Luke 2:33-35 (MSG) Jesus' father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother, “This child marks both the failure and the recovery of many in Israel, A figure misunderstood and contradicted—the pain of a sword-thrust through you—But the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are.”
Simeon was an old man who had received the promise that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. He followed the leading of the Spirit to the temple and knew this baby would be the One to bring salvation and be a “God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations, and of glory for your people Israel.” This blessing brought great joy to the young parents, but did they truly hear his caution of the pain that would come upon them because of His mission? To witness parents who lose a child is heart-wrenching. The description of a sword thrust through them seems to be fitting. We know the sacrifice Jesus made for our salvation was incomprehensible. However, imaging the pain of Mary and Joseph should also bring us pause. The baby they accepted as a great mission from God was also their precious boy. Joseph had probably passed on by the time the hardest parts of Jesus’ ministry began.For Mary to watch –especially without Joseph– the rejection, pain and horrific death He endured must have made her question why. Often, the path God has for some is painful. In many cases, it’s as difficult for those who love the one on the mission to witness the pain. Be sensitive to those who are enduring great hardships for the cause of Christ – and also remember those who love them. The biggest question we must ask today is are we doing anything that is really sacrificial for Christ today? If the answer is no, maybe we need to spend some time seeking guidance from the Spirit. Jesus never promised His followers an easy life-quite the contrary. Examine your mission plan and ask God to use you, despite how challenging it may be. The end result will surely be worth the pain!
Father, I know You must have more in mind for me to do for Your Kingdom than I am currently doing. Reveal Your plan, but not without the courage and strength I need to execute. Without You, I am a miserable failure. I love You! Amen