Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

First Sunday After Christmas 
Series B

 "Waiting For The Comfort Of Israel"
Luke 2:25-38
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div., 

1. Waiting on a promise: vv.25-26

Note how Simeon is described–eulabees–It means taking ahold of a subject carefully, reverently. Looking for the consolation of Israel–The old Greek Verb means "to admit to one’s presence." parakleesin here and of Anna in v. 38 means "the Messianic hope, calling this hope into your presence to cheer you." (See Isa. 11:10 & 40:1)

2. Acting on a promise: V.27 Simeon was "in the right place at the right time" because he was in the Temple on a regular basis. Matthew Henry: "Just then, when Joseph and Mary brought in the child, to be registered as it were in the church-book, among the first-born, Simeon came, by direction of the Spirit, into the temple. The same Spirit that had provided for the support of his hope now provided for the transport of his joy. It was whispered in his ear, "Go to the temple now, and you shall see what you have longed to see." Note, Those that would see Christ must go to his temple; for there The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to meet you, and there you must be ready to meet him."

3. Comfort from a promise fulfilled: vv.28-32 Many Churches sing Simeon’s words after Communion. Having experienced Christ’s presence in the Sacrament, they have had as real an experience of Him as old Simeon did. God’s promises fulfilled in Christ allow one to die in peace, looking forward to a "face to face" relationship with Him in eternity. See 1 Cor. 13:12.

"The infant Saviour is greeted by Simeon as a "Light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel" (2:32). The Baptist, in applying the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the voice in the wilderness (Isa 40), adds the words (from Isa 52:10): "All flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Lk 3:6)." (Schaff,

History of the Christian Church"

"Simeon combined the three characteristics of Old Testament piety: ‘Justice,’ as regarded his relation and bearing to God and man; ‘fear of God, in opposition to the boastful self-righteousness of Pharisaism; and, above all, longing expectancy of the near fulfilment of the great promises, and that in their spiritual import as ‘the Consolation of Israel.’ The Holy Spirit was upon him; and by that same Spirit the gracious Divine answer to his heart’s longing had been communicated him. And now it was as had been promised him. Coming ‘in the Spirit’ into the Temple, just as His parents were bringing the Infant Jesus, he took Him into his arms, and burst into rapt thanksgiving. Now, indeed, had God fulfilled His word. He was not to see death, till he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Now did his Lord ‘dismiss’ him ‘in peace’—release him in blessed comfort from work and watch—since he had actually seen that salvation, so long preparing for a waiting weary world: a glorious light, Whose rising would light up heathen darkness and be the outshining glory around Israel’s mission. With this Infant in his arms, it was as if he stood on the mountain-height of prophetic vision, and watched the golden beams of sunrise far away over the isles of the Gentiles. Alfred Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

4. Pain in the promise: v.34-35 Simeon refers to Isaiah 8:14, 15: Jehovah, God of hosts, shall be—for a stone of stumbling and rock of offense to both houses of Israel; and many among them shall stumble and fall. As Christ did not come as a temporal deliverer, in which character alone the Jews expected him, the consequence should be, they would reject him, and so fall by the Romans. See Romans 11:11, 12, and Matthew 24. But in the fullness of time there shall be a rising again of many in Israel. See Romans 11:26.

And for a sign: The word can mean: A mark to shoot at—a metaphor taken from archers. Which shall be spoken against–"The participle is the present; and the expression does not voice a prophecy, but describes an inherent characteristic of the sign: a sign of which it is the character to experience contradiction from the world. In the beginning, as a babe, Jesus experienced this at the hands of Herod; so all through his earthly ministry and on the cross; and so it will be to the end, until he shall have put all enemies under his feet." (Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament)

And a sword shall pierce your own heart too–"We may easily suppose what an affliction it was to these poor women (on Calvary) to see him thus abused, especially to Mary. Now was fulfilled Simeon’s word, A sword shall pierce through thy own soul, Lk. 2:35. His torments were her tortures; she was upon the rack, while he was upon the cross; and her heart bled with his wounds; and the reproaches wherewith they reproached him fell on those that attended him." (Matthew Henry)

5. Joy in the coming of Redemption! In verses 36-38 Luke wrote of Anna: Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. The word for "redemption" is lutron–which means something to loosen with; that is, a redemption price (figuratively atonement):—ransom.

Who was Anna and what was she looking for?

Adam Clarke writes: "Anna, a prophetess—It does not appear that this person was a

prophetess in the strict sense of the word, i.e. one who could foretell future events; but rather a holy woman; who, from her extensive knowledge and deep experience in Divine things, was capable of instructing others; according to the use of the word propheeteuoo 
1 Corinthians 14:3: He that prophesies, speaks unto men to edification, and to exhortation, and to comfort. So we find this holy widow proclaiming Jesus to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem, Luke 2:38."

"The more pious Jews were in constant expectation of the promised Messiah. They were expecting redemption, lutrosin, such a redemption as was to be brought about by an atonement, or expiatory victim, or ransom price. See Luke 1:68 ."

The Disciples Study Bible adds this note about pious souls like Anna and Simeon who lived at the time of Jesus’ birth: "The birth of Jesus was bound up with expectations and fulfillment. An aged prophetess Anna also testified to Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. At Christmas all orders of God’s creation were involved: the star; foreign folk (Magi) representing all of the ethnic groups; the great of earth (Herod the King); the wealth  of earth (the Magi’s gifts); the law (both Roman and Jewish); the prophets (John and Anna); the priesthood (Zechariah); the poor of the earth (shepherds); the angels; and even the animals (by implication from the manger). Jesus’ birth is for all the world."

Ministry Health Sermon Starters
Copyright 2002 Ministry Health, LLC
All Rights Reserved

Go to Main Page

Main Site:

Copyright 1997-2005 Ministry Health, LLC  All Rights Reserved.

Microsoft FrontPage and Microsoft Internet Explorer are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation
Adobe Acrobat and PDF are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated

Contact Support for any technical issues with this website!

This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM