The Witnesses (re: Jesus birth)
Text: Luke 2:8-35 & Matthew 2: 1-12
An angel of the Lord spoke to them
The angel announced the birth of Christ
The angel gave them signs to look for
The shepherds went looking for the child.
Then they made known what the angel had
said about this Child. (Luke 2:8-20)
A man called Simeon
He was looking for “the consolation of Israel.”
(For God’s comfort & salvation)
The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would
not die without first seeing ‘God’s anointed one.’
Simeon praised God because his eyes had seen
God’s salvation. (Luke 2:25-35)
Greek “paraklesis”- the comfort of God’s salvation
“Parakletos”- Paraclete – comforter (the Holy Spirit)
Anna, the prophetess
She never left the temple even at the age of 84.
She served night and day with fasting and prayer.
When seeing Simeon, Joseph, Mary and Jesus she
began giving thanks to God. (Luke 2:36-38)
She began to speak of Jesus to everyone who was looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Redemption – to pay the ransom to set someone free
to deliver from the penalty of sin.
The Magi from the east arrived looking for the King of the Jews to worship Him.
When they saw the Child with His mother, they fell
to the ground and worshiped Him, and opened
their treasures and presented Him with gifts.
The Common Factor
These four witnesses were all ‘looking’ for the
activity of God.
Herod, the chief priests, and the scribes were unaware of what had happened.
What are you looking for?
Reasons we miss out on witnessing God’s activity:
Preoccupied with other matters
Too focused on the wrong things
Too little interest in the activity of God.
Perhaps Herod was too preoccupied with the work of governing.
Perhaps the chief priests were too focused on keeping up the religious activities of the temple.
Perhaps the scribes were more keenly interested in copying the scriptures rather than understanding the meaning of the words.
PERHAPS THE GREATEST REASON THAT WE DO NOT WITNESS GOD’S ACTIVITY IS THAT
WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR IT.
MANY PEOPLE DID NOT RECOGNIZE THE COMING OF JESUS BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT LOOKING FOR IT.
HOW MANY WILL MISS JESUS’ SECOND COMING BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT BE LOOKING FOR IT?
Deut. 4:29 “you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
When you gather with others this week, when you are in the store,
the bank, the office, look for God’s activity. Ask His Spirit to reveal
to you what God is up to all around you. This is how Simeon
recognized the Child, and how God drew Anna’s attention.
We will see God’s power and glory, we will witness His activity, when we begin to look for it all around us. Eliminate the distractions, set your heart on things above, remove from before your eyes the things that do not please Him, and let the Spirit take off the blinders, and then when we are truly looking for what God is doing, we will see it, and be invited to join Him in His activity to touch and change lives for His glory.
This Christmas, may you receive the gift of seeing God’s activity all around you, and feel His Spirit working within you.
Don’t miss it. Look for it!