22 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.”
25 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. Luke 2:22-33
Joseph and Mary traveled from Bethlehem to Jerusalem less than eight days after Jesus’ birth. What’s striking to me about this passage is all the things that were being said about the baby. Joseph and Mary were starting to understand a little more that their son was about the best even in all of mankind. With everything that had happened to them leading up to this moment, they were probably still puzzled about it. How so?
When God revealed to them separately that Mary was with child, they both had to have faith that it happened the way it happened, especially Joseph (Mary knew she was pure but there was no way to know for him to be sure except to have faith that what the angel told him was true). And now eight days after His birth, this revered man made profound statements about the child. From their own experiences, Mary and Joseph knew Jesus was special; they probably didn’t know exactly how special he was. When did all the pieces come together for this couple? When did they “get it” that Jesus was God incarnate and the Savior of the world?
We have moments in our lives that are like that. Sometimes we get clues about what God is doing, but there are still many pieces of the puzzle that are not in place yet. Often it takes years before we truly “get it,” and that’s intentional on God’s part. We are not meant to get the “big picture” all at once. Otherwise we’d have no reason for faith and to trust Him every step of the way.
As we draw nearer to the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth, marvel at what others in your community say about Him. For some, their words are not at all flattering. Fellow Believers, however, will have much more pleasant words to say. We don’t often think about this day throughout the rest of the year, but it literally changed the course of history.