Bible Study Helps and Lessons
One of the stories “Mary” told us about during Vacation Bible School was an incident that happened when Jesus was only eight days old. Joseph and Mary were in the temple dedicating Him to the Lord. The priest on duty performed the routine ritual with baby Jesus… everything was simply business as usual.
But then something completely unplanned and unexpected happened. Out of the blue, some old man approaches the couple. With unspeakable reverence, he asks if he could hold their baby! He is so happy to see their baby, it almost seems surreal. Why is he so happy in the middle of business as usual? The answer why Simeon is so happy is in a prophecy he gave in Luke 2:
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
Simeon understood that this little helpless eight day old baby was actually the Messiah Savior to all of humanity! But Simeon’s prophecy didn’t end there. He continues on describing in a rather cryptic way, the results that will come about because of this baby. There will be incredible controversy over Him. People will refuse Him and speak out against Him – so much so, that He will actually be the downfall of many of God’s people!
33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Why would Mary’s heart also be pierced? Because one day she would have to stand before her dying Son, and watch Him suffering on the cross for the penalty of humanity’s sin. She would see Him give His all for people who could care less. What about you? Is your heart also pierced when we see Jesus’ own sacrifice on the cross being rejected and scorned?