December 30, 2018
Text: Luke 2:22–40
After the days required by Moses’ Teachings to make a mother clean had passed, Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem. They took Jesus to present him to the Lord. They did exactly what was written in the Lord’s Teachings: “Every firstborn boy is to be set apart as holy to the Lord.” They also offered a sacrifice as required by the Lord’s Teachings: “a pair of mourning doves or two young pigeons.”
A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He lived an honorable and devout life. He was waiting for the one who would comfort Israel. The Holy Spirit was with Simeon and had told him that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah, whom the Lord would send.
Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courtyard. Mary and Joseph were bringing the child Jesus into the courtyard at the same time. They brought him so that they could do for him what Moses’ Teachings required. Then Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God by saying,
“Now, Lord, you are allowing your servant to leave in peace as you promised. My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people to see. He is a light that will reveal salvation to the nations and bring glory to your people Israel.”
Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “This child is the reason that many people in Israel will be condemned and many others will be saved. He will be a sign that will expose the thoughts of those who reject him. And a sword will pierce your heart.”
After doing everything the Lord’s Teachings required, Joseph and Mary returned to their hometown of Nazareth in Galilee. The child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was with him.