The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011. In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story. For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds. ———————————————————-
Here is the conclusion of our verse by verse study of the birth of Christ. In this blog entry, we will be looking at the conclusion of the account from Luke…
Part #1 – Luke 1:26-38
Part #2 – Luke 1:39-56
Part #3 – Luke 2:1-20
Part #4 – Luke 2:21-40
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
It was Jewish tradition for a child to be circumcised at eight days after birth. This circumcision was a visible proof that the child was a part of the Jewish nation. The child officially received his name at the time of circumcision. In this case, the baby was named Jesus, “Jehovah our freedom” or “Jehovah our salvation” just as the angel had said.
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
The ceremony described here had two basic parts to it:
- The law of purification applied to the mother of any newborn male child. This time lasted for a total of 40 days (Lev 12:2-4). The principle behind the need for this purification was because the woman had brought another man into this world. The male was looked upon as responsible for sin entering this world, and therefore the mother needed to be “purified”. (Roms 5:12, 19)
- Also, a part of this ceremony was to bring to remembrance God’s grace in delivering the Israelites from the Egyptian captivity. (Exo 13:12). This was done by separating the young child to the service of God.
The offering of animals was a key ingredient to this ceremony.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
A Godly priest, Simeon, was waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Here, the Messiah is described as “the Consolation” or “the Comforter” of Israel. He would be the One who would bear the sin burdens of His people, giving them rest and peace in the midst of a sinful world.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Once again, we see the Spirit revealing to man the true identity of the baby. When Christ was presented to Simeon, he immediately recognized Him as both Savior of the people of Israel and a light that would open the sin blinded eyes of the Gentiles.
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Joseph and Mary were amazed at Simeon’s declaration about the Christ child.
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Simeon spoke to Mary saying that the Jewish people would, at first during His earthly ministry, reject Him as their Messiah (the fall), but later as the gospel message spread, would come to a saving knowledge of Him (the rising again). His miraculous life would be a sign of His true identity as Messiah and God, which many people would verbally ridicule.
Mary, as she would watch her child being crucified would suffer as if a sword has passed through her. This same crucifixion would reveal what was in the hearts of men.
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Anna, a woman used of God to reveal His word, who was an older lady of at least 84 years, but perhaps as many as 100+ years old. She so frequented the temple that it was as if she lived there for most of her waking hours. During this her time at the temple she was fasting and in prayer. She, too recognized the baby as Christ and then thanked the Lord and then began telling others about the Messiah that had come.
And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
Joseph and Mary stayed at Jerusalem until all of the demands of the ceremonial law had been met, and then they went back to their home in Nazareth. It was there that Christ grew physically and emotionally as He showed an incredible knowledge of His Word and the application of it.
It is very difficult to understand how Christ, who was God Himself, could grow physically and emotionally, but this was all a part of His humanity.
Throughout Christ’s young life it was obvious that the Lord’s presence and blessings were upon Him in a very special way; hence the phrase “and the grace of God was upon Him.” The word “grace” is from a Greek word meaning “gifts”, “favors” or “benefits”.
This concludes our study of the story of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”