Jesus was a Jew. He was circumcised as a baby boy on the eighth day according to the Law given through Moses. Lo and behold who arrives but an old man, full of years as Scripture would say, and awaiting God’s promise to him that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
Simeon then blessed them and turned to Mary with these words that would mark the Jesus way:
“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.”
God’s blessing comes in Jesus and it comes with the Jesus way. Jesus is the way not only to heaven, but he is the way, period. This is at the heart of what Christianity is all about and how it’s to be lived out in this world. It blesses the world, but only on God’s terms. The blessing is one that touches God’s creation, but brings it into new creation, in Jesus. It brings new life out of death by means of Christ’s death and resurrection.
This begins from God in Jesus than to us in Jesus for the world. We already are the salt of the earth, the light of the world through Jesus and God’s kingdom having come in him. We each need to do our part, humble though it is, both individually and together with others in Jesus. What we have in Jesus is done out in the open and for all. Lives lived out the same way everywhere, at every time and in every situation in the same way, the way of Jesus.
This would become personal for Mary, a sword would pierce right to the depths, her very soul (NLT). And the same goes for us who like her become followers of Jesus. Mary’s road was unique, yet it was the same kind of road that all followers of Jesus must tread. And this becomes daily for us, a way of life. But within the way that is destined to change the world, as we begin to experience that change for ourselves, and look to God to help others enter in.
(both passages from Luke 2; TNIV)