This nothing quite like being a parent for the first time. The birth of your first child brings such excitement, blessing and wonder. This week we read about the birth of Jesus, all the incredible details about His conception and the wonder upon His arrival.
As was the custom, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to be dedicated to the Lord. When they arrived they met an old, righteous and devout man named Simeon. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that He would not die until he had seen the Jesus, the Messiah. That day Simeon was prompted by the Holy Spirit to go to the temple and was there when Mary and Joseph arrived with Jesus. He praised God for the arrival of God’s son, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world and…
Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Luke 2:33-35 (NLT)
Joseph and Mary ‘marveled’ (were amazed) at the words spoke for three reasons… Simeon said that Jesus was a gift from God; Simeon recognized Jesus as the Messiah; Simeon said Jesus would be a light to the entire world.
This was at least the second time that Mary had been greeted with a prophecy about her son. The first time was when Elizabeth welcomed her as the mother of Her Lord (Luke 1:42-45).
Simeon prophesied that Jesus would have a paradoxical effect on Israel. Some would fall because of him (Isaiah 8:14,15), while others would rise (Malachi 4:2). With Jesus there would be no neutral ground: people would either joyfully accept or totally reject him. As Jesus’ mother, Mary would be grieved by the widespread rejection Jesus would face.
Where do you stand today in regards to Jesus? Do you believe He is the Son of God and have you joyfully received Him as your Saviour? Or do you not believe and therefore totally reject Him? There is only two options and you are totally free to choose but your choice will determine your eternal destiny… heaven or hell.
Like Simeon, may you be able to say, “I have seen the Saviour you have given to all people. He is the light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel.”