Luke 2:19-38: Recognizing Jesus
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Once the hustle and rush of Christmas and New Year celebrations have passed, we may feel a sense of loss when we no longer see family and friends as much as we would like. Or we may feel frustration with not completing all that we had planned to accomplish during the holiday. In either case, we might want to reflect on the story of Jesus’ presentation in the Temple.
We know that Mary and Joseph marveled at the attention of the shepherds and kings and that they were clearly aware that their child held a special place in God’s plan. Luke tells us that Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.
If Mary and Joseph did not fully understand the consequences of the entrance of God’s Word into the world, they must have understood that the shepherds had followed the words of the angels, and the magi followed their guiding star. Then when they take their infant to the Temple, two people they have never met recognize their child as the Christ. Luke tells us that they were speechless with surprise.
How was it that Simeon was able to recognize the child as the redeemer of the world? And how do we prepare ourselves to recognize him?
In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him.
How was it that Anna was able to rejoice when she saw the child Jesus as the fulfillment of a promise made by God? And how might we share the good news that God’s Word has come to live among us?
Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.
How was it that Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna recognized and honored the child God? And how might we be as faithful, hope-filled and loving? Who are the angels we ignore? How many stars do we decide are too distant to follow? How might an exploration of these verses today bring us a sense of connection and peace?
Tomorrow, Christ’s inverted kingdom.
When we compare varying translations of these verses using the scripture link and the drop-down menus, we discover a reason to share with others The Word that we hold deep within.
For more reflections on Simeon and Anna, enter their names into the blog search bar and explore.
For commentary on these stories, visit: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/mary-simeon-or-anna-who-first-recognized-jesus-as-messiah/