At the beginning of this year, Leisl let it slip that maybe I would like a dog for my birthday. Now you need to understand that Leisl is not a doggy kinda person. She never had a dog as a kid. In fact, the only pet she had was a gold fish which one jumped out of its bowl and died. Leisl never grew up with pets. I, on the other hand, grew up with pets – dogs, cats, fish, blue tongue lizards, chooks and ducks, tortoises, mice. I think my mum was very patient with us Moyes’ boys.
When Leisl and I got married, I was very obedient and didn’t have pets, unless you call chooks pets. For 28-years poor me didn’t have a dog. Its one of those sacrifices you make in marriages.
Not being a dog person, Leisl never got why dog owners like having dogs.
Well, earlier this year, in a very weak moment Leisl kinda hinted about a getting a dog for me. Even though it was the slightest hint, I capitalized on it. I masterfully maneuvered this conversation to let her think that getting a dog perhaps is good idea – such as, I would come home earlier to be with her and the dog, that we could go walking together with the dog and get fit in doing so.
I rung up some of her good friends who happened to be dog owners and asked if they could help me out and so they suggested to Leisl that they could catchup while their dogs can play.
Well Leisl became more open and started helping me to search for one. We decided on the breed and just waited until some came available. One day we saw a litter of 8 pups and looking at their photos we choose one. From time to time the breeder sent an updated photo of our little pup.
Then the day came. Leisl and I were in Glenn Innes in NSW and just before we were to pick up our new puppy Leisl decided to ask me some questions:
Video – Leisl interviewing David re puppy.
Well, after years wanting a dog, then choosing a pup and looking at updated photos, the time came to collect him by the breeder. When I saw the breeder pull up and said to Leisl that that’s him and out I hoped and walked across to him as he took our pup out of his car. Then I saw my pup and a surreal feeling came over me as I said “He is the one”. For whatever reasons I was nervous about whatever about him but when I saw him I knew that he was the one.
And perhaps you have been through a similar experience, such as waiting to receive your new child through adoption and you meet them, emotions and all, and you know in your heart that he or she is the one. Or when you are searching for a house and you have been to several house openings and then you enter that one and you say “yep, this is the one”.
In our reading this morning, we meet a little known person who knew upon seeing Jesus – at just 40 days old, that He was the one and it brought him so much peace and hope.
Today we are commencing a new series that will take us up till Christmas of the encounters that people had with Jesus as told through Luke’s gospel.
WE don’t know much about Luke who is the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. We do know that Luke he was a doctor and the only non-Jew to write any part of the New Testament.
Both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts are addressed to the same person, Theophilus (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1). No one knows exactly who Theophilus was, but we know that Luke’s purpose in writing the two companion books was so that Theophilus would know with certainty about the person and work of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:4).
Luke was a close friend of Paul, who referred to him as “Our dear friend Luke, the doctor…” (Colossians 4:14 NIV). Perhaps its Luke’s interest in medicine as to why his gospel gives such a high profile to Jesus’ acts of healing.
Paul also refers to Luke as a “my fellow worker” (Philemon 1:24 NIV). Luke joined Paul in Troas in Asia Minor during Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:6–11). Luke was left in Philippi during the second missionary journey (Acts 17:1) and picked up again to travel with Paul in the third journey (Acts 20:5). Luke accompanied Paul on his journey to Jerusalem and Rome and was with him during his imprisonment there (2 Timothy 4:11). Luke’s vivid description of his travels with Paul in Acts 27 seem to indicate that he was well-travelled and well-versed in navigation.
Scholars say that Luke had an outstanding understanding of the Greek language, was familiar with sailing and had a special love for recording geographical details. All this indicate that Luke was a well-educated, observant, and careful writer.
Well, Luke introduces us to Simeon. We often know about the Christmas story, of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and the Wise Men – and as usual we picture them in a stable. Its interesting though that we leave out Simeon for he experienced Jesus way before the Wise Men.
Luke tells us in 21, “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived” (Luke 2:21 NIV). So, just eight days after His amazing birth Jesus was circumcised. Circumcision was a sign that a person belonged to the Jewish covenant. Every Jewish boy was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. So sacred was that ceremony that it could be carried out on a Sabbath when the law forbade almost every other act which was not absolutely essential; and on that day a boy received his name.
Then Luke says, “When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22 NIV). That time would be around 40-days after His birthday that Mary and Joseph had come to the Temple to do what the Law of Moses required – that is purification rites for the mother who had just given birth (Leviticus 12:1-8), and to present the child to God. Also interesting is that parents had to redeem their firstborn son (Exodus 13:1-12). The ceremony included buying back—"redeeming"—the child from God through an offering. This way, the parents acknowledged that the child belonged to God, who alone has the power to give life.
In came Joseph and Mary into the Temple with offerings of doves or pigeons which indicate to us that they were poor as there was an expectation that people offered a lamb.
What happened next was an amazing encounter between the infant Jesus and a mature aged man.
Luke tells us in verses 25 and 26, “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah” (Luke 2:25-26 NIV).
Just about all Jews regard themselves as the chosen people. And as such they saw that one day would attain supreme world greatness. To bring in that greatness some believed that some great, celestial champion would descend on the earth; some believed that there would rise another king from David's line and that the glory days would revive; some believed that God himself would break directly into history by supernatural means.
But in contrast to all this, there were some who were known as the Quiet in the Land. They had no dreams of violence and of power and of armies; they believed in a life of constant prayer and quiet watchfulness until God should come. All their lives they waited quietly and patiently on God.
Simeon was like that; in prayer, in worship, in humble and faithful expectation he was waiting for the day when God would comfort his people. God had promised him through the Holy Spirit that his life would not end before he had seen God's own Anointed King.
(Daily Study Bible, Luke, William Barclay)
God kept His promise and so moved by the Holy Spirit, Simeon went to the Temple the same day that Joseph and Mary brought Jesus.
Then Luke tells us in verse 27, “Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace” (Luke 2:27-29 NIV). Notice Simeon’s actions and words: “He took Jesus”; he “praised God”; and he says to God, now I can die in peace. Why did he take Jesus? We don’t know if Simeon was Priest. Why did he praise God and why did he say that he can now die in peace? Luke tells us in verse 30 what Simeon says, “For my eyes have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:30 NIV). In other words, Simeon is saying “this is the One”. This is the One who will bring salvation not only to the Jews but to the Gentile – the rest of the world to as mentioned in verse 32. This is the One! Simeon knew in his heart that this infant child Jesus was the One. The Spirit had moved Him. The Spirit moved Simeon to be in praise of God and inner peace that Jesus is the One.
And today, my question to you is, do you know within your heart and mind that Jesus is the One?
John the Baptist challenged people to prepare their hearts ready for the One who was coming to save the world (Matthew 3:11). He told them to repent and be baptized. As John was baptizing, Jesus came to the river and when John saw Him, he cried out to the people, “This is the One!” (John 1:15 MSG).
Likewise, do you know within your heart and mind that Jesus is the One?
Often people, who have little or no Christian background, recognize that Jesus is the One when the Holy Spirit powerfully moved within.
Simeon was a person who was opened to being moved by the Spirit of God. We are told that he was a devout and righteous person, meaning that he strives to walk in obedience to God. And because of this, He saw the One and it gave him peace and hope.
Some lose their sense of conviction when they walk astray from obeying God. Their vision of Jesus become weaker and so does their conviction of who He is.
John the Baptist knew with conviction who Jesus was when He declared to everyone, “This is the One!” John knew in his heart and mind that Jesus is the One who is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NIV). Jesus is the One. Do you know within your heart and mind that Jesus is the One?
A few weeks ago, we had at church Brent from Baptist World Aid Australia. I was being convicted that my new dog was being fed and care for better than many children are in the world. When Brent spoke about child sponsorship, both Leisl and I knew that we needed to sponsor a child. After the service, I said to Brent that we would like to sponsor a child and he asked which one. I said that I would like him to pick a child that has been on their books for a while and for whatever reason hasn’t been chosen. I went off to talk to some people and when most had left I asked Brent if he has found a child for us. He said yes, here’s your child, “Samnang”. And when I saw him I thought “yep, he’s the one” – I’m not sure why but I just know in my heart that he is the one.
When Simeon saw the infant Jesus, he knew that He was the One – not because He was born into royalty as Jesus was born into poverty. Not because He was famous like young Prince George who had the world cameras taking a million shots of him going off to school this week. No, Jesus was born in an obscure town. Simeon knew that Jesus was and is the One because He was born as the Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Spirit of God convicted Simeon of this truth and it gave him joy, peace and hope.
My question to you is, do you know within your heart and mind that Jesus is the One?