Have you ever taken care of a routine matter, just because it needed to be done, and it turned out to be a tremendous blessing?
Let’s see what happens to Joseph and Mary when they go to the temple for Jesus’ baby dedication:
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,(Luke 2:22-38, English Standard Version)
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
What started as a routine baby dedication turned out to be so much more:
- An old man’s life-long dream of seeing Messiah before he died was fulfilled.
- An old widow could not stop praising God for seeing the Messiah.
- Jesus’ parents were overwhelmed and marveled about what was being said about their son.
Simeon and Anna did not see a baby that day – they saw the face of God!
May we have such a yearning as Simeon and Anna – looking forward to seeing Jesus face-to-face.
If we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Messiah and Lord, we have that hope. Jesus’ birth, death, and bodily resurrection is His love-promise to us that we will not only see Him one day, but we will spend eternity with Him.
May we love God and our neighbors like Jesus loves us.
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,