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Together, Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts make up more than 25% of the New Testament making Luke its biggest contributor. The story ends with Paul in Europe; “Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 28:31) but at the beginning, this is a Jewish Messiah coming to his own people. Joseph and Mary are obedient to the law set out in Leviticus 12. It is almost like reading the Old Testament.
After the birth of a child, the law required that a year old lamb was to be sacrificed (Leviticus 12:6-7) but provision was made for the poor; “If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons.” (Leviticus 12:8) Mary and Joseph were devout believers who fulfilled the law’s requirements but they were poor. Paul would write later; “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Simeon was a man guided by the Holy Spirit (there are seven references to the Holy Spirit in chapters 1&2). This was a time when the Jewish faith was full of hypocrisy yet some were longing for the Messiah. It’s often assumed that Simeon was an old man but he may not have been. He recognised that seeing Jesus was to see the Lord’s salvation. This salvation was for both Jews and gentiles.
At a time when religion was largely dead, Simeon was walking in step with the Spirit and focussed on Jesus. For us it’s easy to become distracted by life and even by church! We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and focused on Christ.
We thank you Lord that the Lord Jesus became poor in order to make us rich. We ask that we would hear your voice and respond with willing obedience.