Week Three: The Presentation in the Temple
Verses to memorize
My eyes have seen Your salvation… a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for Your people Israel. (Simeon)
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
1) When you were born, your parents took you to church to be baptized. Likewise, when Jesus was born, it was written in the Book of Exodus that Jewish parents must bring the firstborn boy to the temple in the law of Judaism. Because they were poor, they could only offer two pigeons. Q: Who greeted them at the temple? A: Simeon. Q: Why did old man Simeon go to the temple that day? A: Simeon was a man of prayer. The Holy Spirit told him to go to the temple.
2) Q: What was Simeon looking forward to? A: “The consolation of Israel”. There was much evil going on in Israel at this time. Simeon waited for God to console His people by sending the promised
Messiah, a descendent of King David, who would rule justly according to God’s law. Q: What special revelation had the Holy Spirit given to Simeon? A: That he would see the Messiah before he died!
3) Q: What did Simeon do when he saw Mary and Joseph enter the temple? A: He took baby Jesus into his arms and prayed to God. This prayer, known by its Latin name, “Nunc dimittis” is sung
at evening prayer or at funerals. Q: What amazing thing does Simeon say in his song? A: Baby Jesus is “God’s salvation”, which “all peoples” (Gentiles means the nations) will see. Q: What is the reaction of Mary and Joseph? A: They were amazed.
4) Q: After blessing the Holy Family, what message does Simeon give to Mary? A: 1)Many people will “rise” and many people will “fall” in Israel because of Jesus. 2) Jesus will face opposition. 3) Opposition reveals the real thoughts and motives of the people opposing. And 3) Mary’s heart will be pierced, which is symbolic language for, Mary will suffer greatly when her beloved Son is badly treated, condemned, and crucified.
5) What other very holy person was in the temple that day? A: the prophetess Anna. Q: What did she do? A: She praised God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to redeem/save His people in Israel.
Courtesy of The Bible Project