Most of us think of the Christmas story being over after the shepherd’s visited the new born king. However, there were several significant events within the first few months and years of Christ’s birth that scripture deems important enough to include. The first occurred just 40 days after Jesus’ birth. As was Jewish custom they went to the temple to offer sacrifices for their first born son, as was required by the Law of Moses. Women were not able to present themselves at the temple until 40 days after giving birth to a son and were then expected to offer a sacrifice for their purification. Bethlehem is near to Jerusalem so they journeyed there for the ceremony.
Luke 2: 22-35 “When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
This portion of the story tells of Simeon’s faith and belief that he would indeed see the Messiah before his death. He had waited patiently for years but believed God’s promises to him. This portion of the story was a confirmation, yet again, to Mary and Joseph that their child would be special and do great things. Also, this portion of the story shows us God’s power, Sovereignty and Omniscience. God had the power to come upon Simeon and reveal future events and purposes He had for His Son. It shows God’s Sovereignty over time and people in causing the future to be exactly as He says. Lastly, it shows God Omniscience. He knew what the future would hold, He knew what Jesus was sent to do to redeem Israel and He knew who was involved.
What does this portion of the story have for us? Like Simeon we can trust God to fulfill His promises. The Bible is filled with His promises to us. Claim them for your own. Need and idea or two, see my book Promises for Dynamic Living. It is available from my publisher, Certa Publishing, or from Amazon. It is filled with Promises you can claim in your life. Knowing God’s promises increases your faith and will lead you to trust God more fully. Like Mary and Joseph, we can read what Simeon prophesied about Jesus and see what His future would be. We can compare that to His actual life recorded into the gospels and see the truth of His redemption. We can also see God’ power in the events, His promises kept to Simeon and His Omniscience. Knowing those we can walk trusting God more fully each day. God’s knowledge of the future and sovereignty over events did not stop with Jesus, but is true for us in our time too. God knows the things that will impact our lives and we need to walk daily trusting Him to know the future and fulfill His promise to us.