Jesus brings out the thoughts of our hearts – Christmas calls for a response to the birth of Jesus. Each heart decides what to do with him. How will we respond? As we reflect on Christmas and the birth of Jesus, what thoughts of our own hearts will be revealed?
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“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.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
The prophet Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel. Another way to say this is that he was waiting for the encouragement of Israel in the form of the promised Messiah. Jesus is the consolation and encouragement for the world. Not just for Israel, as we see Simeon refer to “a light for revelation to the Gentiles (non-Jews) and the glory of your people Israel.”
Jesus is our promised saviour. Simeon’s eyes saw the salvation of God in Jesus, and once he held Jesus, he told God that he could be dismissed in peace. His life was fulfilled in the beholding of the baby king.
In 1John 2:1 we see Jesus referred to as the advocate for us with Father God. This is a closely related word – advocate, consolation, encouragement – all refer to Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promise.
In Jesus, the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed, Simeon told Mary and Joseph. This is prophecy relating to the kind of life Jesus would live and the death he would die. As leaders rose and fell and many opposed Jesus while others followed, the thoughts of many hearts were revealed. Jesus brings the thoughts of our hearts to the surface – he demands a response to his identity as saviour. Each heart makes a decision about what to do with Jesus.
Of course, Mary and Joseph’s souls would be pierced as they had to witness Jesus’ trouble life as the saviour. We can only imagine how God the Father felt during Jesus’ life, as he watched his son live as a humble man in obedience to God’s plan for our reconciliation.
How will we respond to Jesus the saviour? As we reflect on Christmas and the birth of Jesus, what thoughts of our own hearts will be revealed?