Luke 2:21-35 Presentation, Purification, And Hope.
Joseph and Mary kept the law and circumcised Jesus on the eighth day (v. 21 Cf. Gen. 17:7; Lev. 12:3). They were poor, so they offered two doves or pigeons (v. 24 Cf. Lev. 12:6-8). They also followed the law with respect to purification, and Jesus was her firstborn (vv. 22-24 Cf. Ex. 13:2, 12, 15; Lev. 12:2-8; Dt. 18:4). As with Zacharias and Elizabeth, they showed themselves to be righteous covenant children of faith and promise (Cf. 1:6; 59). This is Jesus’ presentation before the presence of God in His house. This presentation is greeted by the man Simeon, who was also “just and devout,” and rejoiced because He knew that in Jesus there would be the “Consolation of Israel.” (v. 25) He was not the only one waiting for the Christ (Cf. Mk. 15:43).
He knew Jesus was the promised One because the Holy Spirit came upon him and, “it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” (v. 26). He was clearly an officer of the temple, for he would do for Jesus and His parents what was “according to the custom of the law,” and blessed God (vv. 27-28) Simeon’s blessing begins with an acknowledgment of God’s promise to him to see the Christ before he died so that he could “depart in peace (v. 29). The consolation he spoke of is the salvation of His own, which includes all peoples (vv. 30-31 Cf. Is. 52:10). “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” (v. 32 Cf. Is. 42:6; 49:6; Acts 10:45; 13:47; 28:28)
Mary had already been treasuring everything said about Jesus in her heart (Cf. 2:19), “and Joseph and Mary marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him.” (v. 33) Simeon also blessed Mary and Joseph and spoke to Mary His mother. “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel.” (v. 34b) Some will fall and some will rise, and perhaps some will fall and rise, in that order. One thing is certain, there is both a falling and a rising (Cf. I Pet. 2:7-8). Jesus would also be a sign of this judgment coming (v. 34c). “The thoughts of many hearts” would be revealed, and ironically Mary, who pondered these things in her heart, would have her own soul pierced (v. 35). This will be the effect of the word, which is the “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”(Heb. 4:12)