Forty days after Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary brought Him to the temple to be presented to God. Of the necessity of this we read in Leviticus 12:1-4 . When they brought Him there an amazing event took place.
An elderly man, named Simeon, had been informed that he would not die until he had seen "the Lord's Christ." And when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple "to present Him to the Lord" Simeon took the babe, Jesus, up in his arms and, among other things, said, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against."
It may seem strange that a Savior is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel. Yet, not so, if we recall Genesis 3:15 where God told Satan that the human race will be divided into seed of the woman and seed of the serpent, these seeds hating each other, the head of the serpent's seed being crushed, and the heel of the woman's seed being crushed. This is a very important truth, for the whole human race fell into sin. But God is pleased to save some, causing these to hate Satan and sin. A promise is given that He will nullify some of Satan's work and his temporary victory, and will work faith and love of God in some whom He eternally chose in Christ.
In Christ, Who is God's work of grace, will Satan's work be defeated in as many members of the human race as it pleases God to realize this. What we have manifested to us, then, concerning this Child in Simeon's arms, is a most beautiful and comforting truth about God's grace and love for His elect.
God promised to save us not only from our punishment, but also from the power and control of Satan. That newborn babe, Christ, manifests God's love that will implant the love of Him in our hearts. What a blessed gift which we considered on the day we celebrated Christ's birth. How wonderful that this enmity is realized in us against Satan and sin.
Quote for Reflection:
Worldliness is the lust of the flesh (a passion for sensual satisfaction), the lust of the eyes (an inordinate desire for the finer things of life), and the pride of life (self-satisfaction in who we are, what we have, and what we have done). Worldliness, then, is a preoccupation with ease and affluence. It elevates creature comfort to the point of idolatry; large salaries and comfortable life-styles become necessities of life. Worldliness is reading magazines about people who live hedonistic lives and spend too much money on themselves and wanting to be like them. But more importantly, worldliness is simply pride and selfishness in disguises. It’s being resentful when someone snubs us or patronizes us or shows off. It means smarting under every slight, challenging every word spoken against us, cringing when another is preferred before us. Worldliness is harboring grudges, nursing grievances, and wallowing in self-pity. These are the ways in which we are most like the world.
~ D. Roper
- Date: 27-December