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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 2 Message Outlines

Luke 2:21-39 (12)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 3 Study # 12
July 24, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

(171)

Thesis:The Incarnation dissolves man's "desperate need" for "wisdom".

Introduction:In our studies of Simeon's words regarding Mary's six-week-old baby, we have seen that he was pretty much focused upon this baby as the essence of God's promise of eternal life. He called Him "God's Salvation". This description immediately turns the reader's attention to two issues: man's need, and God's provision. In the biblical statement of man's "need" we find that man is enslaved to an entire complex of issues that gather under the umbrella word "Sin". In the biblical statement of God's "provision" we find that God has promised a multi-faceted deliverance from Sin that is gathered together under the umbrella promise of "Eternal Life".

In calling Jesus "God's Salvation", Simeon was putting all of the intricacies of the details of a promise of "Life" together into one Person. In effect, he was saying that Jesus would be the "Instrument of the Grace of Yahweh" that would resolve each and every detail of the bondage of man so that he could be completely free of that enslavement. So, what we have in Simeon's words is a package of unexploded dynamite. Luke's mentor, Paul, called the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" the "dynamite" of God unto salvation in Romans 1:16. His word picture is of a message that will blast the bonds which hold man under Sin into smithereens.

But, there is a problem with the word-picture in the minds of many: they think the blast of the power is supposed to be instantaneous and comprehensively immediate. Whereas, in our experience, the explosion of "dynamite" is pretty much instantaneous and its impact is as comprehensive as the power can make it, the truth about God's Salvation is that though the power is just as great (yea, vastly greater) as we conceive of dynamite's power, the impact is gradual, time-consuming, and tied to the incremental development of a renewed mind. The biblical promise does two things: it gives us hope that the end result will actually be comprehensively effective in all of the myriad of details (see Revelation 22 for the comprehensiveness of the hope); and it gives us a method called "transformation by the renewal of the mind" (see Romans 12:1-2 for the methodology of transformation).

The fact is, the promise is a power-package that is more like a bundle of extremely potent fire crackers that release their power individually at specific points along the way than it is a single piece of dynamite that releases all of its power all at once. Likewise, Simeon's words are "umbrella-like" in that they give a broad brush-stroke statement of an issue that has a multitude of parts. This morning we are going to spend our study time considering some of the parts involved in his declaration that Jesus was to be a "light of revelation to the Gentiles".


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This is article #172.
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