A Christmas Prophecy Gift
Everyone likes “prophecy” at Christmastime. Or at least, most everyone would like to know ahead of time what they are getting for Christmas. Some kids take matters into their own hands and look under the bed or in the closet or the attic; wherever they think their parents are hiding the presents. But what happens after you “sneakily” open the presents and see them? Isn’t there an inevitable emotional letdown? You realize that you’ve ruined the surprise you would have had on Christmas morning. Yes, I think there’s an ambivalence about Christmas present snooping. If any young people read this blog…..DON’T SNOOP!
But after Jesus is brought to the temple, a man named Simeon prophesies about Jesus. We looked at this yesterday a little bit. Let’s read what Simeon says to Mary and Joseph from Luke chapter 2:29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” 33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
The Bible says that Mary and Joseph marveled at those things spoken of Jesus. That’s a very normal reaction. Often when babies are born people might say, “He looks like a linebacker.” Or “She is going to grow up to be a princess.” Of course, the new parents know that the odds of becoming a linebacker are extremely low and the chances of being a real princess are even less. But Simeon tells Mary and Joseph that their little bundle of joy is destined to bring glory to Israel and to the Gentiles. This is Messianic language. And then, Simeon says something that is inevitably a part of the Christmas story. Simeon tells Mary that many will rise and fall and that her soul would be pierced. There is a lot of suffering in the Christmas story…more on that later in the week…Jesus came to be a Savior but He is also the judge of sin. He is a dividing line between righteousness and sin and not all choose righteousness.
As we reflect on Simeon’s words, let us also marvel at this incredible Savior, God in the flesh, incarnated for our benefit. And let us pray that those who do not know the real Jesus will enter into relationship with Him as soon as possible.