The Sign and the Sword

Sunlight is at its lowest in the northern hemisphere.  Days are short and nights are long. The temperatures are cold.  In the middle of the darkest time of the year we commemorate and honor the birth of God’s son.  We don’t know exactly when Jesus was born.  Even if he was born around April, he would have been in Mary’s womb this time of year meaning he was already on the earth.

Jesus is known by many names.  Here we see him when he was eight days old being taken to the temple for his circumcision thus fulfilling the Law.  All male Jewish children were required to do this showing they were God’s people.  Simeon and Anna were in the temple.  Anna prayed night and day.  Simeon’s desire was to see the Messiah.  God told him he’d not die until he had seen salvation come.   They had waited a long time.  Simeon said two things about Jesus that we should remember.  He called Jesus a sign and a sword.

Luke 2: 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 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; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Simeon had not rehearsed his speech before the time.  It was just another day of them going to the temple.  They went every day earnestly seeking God.  They firmly believed God would send a Messiah to the world.  They prayed for us all knowing the Messiah was not theirs and no one else’s.  The truth of what God would accomplish through Jesus would open a fountain to save every soul of Adam’s race.  We can ask for no greater gift.  We don’t have to think twice about what God has done for us.  Never doubt it.  Choose to know in your heart even when you don’t feel like it, even when people are cruel.  During low times a light shines through.

Jesus came.  He was born of a virgin.  He suffered and died for you and me.  He’s an A to Z Savior, our Alpha and Omega.  He gets us through the tough times until prayers are answered and problems solved.  Our main problem was worked out when Jesus came.  He was wrapped in swaddle, a sign to the shepherds.  Simeon was correct in saying this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.  He called Jesus just what he is:  a sign.  A sign is something you experience.  Step outside and the cold weather is a sign of winter.  Watch the clouds and you can tell what the weather will do.  You can smell the ozone of approaching rain.  To some Jesus was just like other babies but to those seeking him they knew who he was.

Simeon was confirming it by faith of Joseph and Mary.  It took a lot of faith for them to do what they had done.  For nine months they went on faith.  Simeon and Anna didn’t know how God would work it out, but he did.  When Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem she was ready to deliver.

Our faith has been tried more than ever over the past 10 or so years.  The devil seems to run everything.  Lift up the sign.  It’s the confirmation of our faith.  When you want to question things, look at the sign and know it will be all right.  God has his hand on all who choose to profess and follow Jesus.  Simeon knew Jesus was God’s son.  In his joy he held the baby but saw the affliction to come.  He told Mary a sword would pierce through her soul.  Jesus is the sign who came because he chose it.  Instead of destroying mankind God chose to send his only begotten son, a sign that would be spoken against.

Before I was saved I didn’t like it when people wouldn’t give up on me.  Don’t ever think being a Christian is useless.  Behave like one.  I’m thankful for God’s people who lived their testimony before me.  My buddies kept getting saved one right after the other like getting the flu.  It was a sign to me.  We don’t have to carry around a protest sign.  We just need to be what Jesus saved us to be.

Jesus would also be the sword.  Before I got saved I wanted to run with the gang and do what I wanted.  I’m glad the sword kept cutting away at me.  It takes out what the devil has put there.  I’d much rather that sword be a scalpel now cutting out what shouldn’t be in my life.  One day it will be the sword that brings judgement to this world.  All those who have rejected Jesus will be put to an end.

Everyone in the Christmas story made choices.  We have a choice.  What’s yours?  Trust the Master.  Let him remain your sign and your scalpel.  Take Jesus to heart and hold him there.

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