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Luke 2

SUMMARY.--The Decree of Augustus Cæsar. The Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The Babe in the Manger. The Shepherds and the Song of the Angels. The Circumcision of the Child. The Child in the Temple. The Prophecies of Simeon and Anna. The Child at Nazareth. Jesus with the Doctors. My Father's Business.

      25. Simeon. The first prophet to declare that Christ had come. Looking for the consolation of Israel. The promised Messiah. The Holy Spirit was upon him. To give him supernatural knowledge. It was revealed to him that he should see Christ.

      27. Came in the Spirit into the temple. Directed by and filled with the Spirit. After the custom of the law. Offered the required sacrifices. The law was strictly observed, because Jesus was "born under the law."

      28. And said. The utterances of Elizabeth, Mary and Simeon are consecutive. Each begins where the other ends. Mary sings her own born Messiah; Zacharias celebrates the triumph of Israel, and Simeon announces the hopes of the Gentiles. But, besides this holding forth the Messiah as a Savior for Gentile as well as Jew, what is remarkable is, that he announces in Jesus a suffering Messiah as well as a glorious.--Whedon.

      32. A light to lighten the Gentiles. Scholars have said that in the work of opening the gates of Christianity to the Gentiles, Stephen was the forerunner of Paul. Might it not be said that Simeon was the forerunner of Stephen, and the Gentile Luke the historian of both? Yet the true doctrine on the subject is explicitly and repeatedly declared not only here, but in the prophecies of the Old Testament. Compare Isaiah 9:2 Isaiah 40:1 Isaiah 49:6 .

      33. Marvelled. That Simeon should know the child.

      34. Set for the falling and rising of many. Christ brought downfall to the hopes of those who expected a temporal prince and a political millennium, and ruin to those whose desire for the kingdom of God was ambition for place and power in it, as the Pharisees. He brought rising to those who were willing that God should overthrow their plans and ambitions, and who accepted from him the grander gift of a universal kingdom, prepared for all people. The rejection of him brought ruin to the Jews; the acceptance of him brought life eternal.

      35. A sword shall pierce through thine own soul. He announces that the blessed mother should also be a sorrowing mother. Though she was exulted in the thought that her son should sit on the throne of David, she learns now that the calumny will make him its sign, and a sword shall pierce her soul. That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Christ brings to light by bringing into activity the thoughts of the heart. The result of preaching Christ is always to awaken opposition or love and obedience.

      36. One Anna, a prophetess. An aged saint who spoke by inspiration. Daughter of Phanuel. Evidently a man well known in that day. Of the tribe of Asher. One of the twelve tribes occupying the strip of sea-coast from Sidon to Carmel.

      37. A widow even for fourscore and four years. She had passed seven years with a husband when young and then remained a widow until, at this time, she was eighty-four years old, devoting herself to a religious life. Departed not from the temple. Probably assigned, on account of her saintly character, a chamber in the temple.

      38. Spake of him. Of the Babe, she speaking by inspiration, and declaring that he was the promised child.

      39. They returned into Galilee. Luke omits the stirring events that lie between the visit to the temple and the return to Nazareth, possibly because they are so fully given by Matthew. See Matthew, chapter 2 . Their own city Nazareth. The old home of Joseph and Mary, now to be the home of Jesus until he was thirty years of age; a mountain village in southern Galilee.

      40. The child grew. He was a child, and a child that grew in heart, in intellect, in size, in grace, in favor with God. Not a man in child's years. Filled with wisdom. The body advances in stature and the soul in wisdom. The divine nature revealed its own wisdom in proportion to the measure of the bodily growth.--Cyril. In "the mystery of godliness," "God manifest in the flesh," one of the inscrutable things that was that the Divine man should become a babe, not only in body, but in mind and wisdom.

      41. Went to Jerusalem. The law of Moses required that the adult males of the Jewish nation should appear before the Lord, at the place of his altar, three times every year--at the great festivals, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Though females were not required to attend, they often did from religious devotion.

      42. When he was twelve years old. At the age of twelve a boy was called by the Jews "son of the law," and first incurred legal obligation. Henceforth it would be his personal duty to keep the law.

      43. Fulfilled the days. The seven of the passover week. Jesus tarried behind. Luke neither tells us that Jesus remained behind at Jerusalem intentionally, nor that Joseph and Mary lost sight of him through want of necessary care. A circumstance must here have been omitted, and we may safely suppose that Joseph and Mary joined their fellow-travelers in the persuasion that Jesus, who knew of the time and place of departure, was among the younger ones.

      44. In the company. The caravans, in which the passover companies went, for the purpose of protection against beasts and robbers, must have each been large, composed of many parties, clans and kindreds. Jesus might easily, therefore, have not been missed until the end of the first day.

      46. In the temple. Probably in one of the porches of the court of the women, where the schools of the rabbis were held, and the law regularly expounded. In the midst of the doctors. The learned rabbins. Some of the greatest doctors of Jewish history lived about this period--Hillel, Rabbi Simeon and Gamaliel. Asking them questions. It was the custom in Jewish rabbinical schools for scholars to ask questions.

      49. How is it that ye sought me? Did ye not know that I must be in my Father's house? That is, in the temple, where they did find him. They ought to have come there at once. These words are the first in which he reveals his consciousness of his supernatural birth.

      50. Understood not. Did not comprehend all he meant in speaking of his Father's house.

      51. He went down with them. If his heart drew him to the temple, the voice of duty called him back to Galilee, for the law required obedience to parents.

      52. Jesus increased. Jesus grew up among a people seldom and only contemptuously named by the ancient classics, and subjected at the time to the yoke of a foreign oppressor; in a remote and conquered province of the Roman empire; in the darkest district of Palestine; in a little country town of proverbial insignificance; in poverty and manual labor; in the obscurity of a carpenter's shop; far away from universities, academies, libraries, and literary or polished society; without any help, as far as we know, except the parental care, the daily wonders of nature, the Old Testament Scriptures, the weekly Sabbath service of the synagogue at Nazareth ( Luke 4:16 ), the annual festivities in the temple of Jerusalem ( Luke 2:42 ), and the secret intercourse of his soul with God, his heavenly Father.--Schaff.

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