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A Child of Decision - Luke 2:33-35
Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what Simeon said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, "Many Jews will fall and many will rise because of this boy. He will be a sign (proof) from God that some people will not accept. The things that people think in secret will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart very sad." (ERV) Full Text
While Jesus came to bring "goodness and light," he came to a world infected by sin and enslaved to the principles of darkness, decay, and death. His life would not be about ease and escape, but about decision, confrontation, and truth. Darkness had to be driven away. Decay had to be destroyed. Death had to be defeated. To do that meant taking on everything the powers of this world had used to maintain their hold on the hearts of people. Yes, liberation would bring joy to the rescued, but it would mean a high cost for those who wanted to preserve the status quo and did not accept the liberation. Jesus came to force us to decide. He came as Lord, not as a sweet, do-gooder pal. Only when we surrender our hearts to him as Lord does he become our friend and brother. But there is no middle ground. He is not just a good guy, come to do good things, and to make good people happy. He is Savior, Lord, and King. All pretenders, and their lackeys, would oppose him. Our joy was Mary's pain. Our victory was Jesus' agony. Our hope was God's sacrifice. So let Simeon's words remind you that you must make a decision about this Jesus. There is no middle ground or middle emotion.
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Today's Verses in Context
When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised, and he was named Jesus. This name was given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary. The time came for Mary and Joseph to do the things the law of Moses taught about being made pure. Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem so they could present him to the Lord (God). It is written in the law of the Lord (God): "When a mother's first baby is a boy, he shall be called 'special for the Lord.'" The law of the Lord also says that the people must give a sacrifice : "You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons." So Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to do this. A man named Simeon lived in Jerusalem. He was a good man that truly worshiped God. Simeon was waiting for the time when God would come to help Israel (the Jews). The Holy Spirit was in him. The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Christ from the Lord (God). The Spirit led Simeon to the temple. Mary and Joseph went to the temple to do what the Jewish law said they must do. They brought the baby Jesus to the temple. Simeon held the baby in his arms and thanked God: "Now, Lord (God), you can let me, your servant, die in peace like you said. I have seen with my own eyes how you will save your people. Now all people can see your plan. He (Jesus) is a light to show your way to the non-Jewish people. He will bring honor to your people, Israel (the Jews)." Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what Simeon said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, "Many Jews will fall and many will rise because of this boy. He will be a sign (proof) from God that some people will not accept. The things that people think in secret will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart very sad." Anna, a prophetess, was there at the temple. She was from the family of Phanuel in the Asher family group. Anna was very old. She had been married for seven years. Then her husband died and she lived alone. Shewas now 84 years old. Anna was always at the temple; she never left. She worshiped God by fasting and praying day and night. Anna was there when Joseph and Mary came to the temple. She praised God and talked about Jesus to all the people who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary finished doing all the things that the law of the Lord commanded. Then they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee. The little boy (Jesus) was growing. He became stronger and wiser. God's blessings were with him.
Luke 2:21-40 (ERV)
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