Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent Season of Advent 2017 Peace: What Happens When Jesus Comes Luke 2:21-40 December 24th, 2017

I. WHAT Simeon SAW… (v.27-32)
A. The SALVATION of GOD. (v.30)
B. REVELATION to the GENTILES. (v.32; Is. 49:6)
C. GLORY for ISRAEL. (v.32; Mic. 5:2-5)

I know, I know…it’s Christmas Eve and I’ve already got Baby Jesus heading to the temple. This fourth song in the gospel of Luke comes to us from Simeon, and old and righteous man who is just hanging on the see God’s promise of Salvation fulfilled. He saw more than just a baby coming for consecration…

1. When have you “seen” something that was the fulfillment of a promise of God? What was that like for you?
2. We, as the “Gentiles” got the gift of “revelation” from this baby. What has God revealed to you about who He is throughout your own life?

II. WHAT “what Simeon saw” MEANT… (v.34-35)
A. The FALLING and RISING of many. (v.34; Mt. 21:42-44; Luke 1:52)
B. THOUGHTS and HEARTS exposed. (v.34-35; Heb. 4:12)
C. The DEATH that leads to LIFE.(v.35; Rom. 8:22-23)

It’s one thing to see something amazing. It’s another to understand the deeper implications that come along with what you have seen. Simeon says some things to Mary and Joseph that must have both puzzled and troubled them. It’s important that we realize that the coming of Jesus has aspects to it that both puzzle and trouble us as well.

3. Read Matt. 21:42-44. What do you think this means? Especially the part about falling on the stone or the stone falling on someone?
4. When have your own thoughts been revealed to you in a surprising way? Do you think we usually overestimate or underestimate our ability to know why we do what we do?
5. When has death/suffering/pain led to life for you? What was that experience like?

III. When Jesus COMES to our LIVES today…(Ps. 95:6-8)
A. Peace CHALLENGES our “NORMAL”. (v.32, 34-35; Mt. 10:34-39)
B. HEALING often lies on the other side of PAIN. (v.35; I Cor. 15:42-44,50,53)
C. LET the GIFT be what it is. (v.30,34-35; Rom. 9:33; I Cor. 1:22-24)

I wonder what Mary and Joseph were thinking and talking about as they left the temple that day. From the moment this baby boy was born, there has been a continual stream of surprises. Actually it began way before He was born. When Jesus comes to us we too have some surprises that lie ahead.

6. In what ways is God challenging your “normal”? How do you react when your “normal” is challenged?
7. What is your first response toward pain? Avoid it? Go through it? Something else? Why is that, and is it a good response for you?
8. In what ways has following Jesus been different than you thought it would?