Select Page

40 days after Jesus’ birth Joseph and Mary brought him to the Temple.  They have come to present Jesus to the Lord as instructed in Exodus 13:11-12.  While they are there they also make the required sin offering and burnt offering to the Lord for Mary’s purification following her pregnancy (see Leviticus 12 for details on this).

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 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.”Luke 2:22-24 (NIV)

Notice that the offering Mary makes is not the first offering of Leviticus 12, but the second offering which is allowed for the woman who cannot afford a lamb.  One of the gifts of the Magi is gold.  Mary’s offering indicates the Magi have not yet come to see Jesus.

Jesus vs Augustus

In last week’s podcast I talked about Caesar Augustus, the ruler of the known world at this time.  Luke is concerned about two world rulers, Augustus and Jesus, and their kingdoms.

At this time the Jews are waiting for a messiah to setup a kingdom that is essentially a holier version of what Roman Empire already is.  They are looking for a king like David to lead them in battle and to overthrow their enemies.  In reality, the way Jesus goes about setting up his kingdom has a lot more similarities to Joseph, the son of Jacob, than it does to King David.

God is always faithful.  He always fulfills His promises, but He does so in ways we do not expect.

Simeon and Anna

In Luke 2:25-38 we meet an old man and woman who seem to be the only people who recognize Jesus for who he is and who he will be.  Simeon warns us that Jesus’ kingdom is not going to appear as everyone expects.

“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
He suggests that Jesus will bring relief to the suffering of all nations, but it will be through sharing in that suffering himself.

This child who Simeon says will “cause the falling and rising of many in Israel,” will himself be killed and then rise from the dead, thereby providing a way of escape from suffering for all the nations, not just Israel.

This is not the kingdom or king people were looking for.

Jesus was not like Augustus.  In fact, he is far greater.

One’s empire is still alive and spreading.  The other’s died out 1500 years ago.

In Jerusalem, the city of peace, the Prince of Peace was recognized by a couple of senior citizens.

Simeon in the Temple, by Rembrandt. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Simeon in the Temple, by Rembrandt. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

A Different Kind of King

All the power and glory of the universe belong to God, yet He came to earth as a baby to live among us, sharing in our suffering, yet perfectly satisfying every requirement of the covenants He made with Abraham, Moses, and others, so that we, His beloved children, could once again live in perfect covenant union with Him, sharing in all the covenant blessings He pours out upon Jesus, His son.

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”Romans 8:16-17

If you liked this post, then please like it on Facebook or Google+. You can also find me on Twitter and Linkedin.

Do you have a question about something I’ve posted?  Please ask it in the comments below.

Grace and peace.