A prophetic event.
“Surely the LORD God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
The fact of Jesus’ birth was not meant to be a surprise. God told His prophets that a virgin would give birth to Immanuel which means “God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23) Israel’s Shepherd, the Messiah, would be born in Bethlehem of Judea. (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6; John 7:42) But WHEN remained a mystery to all but a few.
God’s secret counsel is revealed to His prophets, and Simeon was to be one of God’s first New Testament prophets. This righteous and devout man was looking for the promised comforter of Israel, God’s Messiah. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not die before seeing God’s Christ. Led by the Spirit Simeon came into the temple the day of Jesus’ circumcision and gave his blessing and this prophecy. (Luke 2:25-28)
“And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed – and a sword will pierce even your own soul – to the end that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.'” (Luke 2:34-35)
Born on Christmas Day, Jesus was appointed to be God’s means of reveling the hearts of men. He was assigned to be the reason for the fall and rise of many. Jesus would be the stumbling stone or corner-stone, the judge or justifier according to the thoughts of our hearts. Opposed to the point of being crucified His cross remains that sign. Christmas came first.
We have our various traditions and even different days that Christians call Christmas. For the next few posts reflecting on Christ’s birth should be meaningful. According to Simeon, Jesus was born to show us our hearts.