8 My eyes have seen Thy salvation

Luke 2:21-38
Isaiah 12:1-6

TA way to the cross

 Jesus was born in a hovel of Bethlehem. And the shepherds who slept out ran up a slope out of breath to meet Jesus few hours later. "And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb." (21) "And when the days their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord." (22); the text of this morning begin from some events which happened few days after Jesus birth. When seeing so, the step of Jesus who came to this world is speeding up little by little, I receive such an impression. I feel the state that Jesus who was born adapts himself to our society gradually, or the state that He confronts it are pictured. It is the way to trace as Messiah / Christ, but not the growth course that a common baby follows; would Luke testify it so? Including such testimony of Luke, I want to hear it from the text of this morning.

 At first, it is from the first place. "When the days were completed"; this was told at the article of the John the Baptist birth also, but it means that Jesus became a member of the Jewry. From there, we can hear that the One who was born in God's wonder became a person thoroughly. Unfortunately, there is not the blessing of relatives and neighboring people on this occasion of the naming and circumcision, because Joseph and Mary were staying not in their own town. Instead of it, it was added that they went to the shrine of Jerusalem, after 40 days purification (Leviticus 12:2~). I can see Luke's special consciousness here.

 The son who was born first in Judea should be offered to the Lord. (Exodus 13:2 others). However, his father paid money and was able to buy it back. "A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons" (24); it the law regulations of that payout. The rich person had to pay more expensive things such as a sheep or a cow for money of compensation. But, Joseph would pay only the lowest thing which poor people could prepare. This was a thing to remember the event of the Passover of the time that Israel escaped from country Egypt of the slave (Exodus Chapter 12). Luke may talk about the event of the cross indirectly which Jesus will be concerned with it deeply soon.


U The salvation for us

 In the shrine, Jesus was met by two people. The first person is Simeon. He was said, "this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him." (25). "(He was) looking for the consolation of Israel"; especially in those days, it seems that there was such a group looking forward to the Messiah. For example, now, the orthodox Jewish group, covered with black clothes and with a derby hat, are between tears in front of the Wailing Wall, and they are looking for the consolation of Israel; it means the expectation that the Messiah comes early. Surely it would be the same in all ages. Simeon did the way of life "righteous and devout", like an authentic Jew. And Luke added it, "the Holy Spirit was upon him.". And he repeated it with "it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (26), "he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when ..." (27); this will be the greatest factor of the Simeon appearance. About Jesus and Mary he said with "Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bondservant depart in peace to Thy word; for my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel." (29-32), "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed- and a sword will pierce even your own soul- to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." (34-35). It is that the Holy Spirit testified through a mouth of Simeon, and it seems to appear the strong desire in Luke.

 Jesus was the Messiah of Simeon. Besides, that testimony tells that He is the Messiah of "foreigners" and "all the people", including "Israel". Last time, at the appearance of shepherds, we heard "we Japanese is not an outsider of the salvation by Jesus"; and now, we can hear the same subject from here. That salvation of us was achieved by the horrible event, the cross. The words to Mary that "a sword will pierce even your own soul" seems to prefigure it.


V My eyes have seen Thy salvation

 We want to hear it from words of Simeon a little more. One of them, about Jesus, it is from the place that there is "A light of revelation to the gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.". It floats nothing from the words, but seems to say the state which is wrapped both of "light of the revelation" and "glory" by glory of God. It is felt that the weight is different, if I say forcibly. When I check that "the gentiles" is expressed earlier than "Thy people Israel; it is felt that the concern of Luke may incline towards the gentiles. However, we must pay attention to that obstinate Israel is still counted in a plan of God as people of the salvation. But there, how to stand, the way of the faith which is demanded to us gentiles, is asked. It seems to be suggested in words to Mary. And it is the second thing, but we want to think about a little from the place that "this Child is appointed for the fall and raise of many Israel, and for a sign to be opposed". It is the same for foreigners "the fall and rise of many in Israel", but it is felt that "be opposed" takes consideration into such as the people of Jew leaders, Pharisees, scribes, priest and elders directly. In fact, the people who led the objection throughout a public life of Jesus were such people. They rolled the Israeli people up and crucified Jesus. At that point, it may be said that it has extremely become difficult that Israel hears the words of the cross. They seem to be in now, too, with the such trouble held.

 Including it, we must hear another thing. In this text, there are the words called "looking for" (25, 38); it seems that Luke was conscious and used it repeatedly. This is a compound word to "receive + together", but Luke uses it four times while there is it in the New Testament nine times. In the four times, it comes out to here twice. Indeed, does not it seem to be Luke who became a person of faith in the times of the church? Should it say the Messiah expectation? Israel was looking for the promise of Messiah presence for the past several hundred years. Is it because that promise exists? The Messiah of much pretense others designations came out of BC400 age, particularly intermediate times by the times of Jesus. However, such Messiah has all disappeared. And Israel was not able to forget that disappointment. Luke repeats that promise was realized "today", many times (At 2:11, 4:21, 19:9, 23:43). "Faith" is the center of "looking for", and it will be the central subject of this Gospel. He raised Anna and Simeon as a person of such a faith. However, it seem to rise the people who were not able to get over disappointment for objection, when Luke individualizes Simeon and faith of Anna. Surely modern we will be counted there, too. It is such present age, but, we want to have the faith of these people who testified that "my eyes have seen Thy salvation" together, while embracing baby Jesus in the corner of the sanctuary heartily.