Daily Reading: 5-4-16
Luke 2:25-38 New Living Translation (NLT)
In our reading from Luke, today, we are in Jerusalem at the Temple. We meet Simeon; a Spirit-empowered man who is holding on to a promise from the Lord regarding Israel’s Messiah. As, well, we find Joseph and Mary who have come to fulfill their sacred obligations by presenting Jesus to the Lord. We meet Anna, a woman devoted to worshiping God. In a divine appointment, the promise and the present (sign) intersect at a point of revelation; the prophecy is proclaimed to be fulfilled by two witnesses.
The Prophecy of Simeon
25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Anna Sees Jesus
36 There was a prophetess, Anna, from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. She had once been married for seven years. 37 Then her husband died, and she was a widow for eighty-four years. Anna never left the Temple but worshiped God, going without food and praying day and night. 38 Standing there at that time, she thanked God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.
Both Simeon and Anna have waited a long time for this promise and present (sign) from God that will bring freedom. This experience leaves these two visual witnesses with different futures. Simeon now has peace with God and is ready to meet his Maker, because his future is secure in his knowledge of the Savior. He wants to see and meet the Savior and he does; the Lord fulfills His Word to Simeon’s heart and He now longs to go home to God. Anna, has been elevated to a new level as a living worshiper by the experience. She is a passionate “mess” because she has seen the Lord. With this revelation, she becomes a female preacher; she preaches the Good News of Christ’s arrival to anyone who will listen. (I’m smiling)
These two witnesses (male and female) remind me of just how miraculous it is when the promise and the present (sign) come together and we see the liberating Lord. When I see and connect to Christ, I am saved—free from the penalty of sin and death—and ready to meet my Maker; I have peace with God and He welcomes me into eternal life. As well, when I see and connect to Christ, I become a living testimony and light to the work of His grace to redeemed all people. Christ will clean my heart of darkness with His Light. My life will witness to the intersection of divine and human realities: my eternal life and peace with God, as well as my passion to live in His image and tell others about this Good News operating in my life! The Spirit accomplishes it all.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for allowing the Spirit to open my eyes to see your Promise and my heart to meet Your Present—Jesus. I am changed by the revelation of Your Love. Please continue to provide me Grace, so I may speak about Jesus to others who are looking for the freedom Your Love brings. In Jesus’ name. Amen.