at Alexandria. He invited scholars from Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin sent their wise men. The Righteous Simeon was one of the seventy scholars who came to Alexandria to translate the Holy Scriptures into Greek. The completed work was called “The Septuagint,” and is the version of the Old Testament used by the Orthodox Church.

    St Simeon was translating a book of the Prophet Isaiah, and read the words: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a Son” (Is 7:14). He thought that “virgin” was inaccurate, and he wanted to correct the text to read “woman.” At that moment an angel appeared to him and held back his hand saying, “You shall see these words fulfilled. You shall not die until you behold Christ the Lord born of a pure and spotless Virgin.”

    From this day, St Simeon lived in expectation of the Promised Messiah. One day, the righteous Elder received a revelation from the Holy Spirit, and came to the Temple. It was on the very day (the fortieth after the Birth of Christ) when the All-Pure Virgin Mary and St Joseph had come to the Temple in order to perform the ritual prescribed by Jewish Law.

  • Luke 2:34-35 – Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    Jesus would polarize people throughout Israel. On top of that, Jesus would bring much pain to Mary many years later as she witnessed his death on a cross. This picture of the Christ-one who will be a healing balm and an exposer of sin-describes someone who is good, yet dangerous. Do we see Jesus like this? A view of Jesus that doesn’t pierce our soul is not the Jesus of the Bible.
  • Messianic Promises of Christ Coming to Earth ~ 8 (frommyheart2u.wordpress.com)
    It was the Holy Spirit that led Simeon into the Temple at the very moment the baby Jesus was there with his mother and Joseph. The Holy Spirit always leads us to Jesus. As Simeon lifted the baby Messiah up the Spirit prophesied through Simeon’s lips that this babe was more than just another baby – He was the hope of two people groups, He is the Light of the whole Gentile world and Israel’s true Glory!
  • Simeon and Anna: Blessed to see Jesus (theroadreport.wordpress.com)
    We see that God chose to use two humble individuals to prepare hearts, including Joseph and Mary’s, to the revelation of who Jesus was, and is.  In addition, we see two people who were devoted to God and ready to give total praise to Him!  Is it possible that God blessed Simeon and Anna with the ability to see Jesus as a baby because they blessed Him?While Simeon and Anna saw and knew Christ as a baby…we have the ability to know Him as the Risen Savior.  Are we as willing to praise God as they were?
  • Simeon Had His Moment – And You Can Have Yours! (lessonsfromkoza.wordpress.com)
    Simeon understood something that the Israelites did not; he understood that the Messiah had not been sent to deliver the Jews from their enemies and place them above all other peoples, but that He had been sent to save all people, for all eternityregardless of their ethnicity, religion, or gender.Having seen the Messiah, Simeon was ready to depart the world. He had spent his life looking and waiting, and when the Messiah finally arrived he was able to recognize him because he was in tune with God’s spirit (he was spiritually aware). We also are called to be spiritually aware, and to be looking and waiting, but unlike Simeon we are looking and waiting for Christ’s second coming.
  • And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . (writingsistersblog.wordpress.com)
    When Rembrandt was younger, he painted Christ shining with a holy glow.  In this final painting, as Rembrandt reaches the end of life, we see the old man, Simeon, is the one who is glowing – the light coming from the inside out reflecting out onto the baby in his arms.
  • The Prophetess Anna (thepassionists.org)
    Anna is depicted as an aged widow who is constantly in the Temple, worshiping God day and night in fasting and prayer.
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    Anna is inspired to offer thanks to God for the child Jesus and to speak about him to others. She recognizes the moment of salvation when it dawns and she seizes this moment. The friendship with God that she has cultivated through many years of prayer and service in the Temple enables her to respond in faith to God’s visitation in Jesus. Biblical figures like Simeon and Anna, as well as contemporary men and women committed to the contemplative life, challenge us to re-evaluate what we esteem as truly important. They invite us to think again about how we measure “productivity.” They remind us that, whatever our particular vocation may be, our lives need to be rooted in God. Most of us have multiple responsibilities and many things to accomplish each day. We cannot live “constantly in the temple” as did Anna.
  • Christmas in Context: Waiting for the consolation of Israel… (faithfulstewardship.wordpress.com)
    No doubt there were many in Jerusalem longing for the consolation of Israel. How long would Israel have to suffer occupation?
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    Israel was hurting, a shadow of the kingdom it once was. Isaiah also Prophesied that the divided kingdoms that threatened Judah would be laid to waste and then Judah would be handed over to Assyria (Is 7:14-17). There were many who looked to rebellion/insurgency to fight for Israel’s freedom from occupation… perhaps looking for God to follow the redemption of the past when He would raise up a mighty man who would serve as Judge? But Israel rejected God’s Judges, and rejected His rule and asked for a king. There were others who sought political power and favor with Rome to secure for Israel a sense of freedom, to preserve their ways (while historical accounts outside the Bible attest to this, such a mentality is revealed in the Sanhedren in John 11:45-53). Herod took it upon himself to appoint his own High Priest. It was not long before the birth of Jesus that the Temple was defiled and desecrated. All this is simply to say that since the descendents of Jacob had long stopped going to God for their answers (a rebuke against Israel and Judah in Is 8:19-20) they would become a people stumbling in the darkness (leading into Is 9).
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    A man and a woman of God were waiting in the Temple Courts to see the redemption of Jerusalem, the consolation of Israel, the Revelation to the Gentiles… the Salvation of Man. I’m sure they both spread the word, as did the shepherds. So what happened? How could this young family have had any peace? Well, if you’ll remember the account in Matthew 2, the Magi came to Jerusalem looking for the one who is born King of the Jews. We don’t know exactly how old Jesus was when the Magi found Him, we just know that they were no longer in the manger; rather, they were now in a house. God sends warning to Joseph to flee to Egypt, and warns the Magi to avoid returning to Herod. So what squashed what would have been the biggest news in Israel? It was not yet Jesus’ time.

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Old language to confirm the promises

Once more in the Gospel we do find that a person speaks in language borrowed from a half dozen verses in the Hebrew Bible.

At the birth of his son, several times Zechariah or Zachariah, draws from the historical psalms. Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied that by this birth the God of Israel came and set His people free.  It was not God who came on the earth with John the Baptist, but his body was caused to be there on earth by his heavenly Father, Who set the power of salvation in the centre of our lives, and in the very house of David his servant. The priest tells us that this is just as the Most High Elohim promised long ago through the preaching of His holy prophets.

The priest knew that the Only One God is a god of His Word; Everything the God of gods promises comes true. Therefore the world should know that deliverance from our enemies and every hateful hand and mercy to our fathers shall also come true, as He remembers to do what He said He’d do.
Now God was going to make the horn of David to bud as he had ordained a lamp for His anointed.

“”Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.” (Psalms 132:17 NIV)

“He remembers his covenant for ever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,” (Psalms 105:8 NIV)

“For He remembered His holy promise and Abraham His servant.” (Psalms 105:42 KJ21)

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV)

“and He remembered for them His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies.” (Psalms 106:45 KJ21)

“to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant,” (Luke 1:72 KJ21)

The child of Elizabeth/Elisheva and Zechariah is recognised by his father as a “Prophet of the Highest,” who will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways. He would become the man to present the offer of salvation to his people, the forgiveness of their sins. The child grew up, healthy and spirited. He lived out in the desert until the day he made his prophetic début in Israel.

The people of God had to know now the time was coming that Jehovah God His Decree would be established. A truly righteous David-Branch would by the Word of God become into being. The Holy Spirit, God His Force had taken care that a child could come into the world that would become a ruler who knows how to rule justly. He’ll make sure of justice and keep people united.  Seventy sevens were set for the people and for the holy city to throttle rebellion, stop sin, wipe out crime, set things right forever, confirm what the prophet saw, and anoint The Holy of Holies.

“”The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5 NIV)

“”Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.” (Daniel 9:24 NIV)

The  the iniquity of the house of Judah,  the house of Israel could be beard again. Remembering His covenant God now took it in His hands and used those people Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary to bring in fulfilment what He had promised at the beginning of the universe, in the Garden of Eden. His Word could come in fulfilment with the birth of John the Baptist and his nephew Jesus (Jeshua).

“He remembers his covenant for ever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,” (Psalms 105:8 NIV)

“for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.” (Psalms 106:45 NIV)

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Preceding articles:

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John

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Find also to read:

  1. God’s Salvation
  2. Waiting for Gods Salvation
  3. The Christ, the anointed of God

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File:Lucas Cranach the Elder, his studio? - The Birth of John the Baptist - Google Art Project.jpg

The Birth of John the Baptist – 1518, Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)

 

  • Luke 1:11-20 NIV – Miracles often depend on faith (pagprayer.wordpress.com)
    Zechariah serves in the temple only twice a year, but only once does he get to assist in the daily offering by going into the holy place.  Out of all of the priests (studies indicate that there were about 18,000 priests), today is the day Zechariah is in the temple, among people who are praying.  His job this day is to offer incense, in the holy place, symbolizing intercession rising up to God.  And Zechariah’s prayer is being answered.  In the midst of worship, God moves.
  • Luke 1:57-80 (oh-mag.com)
    As we read in Luke 1:17, Gabriel had given this exact account to Zechariah on the day that his speech was taken for disbelief. Now knowing that these things were indeed coming to pass, the first words out of Zechariah’s mouth are ones of praise and amazement. In verse 68 he speaks of the Messiah directly, knowing that redemption is at hand (remember, Jesus is just about to be born).  He exclaims that God is in their midst, and that He has not abandoned them.  In verse 69 the prophet says that God has raised up a horn (referring to strength) of salvation from the line of David.  As we have read in Matthew, Jesus does in fact fulfill this role as being in the lineage of David.  Inside Zechariah’s prophecy, we are being reminded of a past prophecy, found in Psalm 132 which talks about the future Messiah and his place of birth and reign.
    +
    Matthew 1:1-17

    There were no accidents, no mistakes, and no second plans as God laid out for all eternity the plans that brought forth a man who fulfilled over 1000 prophecies by the time of His death.  Let us consider the truths that Matthew is going to lay out before us as he makes the case that Christ is Messiah.

  • The Inerrancy of the Bible (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    In the Church, we witness God’s will happening amid human mistakes all the time. Sincere worship leaders play the wrong chords on their guitars. Obedient prophets get caught up in passion and embellish His message. Pastors lose their train of thought in the middle of an inspired sermon. Earnest theologians publish false teachings that they later wish they could retract. Evangelists mistake God’s promptings and present the Gospel message to souls who are already saved. Dynamic Sunday School teachers get stumped by a question that a child asks them. Christian publishers crank out books with glaring typos and spelling errors. Does the presence of error mean that God can’t be at work? Of course not. Human beings are imperfect bumblers. After we are saved, God chooses to let us keep on bumbling as He works through us to accomplish many good things. Our mistakes don’t slow Him down. Our immaturity doesn’t prevent Him from accomplishing His goals. If God isn’t threatened by mistakes, why should we be? Why does the Bible have to be perfect in order for it to be of value? Why can’t it still be Divinely inspired even if it has some obvious flaws?
  • Luke 1:67-69 – His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    God is looking for the Zechariah’s of our day to fill them with His Holy Spirit and use them in amazing ways.
  • Morning Prayer 12.26.13: St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr (dailyoffice.org)
    You have made my friend a bearer of your love for me; I see the light you made to shine in him. Shower my friend with blessings today, O Lord; make me worthy to receive the gifts he brings each time we’re together, and help me return in full measure the love I feel for him. You have made us one in your Spirit, O Lord; thanks be to God.
  • The Choice Mary Made (backseatwriter.wordpress.com)
    God created Mary, so He undoubtedly already knew how she would react to Gabriel’s proclamation that she would be the virgin to bear the long-awaited Messiah.But what if she had said no?  Could Mary have said, “No, you’ve got the wrong girl”?  Would there have been a Moses-like moment where God said that He created her womb, like He created Moses’ mouth?  If she had tried to flee, would God have brought her back with a Jonah and the big fish sort of event?  Could Mary have wrestled with an angel like Jacob?
    +
    Often times we don’t get to choose what diseases befall us, what those closest to us will do to cause us pain, or how the world will beat us up.  But we can choose how we react, knowing and trusting nothing escapes God’s loving attention.  When baby Jesus was finally born and presented in the temple, Mary was told her blessing was a double-edged sword.  Her heart would be pierced, just as her Son would be pierced for our transgressions.  My sins and yours.  The world’s greatest gift also came with huge responsibility, pain, and suffering.
  • Vayetze (rockofisraelweeklyparasha.wordpress.com)
    The answer to Jacob’s ladder right before your eyes! Yeshua (Jesus) is the ladder! He was sent to Earth to atone for our sins as the perfect Lamb of G-d, G-d raised Him from the dead through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, Yeshua went up to Heaven to serve as our King, Priest and Prophet. Moshiach is soon to Return! Oh mishpachah, can you see it? Yeshua is the Son of G-d, our Messiah! We pray through the Name of Yeshua and our prayers go up to HaShem in Heaven, and the answer is sent down to earth through Yeshua’s Name!
  • Fourth Sunday in Advent: Dec. 22 (prayerscapes.wordpress.com)
    The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
  • Tuesday, December 24, 2013 Advent Weekday (catholicquotesblog.wordpress.com)
  • You Prisoners Of Hope, I Will Restore Twice as Much to You (smritidisaac.wordpress.com)

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