and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted” Luke 2:34 NABRE
After childbirth a mother is considered ritually unclean, thus Mary and Joseph go up to the temple in Jerusalem for their purification. The journey also allows them to fulfill another Jewish observance to present Jesus the first born to God and offer sacrifice in thanksgiving. We read about a man named Simeon who has been waiting for the consolation of Israel. The Holy Spirit has come upon him illuminating his thoughts and revealing a promise that he would not see death before seeing the Messiah. After Simeon meets Jesus and His parents he shares a prophecy with Mary and Joseph, in particular that Jesus will be destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel. Israel will have many that do not follow Jesus, not accepting Him and stumble over Him. Jesus’ presence in Israel changes everything for the chosen people. Simeon also prophesizes Jesus will be a sign of contradiction. He is the Messiah and yet He will suffer and die, even His disciples suffer and are persecuted like Him. This prophecy links to scripture and defining Jesus’ role later in life predicted, His presence in the world declared. Some of those hearing these words were affirmed but it seems for the most part these are words that help future generations have faith and belief in Jesus as the Messiah.
Whatever we may think about God’s plan for salvation the presence of Simeon informs us that God never meant to come as a conquering hero, but as a humble suffering servant. God desires we know it is through weakness and need that we are to be great. We should never overlook the least.
When you see needy people what do you think? What is your view of power?God never meant to come as a conquering hero, but as a humble suffering servant. God desires we know it is through weakness and need that we are to be great. We should never overlook the least. Click To Tweet
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