Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Luke 2:21-40 - Some Homegroup Notes

What are people in this chapter waiting for in v25 and v38?
The consolation of Israel (v25); the redemption (buying back from slavery) of Jerusalem (v38). Jesus is the ultimate answer to these hopes, even if those waiting might not quite have realized how.

Look at verse 29. What does it mean to call God “Sovereign Lord”? What is meant by God’s sovereignty?
That God is the king of the world. He is all powerful, governs all things and does as he pleases.
How does this incident demonstrate God’s sovereignty?
God is able to fulfill his promise to Simeon. He governs circumstances so that Simeon does indeed see (and recognize) the Lord’s Christ, just as God said he would.
How does that encourage us?
It shows us God’s power and faithfulness to his word. He is trustworthy.

What does this passage tell us about who Jesus is?
Christ (v26) is the Greek form of “Messiah” and means the “anointed one”. Prophets, priests and especially kings in the Old Testament were anointed. In the light of God’s promises the title means God’s chosen rescuer-king.

Why can Simeon say that he has seen God’s salvation? (v30) Who has he seen (v26-28)? What does that imply about Jesus?
Simeon has seen Jesus who is the Saviour.

Whom does Jesus coming affect according to vv31-32?
All people, both Gentiles (non-Jews) and Israel. The inclusion of the Gentiles here is good news for most of us!
What does Simeon say Jesus will do?
Jesus will be a light for revelation to the Gentiles (non Jews) (v32). He will bring them knowledge of the truth and reveal God to them.
What do you think it means that Jesus will cause the falling and rising of many in Israel (v34)?
It could be that Simeon is speaking of two groups here: some will fall (those who reject Jesus) and others will rise (those who put their trust in him). Alternatively, Simeon may mean that some will fall (humble themselves) then be raised up by Jesus, just as, for example, Jesus says we must lose our lives if we are to save them.

Will everyone accept Jesus?
No. Jesus will be a sign that will be spoken against (v34). He will divide people.
What will people’s reactions to him show?
People’s reactions to Jesus will show the true state of their hearts before God (v35).

What do you think Simeon meant by telling Mary “a sword will pierce your own soul too” (v35)?
Simeon seems to be predicting severe grief for Mary.
How do you think this prediction was fulfilled? When might Mary’s soul have felt especially pierced? What event(s) could the prediction be referring to?
The cross would have been a particular time of grief for Mary. It is striking that this is prophesied here as part of God’s purpose from the beginning of Jesus’ life – his destiny. The cross is God’s will for Jesus, not plan B!

Main points / application / for prayer / praise:
Praise God for his sovereign power and faithfulness to his Word.
Give thanks for the salvation and revelation that Jesus brought.
Pray that more people might have their eyes opened to recognize Jesus.
Praise God for the cross and the wonderful way it was part of his purposes for Jesus.

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