Sunday School Material 12-29-13: Jesus is Presented in the Temple

(Luke 2:21-22, 25-38; 12/29/13)

Introduction:: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus is taken to the Temple where Simeon and Anna are excited to see what God is doing. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to obey God and be excited about what He is doing.

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Body:

Read Luke 2:21-22

I. Obedient Parents.  In our Sunday School material Jesus was given His name on the eight day of His Earthly life. The Mosaic law called for a purification ritual.  Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem. There Jesus was to be presented to the Lord.

Applications -

- Circumcision and baptism. Notice in vs. 21 that circumcision was the ritual of the day to identify the people of God with God. As Christians, our ritual to identify us with God is baptism.

The symbolism of baptism is concerned with identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Let’s work on living out the symbolism of our baptism ritual. As resurrected believers, we should be known for our faithfulness in worshiping God, loving people, and serving to meet the needs of others.

- Raising our children. Notice in vs. 22 of our Sunday School material that the parents brought the baby to the Temple for a blessing.

First, in the Baptist tradition, we don’t baptize or christen babies as some others do. We do pray for babies. We are essentially asking God to bless the baby, the baby’s parents, and the baby’s support system (i.e., Godparents, etc.). There are more details in the membership handbook.

Second, it is refreshing to see the father and mother bringing the baby to the Lord. In addition to the Pastor praying for the babies, families and churches should strive to raise our young people to be strong Christian adults.

Fathers and mothers have the primary responsibility for raising their children. The church is to assist and support what parents should be doing. Let’s work on praying for and raising our young people to be strong Christians.

Read Luke 2:25-35

II. Devout Simeon. In Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary encounter an aged man named Simeon. The man was promised by God that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Messiah.

In our Sunday School material Simeon prays for the child. He also talks to Mary about how great things will happen because of this child.

Applications -

- A godly reputation. Notice in vs. 25 that Simeon had a reputation for being righteous and devout. He was known for following the Law, which was the word of God for His day. He was known for being carefully respectful of God.

As disciples of Christ, we should be known for being very serious about living by the word of God.

At the core of God’s word and will for us today are the issues of making sure we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith and then giving our best to loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

Let’s work on having a godly reputation among people and with God. We will have to give an account of how we have lived, when we get to the Judgment Seat of Christ.

- God the promise keeper. Notice in vs. 29 of our Sunday School material that God kept His promise to Simeon. In like manner, God is still a promise keeper. Let’s live like we trust the promises of God. God promises blessings for obedience and punishment for disobedience.

When we fail to obey (e.g., giving and serving) and continue to disobey (e.g., not being friendly to people outside your group, not following leadership with a godly attitude), it appears that we don’t trust the promises of God.

- The specialness of Jesus. Notice in vss. 30-32 that Jesus is so special. He is the Savior and Lord of all who believe. Jesus is so much more than another Bible character. Without Jesus, there is no way to be saved from eternal damnation.

Without Jesus, our lives tend to be unsatisfying and aimless. We crave the direction that comes from Him being our Lord and Captain. Let’s work on living like Jesus is so special to us. Such living should be known for joyful obedience.

- Faith for rough times. Notice in vss. 34-35 of our Sunday School material there are some difficulties in carrying out God’s will. There will be some falling of many in Israel. And Mary’s soul is to be pierced. 

In like manner, when you and I strive to carryout God’s will, we should not be surprised, when we run into some challenges.

The reason faith is so important is because it helps us to continue to obey God, even when things get rough. Let’s work on developing the faith needed to endure our rough times.

Read Luke 2:36-38

III. Elderly Anna. There was also and aged female Prophet at the Temple. Her name was Anna. She was a widow who spent all of her time in the Temple. She gave thanks to God and talked about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Applications -

- God’s use of women. Notice in vs. 36 of the Sunday School material that Anna is said to be a Prophet. This is a great text to help believers see that God can and does use women as He sees fit.

The church would do well to receive what God has for His people, by whomever He chooses to send it. It is sad to see how there is still so much hostile tension around what God is doing through women in His church. Let’s work on being open to God’s usage of women His churches.

- Doing your best with what you have. Notice in vss. 36-38 that Anna had a ministry of worshipping, fasting, praying, and telling others about what the Lord was doing.

First, if the Lord blesses us to get old, there will be some things that we were able to do as a young person that we cannot do as a senior.

Coming out to church three or four times a week, chaperoning children and youth activities, and singing in the concert (i.e., stand up for 1 ½ hours and sing 10 songs) are examples that come to mind.

Second, we should always do what we can, however. There are very few people who cannot pray for the wellbeing of the church and set an example of worshipping with enthusiasm. There are very few people who cannot share with others what God has shared with them.

Third, Anna appears to be supported by the religious community of her day. The Pastor’s strong advice to all believers to work on developing your own retirement plan, instead of counting on the church to take care of you.

This is especially the case, when there are so many church goers who refuse to tithe or give in proportion to how God has blessed them. Let’s work on doing the best we can with what we have to serve the Lord.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God and being excited about what God is doing. God has much for those who obey His will. 

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