Light for the Last Days

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The Consolation of Israel

I want to look at the first time when He came in and we may look at the others later. The first time when Jesus came into the Temple is in recorded in Luke Chapter 2 Verse 22 to 23 when Joseph and His mother Miriam (Mary) brought the baby Jesus into the Temple for the ceremony known as Pidyon haben the Redemption of the firstborn in Luke chapter 2.22-23

22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Luke 2.22-24

They were met there by an elderly priest called Simeon who had been told by the law that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah.

So, here you have this old man, he’s reaching the end of his life and he’s been told by God that he would be still alive to see the Messiah

and we read in Luke Chapter 2 says

22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 

(the consolation of Israel actually means the coming of the Messiah)

26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33 And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Luke 2.22-35

Quite a amazing event this. Here’s this old man. He has been told by God that he is not going to die, that he’s not going to see death before he sees the coming of the Messiah.

And here’s this young couple who’ve just come up from Bethlehem, bringing their baby who’s 50-days old into the Temple. And Simeon recognizes that He is the Messiah, and he sees the glory of God coming into the Temple in this little baby.

Can you imagine that? As this revelation is given to him, that this is actually the One you’re waiting for, this is the Messiah who is suddenly coming into His Temple.

So, you see God coming into the Temple suddenly, in the person of Yeshua / Jesus the Messiah.

Here you see the greater glory coming into the Temple because Jesus, in His manifestation as son of man, Son of God, is a much greater glory than the Shekinah Glory / the Temple Glory coming into the First Temple.

When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying:

“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever.”

2 Chronicles 7.1-3

And Simeon says these words which are prophetic about the one he’s seeing. He says,

my eyes have seen Your salvation

He knows that this One has come to bring Salvation to the world. He has come to bring the light of God’s Word, and He has come to bring this

before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.

The light to the Gentiles. One of the prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures, in the Book of Isaiah is that the Messiah is going to be a light to the Gentiles and bring God’s Word to the nations of the earth.

Remember that, through Moses, God had given the Torah to Israel. And although it may affect the nation’s roundabout, basically it was a message given specifically to the people of Israel. Now, God is going to extend the Covenant and bring it out to all the peoples of the world that they might be brought into this Covenant relationship with God through Yeshua, through Jesus the Messiah.

Isaiah 42 says,

“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,

To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.

Isaiah 42.6-7

It’s speaking here about the One who is going to be a light, to bring the light of the Gospel to the nations of the world as a covenant to the peoples, to open the eyes of the blind, and to bring out those who are imprisoned by sin into a new relationship with God through Jesus.

Isaiah 49 says,

Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

Isaiah 49.6

Another amazing prophecy there. Seeing that this One is going to be a light to the Gentiles and My salvation and the Hebrew word is there yeshuati my Yeshua to the ends of the Earth

Yeshua’ti: My SALVATION – Hebrew Word Lessons

So, if you come from the ends of the earth – as in fact basically as far as the prophets are concerned we are in the ends of the earth and here there are people who come from even further away, from Korea, or China, or India or somewhere else, that amounts to coming from the ends of the earth to believe in Yeshua / Jesus the Messiah.

He says, I’m going to bring the Messiah to give revelation and the light of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

This aged priest, Simeon, is seeing that in this little baby in front of him is the One who is going to bring salvation to the ends of the earth, to the peoples of the earth.

Also, it says that He is going to be

the glory of Your people Israel

He is going to be the Messiah promised in the prophets. He is the One who’s going to going to give an answer to the problem which the Torah, the law of God raises. Which is that, although God’s Law is good, we are not good. And we don’t keep God’s law; we break God’s Commandments. We need someone to be the mediator between us and God to bring us salvation so that He can accept us even in our sin, and forgive us our sins, and bring us to a relationship with God through the Messiah.

He’s the one who’s going to bring an answer, to provide atonement for sin. He’s the one who is going to fulfil these words which we’ve read earlier from Haggai.

“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Haggai 2.6-9

God coming into His Temple, the desire of nations, the One to bring the greater glory into the Temple as recorded in Haggai.

He is also going to be the One who would be the Messiah, to be cut off, to die a death as an atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world, and rise from the dead to give eternal life to those who believe in Him.

He is going to bring glory to Israel, going to bring the revelation of God in His glory, in the person of Yeshua, of Jesus the Messiah.

John was going to write of him

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”

16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

John 1.14-18

John is telling us here that when you look at Jesus, you’re looking at God. And, in Jesus, you can see the glory of God. The glory of God who’s full of grace, kindness, and love undeserved; full of truth, giving us the truth about God. He is the glory of God in Jesus the Messiah.

And although no one has seen God as He is in heaven. John is saying that we have seen God as He is revealed in the person of Jesus who has declared God to us, in Jesus the Messiah.

When he speaks about the Word becoming flesh, he does mean God because in the first verses of John’s Gospel he says,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

John 1.1-3

When you see the Word, when you see Jesus. you’re seeing God.

John is saying that Jesus is the manifestation of God. He is God in the flesh. And He’s being revealed through His appearances and, particularly, as He comes into the Temple.

And that’s why we have this amazing prophecy from Simeon as he looked at Jesus and says,

This is the glory of your People Israel He is God made flesh.

Remember he is looking at a 50-day old baby and he’s seeing in Him the glory of God.

Simeon goes on to reveal something concerning this One. He speaks about His rejection, His suffering, His death and His resurrection. He prophesies the ministry of this baby and you can imagine that Joseph and Mary must marvel as they hear these words: that God has touched others with the revelation of who their son is.

Mary would have a confirmation that this is indeed no ordinary baby, that she has brought into the world. Remember what it cost her bringing Jesus into the world. And she has many confirmations along the way that she truly did hear from God when the angel came and revealed to her that she was going to bring forth a son by virgin conception, and that it really was a miracle that Jesus was conceived in her womb, and that He is indeed Son of God and Son of Man.

Simeon goes on to speak about the ministry of Jesus which will proceed from it. He speaks about the fall and rising of many.

The coming of Jesus would cause the fall of many. Many religious leaders would actually fall because of their rejection of Him. Jesus would go on to denounce the scribes and the Pharisees and say that you’re actually holding up people from coming into the kingdom of God by your teachings you should repent and believe because I’m the way unto God.

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Matthew 23.1-4

He was speaking about those who would reject Him.

Also, in Malachi, it speaks about Him purging the sons of Malachi sons of Levi there’d be those who would be of Jewish descent who would reject him and there would then be purged.

He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the Lord
An offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3.3

There would also be those of Jewish descent who would believe in Him. In fact, in The Book of Mark it says that the common people heard him gladly and many of them believed in Yeshua, in Jesus the Messiah.

Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”

And the common people heard Him gladly.

Mark 12.37

There was therefore, a division between people as a result of Jesus coming into the world. And just as this division between all peoples as Jesus comes into the world, there are those who accept Him and those who reject Him. Those who accept Him are raised up to be seated with Christ in Heavenly places; those who reject Him will be cast out on the day of judgment.

There is a call to people to repent and to believe in Jesus. And this call was to extend from Israel to the Gentiles.

In the Gospels, there were those who fell but were restored. Think of Peter who denied Jesus but he was restored. There was also those who fell and were not restored; think of Judas who despaired and was lost.

There was one thief on the cross who repented and believed, yet there was also one thief who blasphemed and was lost.

Jesus comes, He brings division. That is why it is wrong to say that the Jews were against Jesus. There were Jews who were for Jesus and Jews who were against Jesus, just as there are among the English, the Koreans and the Africans or wherever you come from. There are people who accept Jesus and those who reject Him.

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

Matthew 10.34

And Simeon is saying here that Jesus is going to bring a division between people who are raised up through faith in Him and those who are cast out through rejection of Him.

Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against

Luke 2.22-35

So, there’s also going to be a sign that will be spoken against. Literally, that means that He will be like a target which will be shot at. And you see that, as Jesus came and began to preach, He became the target of accusations of hostility, a hostility that would actually lead to the cross, to His rejection, to His suffering on the cross and lead to all kinds of hostility which would come from those who would spread negative publicity about Him.

Simeon goes on to say that this is going to cause grief to Mary. He says,

 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also)

Luke 2.22-35

Mary may have had a great honour in bringing the Messiah into the world, but that was also going to be a source of sorrow and a burden to her. Imagine what Mary suffered as she stood at the cross witnessing Jesus being crucified.

In John chapter 19, we read,

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

John 19.25-27

Jesus saw his mother standing there and I guess she was weeping in grief. He told John to look after His mother. We don’t know how long he looked after His mother for, but it is recorded there, in scripture that Jesus gave His mother to to John to look after. Showing that Jesus, even at His moment of on the cross, was still concerned for others, concerned for those who were close to Him.

But you can imagine the agony which Mary must have felt as she witnessed Jesus suffering on the cross, His rejection. Not just because of the natural love of a mother for her son but also, it was like He was being rejected and that all that she’d been through was for nothing. He was her son, dying on the cross, as a common Criminal.

What was the point of all that she’d been through in bringing Him forth if He was going to die in this way? And yet, of course, His death was not just the death of a common criminal. It was the death of the Messiah paying the price for the sin of the world, to be followed by His resurrection in which He would be vindicated as the Son of God and also Mary would be vindicated as the one who brought Him into the world.

Following the resurrection, we know that she was a believer. She was present with the disciples at the prayer meeting before Pentecost.

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Acts 1.12-14

So Mary was there as a believer. She had seen Jesus risen from the dead and she was amongst those who were praying for the day of Pentecost. Acts 1.14 is the last mention you have of Mary in the New Testament.

She didn’t become the Queen of Heaven, she didn’t become a mediator for us as the Catholics teach, but she’s treated with great honour and as the one who brought forth Jesus into the world.

Journeys of Mary and Joseph Map (biblestudy.org)

And you could imagine that her suffering at the cross turned to joy as she saw Jesus risen from the dead.

Similarly, as we see Jesus on the cross and we mourn for his death, we also rejoice that his death was in order to redeem us from our sins, to bring about what Malachi talked about: ‘the purging of the sons of Levi’, to bring the reconciliation’, the sacrifice for the sin of the world so that we could come into the presence of God.

And I guess Mary continued as a believer. We don’t know how long she lived for. It’s probable that Mary must have met with Luke to give him some of the information which you have in the Luke’s Gospel concerning the birth of Jesus. We don’t know that for sure but it’s probable. And we know that Mary is now in heaven, not as Queen of Heaven, but that she is in heaven as we are/will be because of her faith in Jesus the Messiah.

Tony Pearce

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