Since the presentation of our Lord in the temple is an account found only in the Gospel of Luke (2:22–40), it seems reasonable to look at that narrative through the lens of Luke himself.
It is not hard to do. This is the story, after all, of the Messiah’s first visit to the temple in Jerusalem, a site that Luke makes a foundation stone of his literary structure. Indeed, he begins and ends his Gospel in the temple (1:5–9; 24:52–53).
Moreover, near the end of Jesus’ first visit to the temple, Luke remarks that the prophetess Anna “spoke of him to all those who looked for the redemption in Jerusalem” (2:38). The real “redemption in Jerusalem” takes place, of course, in the last pages of Luke, describing the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus. These are the events included in what Luke’s original Greek text calls Jesus’ exodos, “which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (9:31).
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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