For My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation
James A. Gunn
Luke 2:30
Preached on December 18, 2005
Copyright © 2005 James A. Gunn
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The angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” “And she will bring forth a Son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” {Matthew 1:20-21}

The name “Jesus” means Deliverer or Savior.
In the OT the word for deliverer is “Joshua.”

We call Jesus the Savior, for so He is.

In verse 30, Simeon says, “For my eyes have seen Your salvation.”

SALVATION [Greek: soterion {so-tay'-ree-on} means deliverer; defender.

Luke 2:1-35
(1-5) The OT prophet Micah had written that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. The angel had told Mary and Joseph about a Son that was to be born of Mary who was a virgin. But Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth of Galilee. If the Christ is to be born according to the Scriptures then Mary had to somehow be in Bethlehem.

In God’s wonderful providence He put it in the mind of the emperor, Caesar Augustus to take a census. It “just happened” to coincide with the time that Mary was about to have her baby.

(6-7) Imagine the crowds of people who had to come to Bethlehem for the same purpose to be registered. There was no room in the inn for Joseph and his very pregnant wife Mary. And so amid the hustle of a crowd the Savior of the world is born in a cow stable and laid in a feeding trough.

The Jews were expecting Messiah to come and deliver them from the Roman government. They looked for an earthly kingdom but the Kingdom of God does not come with observation.

Luke 17:20-21
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation ;  21 nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." 

The Kingdom of God is not some yet to be earthly millennial kingdom. The Kingdom of God is the people who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and King.

Matthew 3:3
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

Don’t be misled by the bit of sophistry that tries to make the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God two different things; the terms are used interchangeably.

And so here in a cow stable, with the world not observing nor caring, the Creator of the universe is born as a true Man. He is indeed God but He became a Man and put Himself in the care of a young Jewish girl.

(8-14) But God is not going to let the birth of His only Son go unheralded.

The word “behold” always calls your attention to an unusual sight.

Shepherds were busy at their work when “behold” an angel of the Lord appeared and the heavens burst with brilliant glory and they were greatly afraid. Can you imagine being in a quiet place with the sheep no doubt asleep and as you pondered the heavens all of a sudden they explode with glory? Silent Night?”

“Do not be afraid…” This is not intended to frighten you but to bring you “good news” and give you great joy.

The words of the prophet Isaiah [9:6] are now fulfilled. In the city of David [Bethlehem] is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. How will you know who is the Christ child? You will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger [feed trough].

And suddenly with the angel there was a multitude of heavenly host praising God…. The heavenly host surely included other angels but I believe the heavenly host also included the OT saints, “a great cloud of witnesses” [Hebrews 12:1], who looked for the promise of the Christ to come and actually die for their sins.

(15-20) The shepherds hurry to Bethlehem and just as the angel had said, they find the Babe lying in a manger.

Note: The Magi, who were astrologers, and who watched the stars, will follow a star and come to Bethlehem about two years later and then follow that star that guided them, to a house in Nazareth where the young child was. [Matthew 2:1-12]

(21) Jesus, through Joseph and Mary, was obedient in all points of the law. 
On the 8th day (according to Leviticus 12) Jesus was circumcised. 

An aside:Circumcision was the outward sign of a cleansed heart.

Circumcision was the OT sign of regeneration,

Baptism is the NT sign of regeneration.

Circumcision and baptism are both signs of the same thing.

Baptism is not the NT type of OT circumcision.

You cannot have a “type of a type.” [Charles D. Alexander on John 7]

Jesus was circumcised even though He was not “born again.”
Jesus was baptized even though He had no sin to repent of.
Jesus fulfilled the law in every aspect.

Notice that Jesus was named before He was conceived in the womb. 

There are at least nine people in the Bible who are known before they are born.  [Ishmael, Gen 16:11; Isaac, Gen 18:10; Samson, Judges 13:3; Josiah, 1 Kings 13:2; Shunammite's son, 2 Kings 4:16; Jeremiah, Jer 1:5; Paul Galatians 1:15; John the Baptist, Luke 1:13; and of course, Jesus! Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, Mt 1:21.

God knows everyone before he or she is born.
The LORD is the author of conception?

Ruth 4:13
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.

So when Jesus was eight days old and was still in Bethlehem He was circumcised according to the law that He gave to Moses, the Law that He came not to destroy but to fulfill.

Matthew 5:17
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

(22) It is now 33 days later and Joseph and Mary bring Jesus to (according to Leviticus 12) to the temple for Mary's purification.  After childbirth, and until the normal monthly cycle is restored, a woman was ceremonially unclean. She had to make an offering to be allowed back in the place of worship.

Note carefully that Jesus was circumcised while He was still in Bethlehem and later He is brought to the temple.

(23) This is the law of the first-born (Ex 13:1-2, 12, 15)
The Redeemer is Himself “redeemed.” 
This is the same principle as His circumcision and baptism.

(24) Notice that the sacrificial offering is a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons which means that Joseph and Mary were poor. The Magi will come later and bring gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

(25) BEHOLD [idou, id-oo' imperative lo!], Look!
What is there to behold? A believer among the religious frauds and hypocrites. 

Most of the religious leaders were hypocrites about whom Jesus said that they did not know God!

SIMEON [sumeon soom-eh-one'] God hears.
JUST [dikaios dik'-ah-yos] equitable, innocent, before men;
DEVOUT [eulabes yoo-lab-ace'] circumspect, pious, unto God. 
WAITING, patiently,

For the CONSOLATION  [paraklesis par-ak'-lay-sis ,solace, comfort, of Israel, i.e., Messiah.  And the HOLY SPIRIT was upon him.

(26) Do you know anyone who has been struggling with the doctrine of the providence of God?  Could anything kill Simeon before this promise from God the Holy Spirit is fulfilled?

Notice that Simeon had no fear of dying.

Simeon [probably an old man] believed God, as did Abraham, and he was a believer among the religious leaders who Jesus would later declare that they did not know God. [Cf. John 8:47]

(27-28) Simeon came to the temple to see the consolation of Israel; what he saw was a young couple holding a baby boy. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Here is a picture of the Old Covenant embracing the New Covenant: all the centuries of types and shadows and Messianic prophecy are now held in the arms of an old man. Messiah is come!

(29) Lord – Simeon uses the strongest Greek word for master/owner.
DESPOT – despotes (des-pot'-ace); (a husband); an absolute ruler (“despot”):
KJV - Lord, master, absolute sovereign.
   
Lord, now you can let me die.

“For my eyes have seen Your salvation.”

(30-32)   Simeon surely recalls the Scripture:

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?

Isaiah 49:6
6 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 52:10
10 The LORD has made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.

Isaiah 53:1-3
1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

There are many more Scriptures that could have been latent in the heart of Simeon, this devout and just man, as he “waited for the consolation of Israel.”

Please do not miss the Hebrew parallelism of verse 32 which associates the gentiles with true Israel, “the Israel of God” [Galatians 6:16].

The “Israel of God” is made up of believers like Simeon and you as well if you have believed in Jesus: 

Romans 10:5-13
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."  
6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above)
7 or, "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."  
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." 

Here is the “name of the Lord”; it is Jesus and He is the only Savior!

(33) Joseph and Mary marveled!
What is it that would cause Joseph and Mary to “marvel”?

They had been assured by the angel Gabriel that Mary’s child, conceived by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of a virgin was the Holy One, the Son of God (1:35): but here is a man who recognizes the infant Jesus as Messiah and they had not told him a thing! And so they marveled!

(34) Simeon is now a prophet. Jesus will be the Great Divider. 
Jesus was an offense to many in Jewry and as they rejected the Messiah it was to be their fall. The Old Covenant is passing away and all of its types and rituals and sacrifices are here in the person of a little baby.

Many will fall but others will rise because they will know that the “sign” of   Isaiah 7:14 has finally come.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.  

(35) Mary, your heart will grieve, but the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.

What are some of the lessons from this passage?

Simeon did not have to wait for Jesus to go to the cross. 
God granted Simeon faith and revealed the Gospel of Substitution to him.

Simeon’s faith had an object, Jesus the Christ. 

Saving faith is objective, i.e. it has substance.

Saving faith is absolutely bound up in the person of Jesus Christ and in nothing or no one else. It is not Jesus plus your baptism. It is not Jesus plus being a member of the “right” church. It is only Jesus or you will have denied the very One that you profess to believe in.

Simeon could tell you what he believed and why. In an age of pluralism where any belief system is valid, the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. My heart is saddened when even a Baptist preacher in Birmingham was quoted in the newspaper as saying that the Jews were “safe.” That Baptist preacher, in effect, called Jesus Christ a liar!

Islam is not a way to God.
Buddha’s principles are not a way to God.
The New Age will not make you a “god”.
Not even Mary is a way to God.

There is only one Saviour for Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles).

Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

A sinner is someone that has been convinced by the Holy Spirit that they deserve to be in hell. I will be bold to say that if you do not agree that you deserve to be in hell that you are not saved.

Salvation is a Person.

Jesus is not a baby anymore.

Simeon had a faith to live by and to die by.

What are you living for?  What would you die for?

Enjoy your family and rejoice in the season and Merry Christmas!

Amen