Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
Bethlehem. The village of Bethlehem is known as the Cradle of Christianity because Jesus was born there (Matt. 2:1). Bethlehem was also the home of King David (1 Sam 16:1, 17:15) and Naomi, the mother-in-law of Ruth (Ruth 1:1, 19).
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
(a) Good news. What is the good news that makes the good news good? It is the revelation of the love of God that comes to us through Jesus Christ.
(b) Great joy. The good news is meant to bring great joy to all.
There is no bad news in the good news. Any message that leaves you fearful of an angry and judgmental God is not good news. Nor is any message that leaves you insecure and uncertain, forever wondering if you are accepted and forgiven. See entry for The Gospel.
And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
The Law of Moses refers to the commandments, ordinances, punishments, and ceremonial observances given to the nation of Israel through Moses (Jos. 8:31). This law is sometimes referred to as the law of commandments (Eph. 2:15) or the law of the Jews (Acts 25:8). See entry for The Law.
(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “EVERY firstborn MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD”),
The Law of the Lord. In the old covenant, the Jews sometimes referred to the Law of Moses (Jos. 8:31-32) as the Law of God (Jos. 24:26, Neh. 8:8) or the Law of the Lord (Ex. 13:9).
and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.”
(a) The Law of the Lord was the Law of Moses; see previous verse.
(b) Two young pigeons. When Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary were too poor to bring anything but a poor man’s offering to the temple (Lev. 12:8). They did not remain poor for long. The lavish gifts of the magi (see Matt. 2:11) would have supported them for years.
And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
This man was righteous. Before the cross, no one could be made righteous. The gift of righteousness had not been given and the “one act of righteousness” had not be done (Rom. 5:18). This is why Old Testament saints such as Abraham were credited with righteousness on account of their faith in God (see entry for Rom. 4:3). The Jews probably considered Simeon righteous because he was a good man, but God considered him righteous because he was looking for the consolation of Israel. He was waiting in faith for Jesus.
For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Your salvation. Simeon took the infant Jesus in his arms and understood that he was looking at God’s salvation. Jesus is the Deliverer who rescues us from our enemies (Luke 1:71). See entry for Salvation.
And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
My Father. In the earliest recorded words of Jesus we have a hint of his future ministry: Jesus came to reveal God our Father.
In the Gospels, Jesus referred to God as Father more than 150 times. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us to pray to “our Father in heaven” (Matt. 6:9). Although God is the Almighty Creator and the Ancient of Days, he wants us to relate to him as our loving Father. When Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:28), he was saying, “May you be known as Father.”
The Bible has many names for God, but Jesus gave us the best name of all: “Abba, Father” (see entry for Mark 14:36). Abba is not the name of a distant and mysterious God. Abba is your heavenly Father who cares for you and knows your needs (Matt. 6:31–32). Abba Father is the name of God who loves you as much as he loves Jesus (see entry for John 17:23).
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