Luke 2:21-40 – The Presentation of Jesus: A Picture of Faithfulness

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Jan 8th.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as an outline each week for our Tabernacle Church family. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook. We also provide the services through YouTube by Sunday afternoon.  You can find Sermon Notes, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List, and other resources at our Church Website.

Luke 2:21–40


  • The purification of Mary and the presentation of Jesus
  • A picture of God fulfilling His covenant promises
  • A picture of the faithfulness of God’s people
    • Mary and Joseph
    • Simeon
    • Anna
  • Simeon’s praise and prophecy

Joseph and Mary – vv. 21-24

  • Circumcision on 8th day – Genesis 17:11-12
  • Purification – Only Mary needed to be purified.
    • Leviticus 12:1-8 Unclean for 7 days
    • Purification after an additional 33
    • Guilt of sin through birth (Sin through Adam)
  • Dedication – Exodus 13:2
    • First born son dedicated to the Lord

Simeon – vv. 25-35

The Man

  • Righteous, Devout
  • Faithful, Serving
  • Waiting of the consolation of Israel
    • Comfort, rescue Isaiah 49:13
  • Received a special word from God (Wed nights study…Special revelation)

His Praise

  • Acknowledged God’s sovereignty
    • Power, Plan, Purpose
  • Praised God for:
    • the coming salvation Isaiah 52:1-15
    • the extent of salvation
    • Light for the nations Isaiah 42:6

His prophecy

  • Joseph and Mary marveled
  • Another encounter with a prophetic word
    • Angels, Elizabeth, Shepherds
  • Jesus is the Messiah, but all will not receive.
    • Many will rise and fall
    • Hearts of many revealed
  • Mary and Joseph will also suffer
    • Sword through your own soul
    • Death of Jesus on cross…spear in side

Anna – 36-38

  • In the temple
  • Worshiping, fasting, and praying
  • Difficult life… YET GIVING THANKS

Joseph and Mary – vv. 39-40

  • Matthew 2:1-23 – Wisemen come, flee to Egypt
  • The child grew and God’s favor was upon Him
    • Fully man – grew as a man
    • Yet fully God

How do circumcision and baptism correspond? – John Piper


Greek expression: peritomē

Pronunciation: peh ree toh MAY

Strong’s Number: 4061

Circumcision today is nothing more than a medical procedure performed shortly after birth for hygienic reasons. In ancient times, however, circumcision, or peritomē in Greek, signaled a male’s membership in the Jewish religion. The first Christians continued to participate in the Jewish rites and customs, even attending the services of the temple (Acts 3:1; 5:21, 42). As Gentiles came to Christ, controversy arose between those who said that circumcision was unnecessary, and those who believed that circumcision was necessary in order to participate in the covenant community. Some people argued that since the covenant promise of the Messiah was given to the Jews, Gentiles must first be circumcised and become Jews before they could receive salvation in Christ. Consequently, not all the Jewish believers were willing to accept Gentiles into the church.

Many Jews in Christ’s day misunderstood the significance of circumcision, believing that the physical act was necessary for and a guarantee of salvation. Thus, observing the rite of circumcision became not only a symbol of religious privilege, but also a source of racial pride (Phil. 3:4–6). These Jews associated the ceremony with the Mosaic law rather than the promise to Abraham (John 7:22; Acts 15:1; Gen. 17:10–11). Because Greeks and Romans did not practice circumcision, Jews were called “the circumcision” (Acts 10:45; 11:2; Rom. 15:8; Gal. 2:7–9; Eph. 2:11), and Gentiles were called “the uncircumcision” (Gal. 2:7; Eph. 2:11).

While visiting Caesarea, Jewish believers were amazed to realize that uncircumcised Gentiles received the purifying gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44–48). When Peter returned to Jerusalem after his visit to Caesarea, “the circumcision party” criticized him; but after telling how the Spirit had fallen upon the Gentiles, Peter declared that he could not stand against God. At this, the Jewish believers were silenced and glorified God that repentance unto life had been granted to Gentiles (Acts 11:1–3, 15:18). But certain Judaizers of the Pharisaic party taught the Christians in Antioch that circumcision was necessary for salvation (Acts 15:1, 5). After debating these persons, Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to consult with the other apostles and elders (Acts 15:2). Peter argued that God had given the Spirit to Gentiles and cleansed their hearts by faith, affirming that “we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are” (Acts 15:11, nasb). Therefore, James and the other Jerusalem leaders agreed that circumcision should not be imposed on the Gentiles (Acts 15:13–21). It was decided that Peter, James, and John would be entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised, while Paul and Barnabas would preach to the uncircumcised (Gal. 2:7–9).[1]

[1] Eugene E. Carpenter and Philip W. Comfort, Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 253.

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