Monday, December 14, 2015

On 12-20-15, Exodus 13:13-15; Luke 2:22-32 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Dedications of Firstborn

Dedications of Firstborn
Exodus 13:13-15; Luke 2:22-32
December 20, 2015

Jed Greenough

At this our last Sunday before Christmas it strikes me when I read today’s scripture how important it was for the devoted of Israel to recognize the work God had done in releasing them from slavery from Pharaoh.

Today’s scripture doesn’t cover all the scriptures involved but you know well the story of how God spared those of Israel because they had been instructed to spread the blood of lambs on their door frames.  All the first born of Egypt, in this the final plague before Pharaoh released Israel from slavery, were taken by the destroyer.

Thus Israel was instructed by God to always remember this deliverance.  We must think on that awhile.  Each first born of Egypt was taken and each first born of Israel was spared.  Just as for us when the Day arrives and those who are His will be spared and those who are not will not be.

These people of Israel, such as Jesus’ family, were recognizing all that had been done so many generations before.

Maybe for some it was pure tradition and for others more devout it still meant much to them after so long.  What do you think about that?  Surely Mary and Joseph who though poor (thus the two doves instead of a lamb) had been blessed so greatly through their experiences of Jesus birth would have been motivated but what about all those others who redeemed their firstborns in remembrance?  I wonder at the rate of prevalence in that day.  Was it all, most, half or only some?

Simeon’s joy was obvious in his words from today’s scripture.  These words show that though Jesus was a baby Simeon had it revealed to him that this was the Messiah.  How excited he must have been!

How excited are you this Christmas season?  We might be wealthy or we might be poor like Jesus’ family but we too can share in recognizing God’s work, not in releasing us from a mortal king who enslaves but the slavery of death.

Simeon was a devout and devoted servant to whom the Messiah was revealed as a babe but as Simeon said, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations.”  Eventually all would know the fulfillment of God’s plan.

Again, how excited are you this Christmas?  What will you do to remember His birth and sacrifice and resurrection?  What will you do to share your excitement with others.  Don’t just let this be a season of going through the motions of remembering as some might have done in remembering the Passover.  Rather think of the sparkle that must have been in the eyes of Mary and Joseph when they consecrated their son to the Lord!

For Discussion:

  1. Discuss how important it is that we remember what God has done.
  2. Discuss the things that we might remember.
  3. Discuss the social condition of Jesus family.
  4. Discuss this in light of their being the family of the Messiah.
  5. What can we give as a remembrance this Christmas season for what God has done.
  6. Discuss the life to god Simeon must have lived.
  7. I think that next Sunday is a very important one for students so don’t take a break just because Christmas will be past!
  8. Merry Christmas!

Upcoming Lessons

12-27-15     A Generous Gift     Matthew 23:2-12; Mark 12:38-44
1-3-16     A Bride Worth Waiting For     Genesis 29:15-30

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

This Christmas season as you study Exodus 13:13-15; Luke

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