Summary: Joseph and Mary go to fulfill the law in the presentation of Jesus, and they receive so much more from Simeon and Anna.
2.2.20 Luke 2:22-40
22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Jesus Makes the Seemingly Normal Abnormal
Basketball fans around the world were shocked over the helicopter death of Kobe with his daughter Gianna. One thing that was especially noted was his close relationship with her as her coach and her mentor on the basketball court. It was neat to see him so involved with her as his child and encourage her in the game. He was thought of as a good father because of this.
Parents love to see their children succeed. They take pride in their children when they do well in life. And I have to admit, I like playing my own children do well in sports and in life. It’s nice to hear compliments from others when they play well. It’s much more fun watching your child score and dribble well than it is when they get stuffed in the face.
Yet I also have to remember that there are many more important things in life. Basketball isn’t going to get them into heaven or save anyone’s soul. I’d much rather have my child be faithful to Jesus. I pray for them to keep their faith and cherish God’s Word and sacrament: that they would find a God pleasing spouse and cherish God’s Word. I have to remind myself of this from time to time. It troubles me how so many Christian parents don’t see that as a priority in life. They love to post pics of their kids on the court. How about some of them in Bible study or singing in church?
Joseph and Mary took the religious training of Jesus seriously. They wanted to make sure that they followed the law when it came to how they raised Jesus. So they had Him circumcised at eight days, and then they brought him to the temple again when He was 41 days old. This trip was in order to make an offering to purify Mary after having a child and also to consecrate Jesus to the Lord.
I got to thinking about this - 41 days - it’s a long time. Think about what happened on the night Jesus was born. Shepherds came and praised God as they worshiped Jesus in the manger. They would have told Mary and Joseph about the announcement of the angel. But after that, what happened? Joseph and Mary would have moved into a home. Joseph would have probably done some carpentry to make ends meet. And what else? Nothing! Life would have probably seemed abnormally NORMAL. Here Mary has given birth to the Savior of the world, and nothing miraculous has happened since . . . . until NOW.
It must have probably seemed strange to most of the people standing in line to make their sacrifices and consecrate their children that day. This old guy and and this old lady come up to Jesus and start talking about how He’s going to save the world - how this is the long awaited and promised Messiah. Simeon even grabs Jesus and hold him in his arms! Imagine coming for a baptism and having someone do that with your child!
Now, in the eyes of everyone there, it would have seemed like Simeon had lost his marbles. This was just a plain baby with plain looking parents, and they were POOR parents at that - they could only offer the minimal offering - not even a lamb - just two small birds. They would have had no gold or incense or myrrh, for the Wise Men would not show up for some time yet. But here Simeon was saying that Jesus was the Savior who God had prepared in the sight of all people. And then Anna joined in and told everyone to come and look at Him too, thanking God!
Doesn’t it show you how easy it is to overlook miracles in life? Doesn’t it show you how blind we are, that God could be held in the baby right next to them and they would have no clue! How often do we miss out on the miracles of God, because they are hidden under such seemingly common things? If we ever stopped to consider the miracles of baptism - the Holy Spirit is coming into a child and making His home with him or her adopting the baby and taking it to be His own. Think about that Jesus would actually give us His own body and blood under the bread and wine right here today! Yet it tastes so bland. It looks so normal. To think that these words which we listen to are the actual words of God speaking to us! If God were to come to us in a vision and speak to us face to face, we would bow in reverence and listen with the utmost attention. But we treat these words as if they were nothing special! How we miss the miracles, just like all the other parents that day couldn’t see God in the baby right next door!