An Obedient Christmas
After the birth of Jesus recorded for us in Luke chapter 2 we read some interesting verses about some key events in Jesus’ life. Here is what we read in verses 21-24: 21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
In this passage we have two examples of Jesus’ parents being obedient to Jewish law. They come to the temple to perform the sacrifices required after Mary’s purification and to set aside Jesus to the Lord as was customary for all Jewish males. This offering of turtledoves or pigeons is an offering customary for those who are poor. Interestingly enough, Jesus begins His life being identified with those that He came to save. Mary and Joseph have an obedient Christmas. Even though they’ve had a miraculous conception, a virgin birth, visits by angels, etc…they still keep the law that they are subject to. Jesus came to fulfill the Mosaic law but that had not happened yet. So many times in our lives things boil down to simply “following the rules”. We cannot come into relationship with Jesus through our works, but so many of the “works” that God gives to us are for our benefit. We are not to “throw out” all of the things we’ve been instructed to do, but rather do them in the light of God’s grace revealed to us in the New Testament. God’s grace demonstrated through Jesus is not a license to do what we want, but rather an opportunity to do what God wants. So, let’s have an obedient Christmas this year.