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Jesus: Our Everlasting


Week Three: Joy

Sunday, December 17 | by Dr. Blake Killingsworth

Filmed October 6, 2023

We are standing here overlooking the city of Jerusalem. Here for the third week of Advent, the week where we focus on the joy that comes to us through the Messiah.

And perhaps nowhere in the New Testament was the joy more clearly seen than in the book of Luke, chapter 2, as we are introduced to two amazing individuals, Simeon and Anna.

Simeon and Anna were regulars in the temple area, having devoted their lives to waiting for the Lord's coming Messiah.

In many ways, they exemplified the first two weeks of advent—on the one hand, they maintained Hope that the promise of the Lord would be fulfilled, and the Lord would see to it that the root of David would ascend to the throne, and the glory of the Lord would fill the earth.

They also believed deeply in peace, knowing that through the Messiah, the Lord would not only demonstrate His glory but also would provide an everlasting peace. And there they stood in the temple, as was their custom, waiting on the Lord to act.

Can you imagine the joy that they had when God literally showed up?!

Simeon is the first to spot Jesus, who is being brought in by his parents to provide the appropriate sacrifice associated with Jesus' birth.

All we know about Simeon is that:

  1. he was a righteous and devout man,
  2. he was waiting on the consolation of Israel,
  3. the Holy Spirit was upon him.

Luke explains that the Spirit had revealed to him that he would remain alive until he had seen the Lord's Christ—the anointed one of Israel.

How many days had Simeon been waiting for that promise?

We have no idea, and the Scriptures are moot on that point, but the reality is that Simeon's whole life was literally leading up to the point of the revelation of the Son of God.

So I ask again, can you imagine the unfettered joy that must have come from Simeon when he saw the face of Jesus?

The encounter with Jesus was such that his joy overflowed into song and prophecy.

He exclaims that he had seen God's salvation, a salvation that would restore Israel and be a light to the Gentiles.

The outburst was such that Luke records how much Mary and Joseph were marveled at his words.

Simeon went on to prophesy that Jesus would not only bring about restoration but also through Him, many in Israel would rise and fall, and a sword would eventually pierce Mary's soul as well as the soul of Jesus.

At this stage, I am not sure what the parents were thinking, but they certainly must have remained astonished at this old man, who was holding their child in his arms and proclaiming the Messiah had come.

This scene drew the attention of Anna, who was herself a prophetess, as she came over, sensing that something was different about this child, and when she saw Jesus, she was filled with joy that simply overflowed.

What a beautiful scene of unfiltered joy at the encounter with Jesus.

At that moment, both Simeon and Anna discovered something for which they had been searching, and upon discovering it, they discovered the true meaning of real joy.

As we ponder this Advent season and prepare our hearts for Christmas, take some time to recall the moment you first met Jesus. Maybe you were young, or maybe you were an adult.

Remember how you felt in that moment when you realized that all of your sins can be forgiven thanks to the wonderous work of Jesus.

Can you claim to still walk in that joy today?

I imagine that a few of you can say yes. You keep Christ front of mind, and you are currently walking in an amazing season of sweet growth with Him.

If that is you, then bask in the joy of this season. 

But if it's not, let me encourage you—you still can capture it again, but it begins with the same steps that Simeon and Anna took.

Hold on to the promises of God, and then look full at the face of Jesus.

When you do that, joy will fill your heart, a joy that is true and everlasting, not because it is based on a feeling, but because it is based on a person.

Now, perhaps you have never experienced this joy before. Maybe you have been walking through this Advent series with us, or perhaps you have just stumbled across this devotional, but you cannot think of a time when you looked in the face of Jesus and asked him to be your Lord.

You see, if that's you, please know that Jesus is ready to reveal Himself to you. All you need to do is ask.

Ask Him to reveal your sin, ask Him to reveal His sacrifice, and ask Him to change your life by making Him your Savior. 

You can start today to live a life full with Him, and if you do make that decision, let me encourage you to reach out to a local church who can help nurture your joy and grow you in the Faith.

This Advent season, make joy the hallmark of your preparation, and perhaps you can experience the same level of joy that Simeon and Anna had when they too saw the coming King to reign on high.

Dr. Blake Killingsworth serves as Dean of the Cook School of Leadership at Dallas Baptist University.

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