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While Jesus was still an infant, Mary and Joseph took him to the temple in Jerusalem to fulfill requirements of Jewish law. While there, a man named Simeon came up to them. God had revealed to Simeon that Jesus was the Messiah. Luke 2:28-32 says, “Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’” (NIV)
Simeon also had a message for Mary. He told her, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35 NIV).
Simeon knew that Jesus would be a polarizing figure. People would oppose him. Mary would suffer heartache because of opposition to her son. Isn’t that a strange message to tell a mother celebrating the birth of her first child? Yes, but she evidently needed to hear.
We also remember that Jesus is still opposed by many today. But we choose to follow the example of Simeon. Today, praise God that we can know Jesus and the salvation he gives!
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.