- Sermon Notes
Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus
November 8, 2020
1. 2020 has been quite a year.
2. As we reflect on 2020, perhaps you are like me, burdened; burdened for our nation, burdened our community, burdened for our families, especially for our children and grandchildren.
3. But I also find myself burdened for us, the church, because I sense many are disheartened and disillusioned by what has transpired, and uncertain about what lies around the bend.
4. Where can we find comfort and hope in a world filled with unrest and uncertainty?
ILLUS – A valuable lesson from my motorcycle safety instructor is a helpful reminder in times like these, “Look where you want your motorcycle to go.”
5. Hebrews 12:1-2 makes the same point but from a Christ-centered perspective.
Hebrews 12:1-2, . . . let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith
6. So that is exactly what we will do tonight, fix our eyes on Jesus.
7. During our study of Luke 2:21-40, we look at the examples of two godly saints and discover how fixing our eyes on Jesus will transform our lives and put a new song in our hearts.
1. Since the Fall, all creation has been expectantly watching and waiting for the Messiah, the One who would make right what became so terribly wrong because of Adam’s sin.
2. In Luke 2:7, we are told the long-awaited Messiah has come to the world, conceived by the Holy Spirt, born of a virgin, the very Son of God.
3. Eight days after His birth, the Child was named Jesus in keeping with the angel Gabriel’s command to Mary in Luke 1:31.
a. The name Jesus means “Yahweh saves.”
b. It is a fitting name for the Child because it is a revelation of the His person and work.
o Jesus is God the Son.
o Jesus is the Savior of the world.
4. After the Child was named, He was circumcised in keeping with the command given to Abraham in Genesis 17:12.
5. Two more rites were required by the Mosaic Law which took place 40 days after Jesus’ birth.
6. First, Jesus was presented to God at the Temple because every first-born male belonged to the Lord. To “redeem” or “buy back” the Child, the parents were required to pay five shekels according to Numbers 18:15-16.
7. Second, Leviticus 12:1-8 required Mary to present herself at the Temple and offer a burnt offering and a sin offering for her purification after giving birth.
8. Since Joseph and Mary were poor, they offered a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
9. While at the Temple, Mary and Joseph were greeted by two godly saints who were led by the Holy Spirit to testify about Jesus, their names were Simeon and Anna.
10. Their testimonies about Jesus left a lasting impression upon Mary, she treasured and pondered what they said in her heart.
11. Likely, Mary shared the events of that day at the Temple with Dr. Luke.
Transition – Simeon and Anna’s testimonies are profound because their lives were profound.
• Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Luke recorded important details about each saint because there is much for us to learn from them and how they lived their lives.
• Simeon and Anna lived in the darkest of days, but they shined brightly because they fixed their eyes rightly on the coming of Messiah.
I. Expectantly Look for the Return of Jesus
• Simeon and Anna longed for and looked for the first coming of Messiah.
• Like Simeon and Anna, we must expectantly look for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
• The Bible is filled with many reminders to fix our eyes on the return of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20, For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
Titus 2:13, . . . looking for the blessed hope and the
appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus
Transition – Why is it important to fix our eyes on Christ’s return?
A. An expectant life is a righteous life
1. Simeon was a righteous man.
2. Simeon was righteous because his life was focused, always “looking for the consolation of Israel.” (25)
3. Simeon’s singular focus resulted in an undivided heart which produced the fruit of righteousness in his life.
4. Righteousness means to make the right decisions and to live the right way, all of which flows from a right heart.
5. Please do not misunderstand me; Simeon was not sinless and perfect.
6. Only One is perfect and sinless, the Lord Jesus Christ.
7. Simeon needed Jesus Christ to be his Savior like the rest of us.
8. Simeon knew his need for a Savior, so. . .
a. He continually prayed to God, asking “May I see the consolation of Israel.”
b. And the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would not see death until he saw the Lord’s Christ. (26)
APPL – When we focus on Christ’s return, it changes the way we live because we know Jesus is coming back and we will stand before Him.
James 5:8-9, You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain,
brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the
1 John 2:28, Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
Transition – An expectant life is a righteous life.
B. An expectant life is a devout life
1. Simeon was a devout man. (25)
2. Now this may seem like a “religious sounding” word, but its meaning is significant.
3. Devout means “diligent” and “faithful.”
4. So, Simeon’s faith meant everything to him.
5. Simeon’s desire to see Messiah motivated him to keep his priorities straight; he was intentional about the way he lived his life.
a. He immersed himself in God’s Word and then lived it.
b. Simeon delighted himself in the Lord and God graciously gave him the desire of his heart, he saw Messiah.
Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
APPL – When we focus on Christ’s return, it changes the way we live because we know that life with God is the best life, the way it is meant to be lived.
John 14:1-3, Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
6. Like the OT prophets, the Holy Spirit was upon Simeon and led him to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph while they waited in line to complete the requirements of the Law. (27)
7. The moment Simeon saw Jesus; he took Him into his arms and worshiped God.
8. Simeon’s cup was filled; he had seen the Lord’s Christ. He could die in peace.
9. The Greek word for release was used in many ways to paint colorful word pictures.
a. “To unyoke a beast of burden.”
b. “To release a prisoner.”
c. “To take down a tent.”
d. “To untie a ship and set sail.”
e. So, in many ways the word release is a picture of freedom.
APPL – When we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ’s return, we are truly free because we have hope beyond this life, a confidence that our God will make all things right and new.
Revelation 21:5, And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
Transition – Next, we will look at Simeon’s prophetic praise and declaration about Jesus which confirms that He is the One we must fix our eyes upon.
II. Jesus is a Cross in the Road
• While holding Jesus and looking deep into His eyes, Simeon declared, “For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” (30-32)
• Let’s unpackage Simeon’s praise to discover its meaning.
A. Jesus is salvation
1. Jesus not only offers salvation; He is salvation. All who believe in Jesus find salvation.
Acts 4:12, And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
2. Jesus is the Savior of all peoples.
a. “A Light of revelation to the Gentiles.”
Isaiah 9:2, The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
b. “And the glory of Your people Israel.”
• In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet was given a vision of the glory of God leaving the Temple after Israel went into exile.
• Now, the glory of God has returned, Simeon was holding Him in his arms.
• Simeon was amazed and so were Mary and Joseph.
• Jesus is salvation and all who believe in Him are saved.
Transition – After praising God, Simeon blessed Mary and Joseph and then prophesied about Jesus to Mary. This prophecy is important for us to understand because it explains why people respond to Jesus Christ the way they do.
B. Jesus is the Revealer of every heart
1. Jesus is “appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed. . . to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (34-35)
2. This means Jesus came to bring a crisis.
3. Please notice that two groups are mentioned here by Simeon.
4. First, there are those who will fall and rise because of Jesus.
a. They will fall and be broken when they recognize their sin and need for a Savior.
b. But they will confess their sins, place their faith in Jesus Christ, and rise in new life, meaning they are born again.
c. The word rise in the Greek is the same word used for resurrection.
5. Second, there are those who oppose Jesus.
a. Jesus is offensive to many people.
b. When some people first hear of Jesus, they are offended because He confronts their sin and need for a Savior.
APPL – Jesus brings a cross in the middle of their road, you might say.
• When you meet Jesus, you must make a choice.
• You have come to a cross in the road, the most important decision you will ever make in this life.
• Your answer is a revelation about you, your heart.
• Jesus is the Revealer of hearts, the litmus test that determines each person’s eternity.
1 Peter 2:6-8, For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
• Jesus is the Revealer of every heart.
6. The elderly prophetess, Anna, came up at that very moment and confirmed Simeon’s testimony about Jesus.
a. She was a godly, 84-year-old widow.
b. Like Simeon, she was devoted to the Lord and looked for the coming of Messiah.
c. The moment Anna’s eyes beheld Jesus, she praised God and gave thanks.
d. She told everyone that Jesus is the One they had been looking for, waiting for, hoping for; the One who would make right all that went terribly wrong after Adam’s sin; the Savior of the world.
APPL – As I close, I wish to address two groups of people.
• Jesus Christ is coming back.
• Is Jesus your Savior?
• If not, will you please receive the gift of salvation that He freely offers to you?
o Will you please pray with me and confess your sins to God and ask Jesus to be your Savior?
o Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins because God loves you and wants to bless your life now and for all eternity.
John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
• If Jesus is your Savior, then will you please join me in asking God to give us undivided hearts?
o That we cast off the sin which so easily entangles us.
o That we run with endurance the race set before each of us.
o And that we will fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.
Revelation 3:11, I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
Revelation 22:20, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 And when eight days were completed [a]so that it was time for His circumcision, He was also named Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days for [b]their purification according to the Law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord: “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what has been stated in the Law of the Lord: “A pair of turtledoves or two young doves.”
25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s [c]Christ. 27 And he came [d]by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, [e]to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 “Now, Lord, You are letting Your bond-servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all the peoples:
32 A light for revelation [f]for the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and [g]rise of many in Israel, and as a sign to be [h]opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
36 And there was a prophetess, [i]Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in [j]years and had lived with her husband for seven years after her [k]marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She did not leave the temple grounds, serving night and day with fasts and prayers. 38 And at that very [l]moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak about Him to all those who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 And when His parents had completed everything in accordance with the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. 40 Now the Child continued to grow and to become strong, [m]increasing in wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.