I almost went to bed without posting this. It usually takes me mulling over a passage all day before the light breaks through and I get an “Ah-ha” moment of clarity and excitement that makes sharing it possible.
- Mary’s reaction to the shepherds: She treasured and pondered the message they brought about her son.
- Simeon’s prophecy about Jesus to Mary: He would pierce her soul and be opposed and expose people’s thoughts and hearts.
- Simeon’s prayer and praise before prophesying to Mary:
Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.- Luke 2:29-32
And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.- Matthew 15:21-28
When Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to the temple to be dedicated to God and old Simeon sees him and praises God thanking him for letting him see the One who would be, “…a light for revelation to the Gentiles.”, he was announcing that Jesus would be shinning so brightly as truth that an obscure Canaanite woman would see and believe who he was. And an even more obscure Roseburgian woman would too 2000 plus years later, along with millions of others in between.
In fact, the light of Christ shines so bright, it blazes forward into time from his birth on to reveal the truth of God and life to me and the Canaanite woman who met Jesus as an adult. And it was dimly seen with eyes of faith by the woman from Jericho who looked at the people of Israel and saw a glimmer of the truth about God as revealed in his people long before Jesus came.
Christ came through the people of Israel. It is the way God chose to reveal himself. He came to save them and multitudes of other people from every tribe, tongue and nation. He is the bread of life, whether you get a crumb, or a whole slice you get life unending! And he is the light of the world, whether you saw a glimpse of him before he came in the flesh or after he died and rose from the dead you’ll be exposed and aware of the truth of who he is and what life is all about!
Christ came through Israel, and he comes through all who believe- to be a light to the other people!
Oh Lord! Let the light of Christ shine through me, that others who don’t know him might believe in him too and be glad!
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!- Psalm 67