Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Reader: “Jesus is the Light of the world.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
Scripture: Luke 2:33-35
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.”
Simeon’s words were clearly prophetic. Can you imagine being Mary and Joseph and hearing this said about your one month old baby boy? It seems that Jesus’ parents were step-by-step beginning to see what lay ahead for their Son. It is clear from the very beginning that Jesus would be a revealer of people’s hearts. This truth is forecast in Mary’s Magnificat. “He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.” (Lk 1:51-53) These words do not sound like a ‘meek and mild,’ milquetoast Jesus. Simeon goes on to say that some people will rise and experience forgiveness and healing and restoration with God. Other people will reject him and speak against him. Jesus’ challenges will reveal the true character of an individual’s heart . . . then as now. The heart of John the Baptist was revealed before he was even born!
The old priest concluded his words with the prophecy that “a sword will pierce your own soul Mary,” even as she saw the spear of the centurion pierce her son while nailed to the cross. She is mentioned from time to time in the gospels. Her devotion to her son is quite apparent throughout the gospels as once she came with his brothers to take him home to rest! She thought he was overdoing his preaching and healing! At the death of Jesus, she went to live with the disciple John as he looked after her. She is last mentioned in the Scriptures at Pentecost as she was involved in the development of the early church. The date of her death is unknown.
Remember always, Jesus came to bring restoration to all of creation, restoration to communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. At the same time, there is no promise that things would go smoothly, for Jesus, for Mary, for us. Actually, the promise is for difficulty and suffering in this life as we follow the Savior. Sadly, Simeon’s words also remind us that not everyone wants that restoration with their Creator. So be a light today wherever you go. (The three music selections are terrific! All three!)
Music: “Go Tell It on the Mountain” Home Free and Texas Hill
“Go Tell It on the Mountain” Josh Turner
“Go Tell It on the Mountain” Melvin Crispell III & Chandler Moore, Maverick City Music
Now take away, Father, we beseech Thee, the undergrowth that blocks our forward progress. Give us the wisdom to know which are of our own doing and which come from Thee to strengthen our walk. Remove the obstructions caused by us, those things that choke the trail. Slash and prune and trim us with the machete of thy Word; so might we freely tread the shining path that leads unto the perfect day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ―Sherwood Wirt, adapted Daniel Sharp
(There’s that piercing sword again!)