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Posts tagged ‘Light of the world’

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light shining bright

Matthew 5:13 – Salt and Light

MT5:13 “You are the Salt of the earth.[1] But if the salt becomes tasteless[2] what will it salt? It is useless and thrown out for men to trample upon.[3]

Matthew 5:14-16 – Shining Bright

MT5:14 “You are the Light of the world.[4] A city cannot hide on a mountaintop. MT5:15 Nobody lights a lamp and then covers it with a basket but [they put it] on a lampstand and thus illuminate the entire household. MT5:16 So, let your light shine before men that they may see your good works[5] and glorify your Heavenly Father.[6]

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[1] Salt of the earth: Compare Mark 9:50 and Colossians 4:6. Salt is a preservative and used for seasoning. As a Nazarene Saint are you strong salt which makes spiritual food tasty and gracious? (Colossians 4:6) Are you a source of preservation of those words of the Nazarene which have been treasured for hundreds of centuries? Would the sayings of the Nazarene die out if it were dependent on its preservation because of you? Would the effort of skilled copyists and the misery of isolated Saints become worthless because of your failure to preserve these precious words of the Mountain Teachings?

[2] Tasteless: Various renderings are: MOF: insipid.

[3] To trample upon: The final use is for roads and pathways.

[4] Light of the world: The Nazarene left no written words. He promised a Spirit-Helper which would vitalize the memory of his disciples regarding everything he spoke (John chs 14, 16). Thus, his disciples were “salt” (as a preservative) and “light” as illuminators (See 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:5, 6). If it were not for their efforts we would possess nothing of the Nazarene! Does this effort, for which they gave their lives, and the effort of those later Nazarene copyists, move your heart to become better acquainted with the words of this Mountain Sermon? If it were left to you would these die out or be preserved to enlighten future generations?

At times of special illumination in Jerusalem the clothes of ancient and worthy priests were made into torches and by these the whole Temple was lit and Jerusalem could be seen from miles away.

[5] Works: Here the “light” is associated with the disciples’ “work.” This is different from that outward show the Nazarene later counsels against in Matthew 6:1-7.

[6] Father: This is the first occurrence of the Nazarene’s favorite designation for the Creator. He uses “Father” 17 times in his sermon (Matthew 5:16, 45, 48; 6:1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 18, 26, 32; 7:11, 21). In all the Hebrew Bible there are less than a dozen references to God as Father, so in this one sermon the Nazarene uses it more often than the entire Old Testament. The second preferred designation is the word “God” (usually The God, TON THEON) and this occurs 6 times in the sermon (Matthew 5:8, 9, 34; 6:8, 24, 30). There is possibly (but not probably) a third designation in YHWH at Matthew 5:33; however, throughout the Gospels the Nazarene prefers first “Father” and then “God.”

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Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

Next:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:17-20 – The Nazarene Rabbi’s Commentary on the Torah

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Additional reading

  1. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  2. You Need Light for Your Path
  3. Honesty beginning of holiness Walking in the light
  4. Heroes and saints
  5. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  6. Looking for the perceptible or the latent or what needed for us
  7. Searching, light, fear and deliverance
  8. The true light in recorded words

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Related articles

  1. What Do You Prefer?
  2. Darkness and Light
  3. Light
  4. Awake! – Part 11 – Salt
  5. Daily bible passage – 4/30/17
  6. 5th Sunday After Epiphany, February 5, 2017
  7. April 24, 2017
  8. Spicy and Shiny: Just the Way Jesus Likes Us (Mt 5:13-20)
  9. Salt and Light :: Communion Liturgy
  10. Light in R-Rated
  11. …I’m gonna let it shine.
  12. We’re Salt & Light: But are we?
  13. Salt and Light: Matthew 5
  14. Light of the world
  15. Day 33 -This Little Light of Mine
  16. Let Your Light So Shine
  17. loved, forgiven, set free, and – yes – practitioners of holiness…
  18. The Fast to Which We Are Called
  19. Lent in a Dish Week 4: We Are the Light of the World
  20. “Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.” ~~Jesus
  21. “You are God’s field, God’s building”
  22. Our Daily Bread…Featuring Paul Beverly
  23. The Beatitudes in the Law of Moses
  24. The Beatitudes and being human
  25. What’s in Your Heart?
  26. Summing Up the Sermon: The Greatest Sermon Ever {Part 1}
  27. Summing Up the Sermon: The Greatest Sermon Ever {Part 3}
  28. Summing Up the Sermon: The Greatest Sermon Ever {Parts 4-6}
  29. Marvel Movies, Meta-Communication and the Sermon on the Mount
  30. Thou Shalt Not Kill
  31. Solidarity
  32. Time to stand up
  33. Just like Christ
  34. Influencers; the Salt and Light of the World
  35. This Little Light of Mine
  36. Why I started Sparkle With Love and my story
  37. Light Up the House – You are the Splendor of the World
  38. Shine like stars
  39. Cultural Clamor… Beyond he or she
  40. Love So Bright Like Fairy Lights
  41. The Best News Ever Heard
  42. When Jokes Hurt
  43. Hunger for Jesus
  44. You Cannot Trust Yourself
  45. Your Time to Shine
  46. 31 Truths: A Saint
  47. The Presence of God

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Let us not fret or worry about next season

Map of Belgium showing the provinces (black li...

Map of Belgium showing the provinces (black lines) and regions (colours). Yellow = Flanders Dutch speaking, Red = Wallonia French speaking, Blue = German-speaking part, Orange = Brussels Capital Region (37 languages). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last season we like the Belgian Christadelphians perhaps had set our hopes to much on human beings, hoping they would not be as partial to prohibit brothers and sisters in Christ to join hands and have meetings together.

In the midst of our many activities our minds should have been on the eternal and the magical ways of the universe, trusting God He would be the One Who brings the Chosen ones unto Him. Perhaps we thought of hastening. We thought maybe the business to accelerate by trying to bring the different Christadelphian groups together and by showing our openness to all those who believe in the Only One God.

Marcus Ampe and his ecclesia could not convince Carelinks to share the love of Christ. Also other Christadelphian groups did not want to unite with the man from the North or with Australian Bible Students. We too are somewhat left in the cold, not seeing an opportunity to have many brethren and sisters meeting each other and finding more places in Belgium to Break Bread together.

We stay convinced that we should not show partiality and try to get the impartiality of God in our midst as well. If we take time for books of a spiritual nature, deep conversation, singing songs together, sharing helpful exhortations, watching uplifting movies, our meditations will be much more effective. Our subconscious will also act on what it has been programmed by all day.

We often hear :

Focus on miracles and beauty you get miracles and beautiful situations. Focus on problems and competition and you get more problems, competition and worries.

We, for sure, want to concentrate on the positive, and want to forget soon what happened this year in the Belgian community.

When we heard of the trials of Mr. Ampe we where afraid it could turn wrong. Our fear turned grounded. Certain people are too stubborn and on their own and to much looking for personal gain, so that they would not be ready for such unselfish openness Mr. Ampe presented to them and the different groups.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to fail trying to do good or to fear. Fear can be part of a survival instinct, and the Scriptures tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Still, there is a fear that can overwhelm us at times. There’s a fear that can rob us of faith and trust. Faith and fear are opposites in some Biblical texts. We should not let the fear of being alone or being a small group take us. We are not with many, but this should not frighten us. In the present world it shall become even worse for God fearing people. They will find themselves even more isolated from the rest of the world. Because the world is not interested in God and does not like so much people who love God. We just have to accept that and have to live with it.

Panic can take over when we have our eyes on the worldly things. We had our hopes on a growing community. We did have our hopes on the possibility to offer people living in Oostende, Brugge, Gent and Antwerp to find more people willing to join them. It would have been lovely if we could have send the Bible Students living around the Belgian coast to a Carelinks meeting or to have other brothers and sisters in Christ finding each other so that they could make arrangements to meet each other in their own region.

The apostle Paul knew very well what it meant to be in isolation. He also got to see how important it was not to focus too much on the human beings, but to remember that the peace of God can guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7) whilst we put all our hope to the Most High.

We like Paul wanted all the household churches and all the Christians to be harmonious so that they could stand firm against the opposition as one body. We can listen to him who said:

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)

Though it did not work out, we should not be sad. Though we still are with few (less than before) , we should be glad in the Lord at all times. We shall not get us depressed and shall show to others that we keep our doors opened to all who want to join us. Like the Belgian Christadelphian ecclesia shall keep her doors open and all the time showed their gentle behaviour, we too shall show our friendliness and love to others, working with them and not against them who show their love for the Only One True God. We do want to be clear to all men, we shall not give in to the doctrines of people and keep to the Word of God, having Christ Jesus as our cornerstone and not one specific human organisation.

We are convinced that Jehovah God is near and that we should not be afraid to stand in the cold, left behind. to our brothers and sisters we also would say:

Have no cares; but in everything with prayer and praise put your requests before God.

We shall keep asking to God that He will guide us and will provide us with the right people to make us grow as a good Christian Community, according to His wishes. We are convinced that in our hopes we shall not have to be saddened but can trust on the peace of God, which is deeper than all knowledge, which will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For next season we do ask our members not to fret or worry.

Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

The coming season we shall continue to show people how human beings made up a church which sought to further define what is meant by the foundational creedal statements she has, at various important moments in history, drawn up creeds, confessions, and catechisms, but how throughout the times several people seriously took the Word of God as the Book of books to follow. We shall continue to give preference to God’s Word as our guide instead of adhering human groups and specific personalities.

When Jesus said

 “You are the light of the world,”

he meant that you and I are to let our lights shine for Jesus.  In the original Greek, Jesus uses the plural meaning

“you all together are the world’s light.”

(We don’t see this in English because we make no distinction between plural and singular.)  Jesus meant Christians corporately are the light, not any one individual. How could any single light brighten this dark world?

As such we still shall try to unit as much people as possible and to show them who Jesus was and is, what role he plays in our sanctification and our possibility to find a better life.

We shall continue to show people that it is not just by faith we shall be saved.
We shall hope we can bring many more to the faith in Christ Jesus. But we shall also show them we do need to live according to that faith we choose. We shall also show them that we need to help each other to reach the goal, so that we when we come in front of the returned Jesus shall be found worthy to enter the Kingdom of God. We shall show the people that  Jesus will judge everyone according to what they have done. (Romans 2:5-6; Matthew 5:22; 7;2;25: 31-45; Revelation 20: 12.13).

Keeping that in mind we shall continuously try to bring more people together under the name of Christ, following his example, doing good, seeking after the glory honor and immortality God offers.

Those who  wanted to live for themselves, have power for them selves, we shall try to bring to a better attitude, showing that we all need together to work for the same good cause, giving ourselves in the Hands of God, obeying the truth and giving full ear to Jehovah God and not preferring human organisations above God His Wishes.

Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and we did find hope in the willingness of the few to continue preaching and going forward trying to unite people in the love of Christ.

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Preceding articles:

An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us

Our openness to being approachable

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Read also:

  1. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  2. Hope does not disappoint us
  3. Focus on outward appearances
  4. Walking alone?
  5. God doesn’t call the qualified
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Not many coming out with their community name
  8. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  9. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation
  10. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  11. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  12. Iranian refugees in Belgium baptised by Carelinks
  13. Antwerp Ecclesia
  14. Delay in publications because attack from outside
  15. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  16. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  17. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  18. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  19. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  20. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  21. Give your worries to God
  22. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  23. Work with joy and pray with love

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  • Soul-searching questions, by Charles Box (fellowshiproom.org)
    Paul exhorted the Philippian Christians to diligence and seriousness in the Christian life. His teachings to these brethren provide us with some soul searching question.
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    We are required to work out our own salvation. We cannot be saved on the goodness of our parents or the faithfulness others. Salvation is a personal matter and each person must obey God himself.Our obedience begins with our belief in Christ as our Savior, repen­tance of our sinful ways and baptism for the forgiveness of our sins. Our obedience continues as we live according to His word as revealed to us in the New Testament.
  • Philippians 2 (King James Version.) The Bible in government. (moralupbringing.com)
    If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded , having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind . 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
  • Fan or Follower? | Part 2 (comeawake.org)
    Don’t be too quick to choose one over the other. Don’t make the mistake of answering this question like all the other questions you’ve been asked by preachers, Sunday School teachers, and Small Group leaders. This isn’t a knowledge-based question. It’s a heart-based question. It’s a conviction-based question. It’s a commitment-based question.
  • Find the good, hold fast to it, and be not moved. (madisonamydunne.wordpress.com)
    This week a lot of us had emergency changes because a lot of new missionaries came to our mission from other missions in Peru
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    We must read the Bible, realize that He formed it built upon prophets, apostles, and that His church has the authority of God.
  • Faith Is Based On Knowledge By Andrew Wommack (zillasnetworks.wordpress.com)
    all things that pertain unto life and godliness are given unto us through the knowledge of God.
    Certainly, faith must be one of those things because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). So faith must come through the knowledge of God.
  • Needs (johnjohnsonsgranddaughter.wordpress.com)
    There are 21 verses from the bible on Needs
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    The only thing that I truly need, everyday, more than food and water, is Christ.  But you knew that, right?
  • Book of Philippians (brakeman1.com)
    The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 14; and in 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 8, 21.
  • earth moving principles (mobilisedbygod.wordpress.com)
    It is amazing that many of our opportunities to serve others comes through praying for those opportunities. Nehemiah understood the power of prayer, and so he prayed as soon as he received news of Jerusalem’s continued desolation.
  • ‘Not Just a Blonde’: Worrying Steals… (cultureofawareness.com)
    Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it steals today’s peace! Worrying is just not a helpful thing to do! Worry keeps us stuck in our fears. It forces us to focus on the negative possibilities and blinds us.
  • Fear: The Absence of Peace (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
    When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear robs our peace of mind, weakens our resolve, disturbs our rest, and even causes us to question the presence of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walks with Christ unless we learn to face it and overcome it with the grace of God.

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?
    +
    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).
    +
    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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