“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own cityNazareth. 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Luke 2:25-40 KJV
It is easy for most people to look back today at the life of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and recognize and worship Him for who He is – the spotless Lamb of God – but when He was just a baby it was not so easy. When He grew up and walked and talked among them – it was not so easy. He looked like them and they thought that He was one of them. It is true that He was a man – but He was definitely not just a man! He was God in the body of a man, come to heal all those who were oppressed of the devil and sent to die for all men, to reconcile them to the Father.
People have a tendency to form set opinions and ideas of how things are and how they should be and then get stuck in a rut of ignorance and arrogance – they are not open to anything that is different from the way that they have decided that it is. We must realize that we are not perfect, we don’t know everything and we have a lot to learn. We should keep our heart open and humble, and then perhaps we will actually be able to receive from the Spirit of God and we will be able to adapt ourselves to Him, instead of expecting Him to change to suit us!
The Pharisees, at the time of Jesus, were arrogant, opinionated, and loved having the respect and admiration of the people. They thought that their knowledge and position made them better than anyone else. They refused to accept Jesus or to listen to Him even though they could not deny the anointing of God on His life and the power of God that flowed through His life. It was the ordinary, humble people, who did not think more highly of themselves than they ought, who recognized Jesus as a Man of God. Even then, many of them, who worshipped Him and looked to Him to heal them and provide for them, turned their back on Him in His hour of persecution.
Even though God had revealed to his people that the Messiah was coming, they all had their own opinion on Who He was and what He would do and many of them weren’t open to receive the One whom God had sent. Thank God for men and women like Simeon and Anna, who were wise enough and humble enough to recognize the Messiah when He arrived. Thank God for the shepherds who believed the angel, and the wise men who followed the star, looking for the One who had been born to save the world.
We must open our eyes and see that God is moving in the earth today and Jesus is still doing miracles today. We must be wise enough to recognize His hand and to receive His work in our life. The first thing we must do is to recognize Him as the Savior of all mankind and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior. Then we must recognize and receive Him as our Healer, our Deliverer, and our Provider. We must expect miracles and the supernatural. We must keep a humble heart and be open to all that He has for us. Let us recognize Him this Christmas season and let us honor Him by inviting Him to have His way in our hearts and our lives.