Join me as I take a walk through the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John, (aka the “Gospels”) in a Chronological Order and try to grow closer to, and learn more about Jesus. Feel free to go back and read the INTRO ABOUT THIS SERIES to understand where all this came from for me.
Today’s passages is found in Luke 2:21-40 and is a pretty crazy scene if you ask me (not like you did ask me, but you are on my blog so I consider that the same – although most of the details surrounding Jesus’ birth and life are pretty crazy so I guess it goes without saying)
Not only is today our 8th entry but it is also begins with something that happened on the 8th day of Jesus’ life – this was when they would take the baby boys to be circumcised and be given their names. So the baby was named Jesus, just as the Angel had told Mary & Joseph before he had been conceived.
We then find that the time came Joseph & Mary to take Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him (or dedicate Him) to the Lord. You can read more about this practice and requirement of the “LAW” in Exodus 13. Something we also find about this section is just how poor Joseph & Mary were. It does not say so directly, but we know that they offered a “pair of doves or young pigeons” as their sacrifice. Again from what we can find in Leviticus 12:8 we know that this was an acceptable practice for those who could not afford a lamb. So this tells of the material poverty in which Jesus grew up.
Here is where things get EVEN MORE CRAZY – so they are just going for the routine dedication at the Temple in Jerusalem. There is this guy there named Simeon – it says he was “righteous and devout” and goes on to say that the “Holy Spirit was upon him”. Those are some pretty serious credentials. He had also been given a message by the Holy Spirit that he would NOT DIE until he had seen the Lord’s Christ (the Messiah or Anointed One who would be sent to save God’s people) – man how crazy does THAT SOUND?
So when Mary & Joseph walk in with lil baby Jesus the Holy Spirit alarms went off in Simeon, he went over and took the baby from Mary and then dropped a lil prophetic knowledge on them all (vs. 29-32). It says that the parents “marveled at what was said about him (Jesus)” – I think MARVEL is an understatement. I mean think about this for a minute. This guy who was considered SO SPIRITUAL and connected to God – was now telling everyone that this child was the CHOSEN ONE – the PROMISED MESSIAH!!! That tends to change some of the way you had planned to raise him doesn’t it!
Then Simeon goes on to tell some pretty difficult details to hear – about the tough times that will come. But you see Simeon wasn’t the only one throwing more crazy in the mix.
There was also a lady there named Anna – and she was a prophetess – it says she was very old (not sure why they had to throw that in there – but oh well, maybe to say she was wise and so devoted for the years she had been doing what she was doing) – she had been a widow for a number of years. She spent her days being in the temple worshipping “day and night, fasting and praying”. So again we see another person with some serious “Spiritual Credentials” and she is laying on the same story that Simeon was. This child was one that had been spoken about for many years. The ONE that would be the REDEMPTION of Jerusalem.
Then this passage simply closes saying that when Joseph & Mary had finished all they needed to do they headed back home. Can you imagine how their heads must have been spinning? Can you imagine some of the conversations they must have had on the way home? How many times do you reckon they thought “what have we gotten ourselves into?” Man these were CRAZY TIMES! (and this was all just the beginning)
But I like the last verse in this section – in all the craziness it closes with a simple statement about Jesus the baby boy – “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” Sort of brings an element of Peace and Tranquility in the midst of the all the Craziness. And that is the promise I believe that God has for all of us as we face the craziness of our own lives – that IN HIM we can find the ability to grow strong, be filled with wisdom, and rest knowing the GRACE of God is upon us!