Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Hamlet in his famous play the words, "To be, or not to be? That is the question." If Luke had been around, I suspect he would have said, "Actually, Hamlet, that is not the question. The question is Who is Jesus? Who do you believe that Jesus is? That's the question?"

It's the crux of everything in history and every human life: Who is Jesus? This whole chapter is about answering that question. For Jew and Greek, male and female, slave and free, this passage is about answering the question Who is Jesus.

Let me walk you through the three stories in our passage and show you four things that Luke tells you in answer to the question Who is Jesus. The first thing you see about Jesus is that Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses.



I. Jesus Fulfilled the Law of Moses

You learn that in verses 21-24, but you also learn it in verse 27 and in verse 39. Now do you think Luke has an agenda in repeating "the Law of the Lord" multiple times in our passage? Yeah! His point is this. Jesus, from His earliest days, from His childhood, obeyed the whole Mosaic code. That was absolutely essential for Him to be the Teacher of Israel. Luke is saying that Jesus obeyed the Law of Moses better than Moses did. Why? Because Moses broke this very law. Remember that? Moses didn't circumcise his own son, and in Exodus 4 we're told that Moses, who wrote this law, was met by God on the way and the Lord almost killed him because he had failed to obey this law. And Luke is telling you Jesus is better than Moses. He obeyed Moses' law better than Moses obeyed Moses' law.

You understand, my friends, that you need to be perfect to commune with God, both now and forever more. You need to be perfect. Now here's our problem. Not one of us is perfect. We're in trouble. What's the way to address that? Through one perfect Man, who was the Son of God, who was perfect for you; and your sin is imputed to Him, and His righteousness is imputed to you so that you are accepted by God as perfect as you believe in Him. Who is Jesus? He's the only human being who ever fulfilled the Law of God.

II. He Was Called Jesus

Second, look at verse 21. Don't miss what's being told you in verse 21:

"At the end of eight days, when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb."

Now what's significant about that? Well, what does the name mean? The Lord saves. It is a name that speaks grace.



And, my friends, that is the crux of the question. Do you know that Jesus? Do you know the Jesus that saves? If you don't know that you need forgiveness of sins and if you don't know that Jesus has come to save, then you don't know the Jesus of the gospels. Luke is telling you that Jesus is the only name, the only name under heaven, by which a man may be saved.

III. Jesus Lived In Humility and in Humiliation

There's a third thing he tells you about Jesus, and that is that Jesus lived in humility and in humiliation. No observant Jew would have missed this, when Luke says this in verses 22 and 24.) Look with me there:

"And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem... to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

Now every observant Jew would have known that that means that this family is poor. Mary wasn't able to offer a lamb for the Lamb of God as prescribed in Leviticus 12:1-8. All she could afford was the birds.

This is Luke's way of telling you of the poverty of the Lord Jesus Christ. He's drawing your attention to the fact that Jesus endured a humiliation that He did not deserve, so that you would not experience the humiliation that you do deserve, as you trust in Him.

IV. Jesus is the One Savior Appointed by God for Both Jew and Gentile

The fourth thing that Luke tells you about you'll see in verses 30-32, especially. Simeon identifies Jesus as the Messiah and says that He is the one Savior appointed by God for both Jew and Gentile.

Look at what he says: "For my eyes have seen Your salvation." In other words, Simeon is saying, "Lord, I've prayed all my life that I would not die before I saw the Messiah. I've seen Him! I'm holding Him. I'm holding the One for whom we have been waiting since Adam. This is the One! I've seen Him!"

You see, he's making it clear again that Jesus is the crux of the issue. "Who is Jesus?" is the question. But he doesn't stop there.

Then he goes on in v. 34-35 and says, "Mary, let me tell you this: This child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed."

What in the world does he mean by that? He means this: How Israel responds to this man, Jesus, will determine their fate now and forevermore. How every man, woman, boy and girl responds to this Jesus will determine his or her fate both now and forevermore. He will either be for their fall or for their rising.

He's saying, "There is nothing in this world, be it ever so dear to you, that remotely compares to Jesus. He is the Savior, and you can't be indifferent about Him. It's Him, or it's the fall."

Anna confirms that. Look at verses 36-38. She'd been a widow for a long, long time. There was no dragging her to worship kicking and screaming. In fact, she never left the temple, day and night. That's all she wanted to do, was worship the Lord. And she did that with both prayer and fasting. In other words, he's saying this is a woman of impeccable character, sterling qualities, religious devotion, and love for the one true God and for His worship and for His people. And she comes and she says, "The consolation of Jerusalem is here!"

Luke is saying to us over and over in this passage, "Who is Jesus? Who is Jesus?" He fulfilled the Law perfectly. He is the only Savior of mankind. He lived in poverty on your behalf. He is the Messiah. He is the Savior of Jew and Gentile. He is the consolation of His people. And Luke is asking, "Who do you say He is? Who do you believe He is? Do you love Him? Do you trust Him? Do you treasure Him? Do you exult in Him? Do you exalt Him?" That is the issue. May God grant that your answer to the question "Who is Jesus?" would be by faith. He is the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, and I do receive and rest on Him alone, forsaking all others, for salvation as He is offered in the gospel.