Jesus, The Savior
There once was a European monarch in the ancient world who worried his court by often disappearing, walking and living incognito amongst his people. When he was asked not to do that for security's sake, he answered, "I cannot rule my people, unless I know how they live." That is what we have here in the birth of our Lord. It is as if He is saying, "I cannot save My people, unless I become part of them and know how they live." Matthew says it like this, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated "God. with us." (Matthew 1:23)
This year we want to consider the time immediately following the birth of our Lord for our Advent or Christmas sermons. The events we consider in this series all occurred in about seven weeks after His birth.
The first section of this passage, which we consider this morning, deals with CIRCUMCISION, PURIFICATION, and PRESENTATION.
I. CIRCUMCISION (Verse 21)
In some translations this verse is a separate paragraph, since in the next section the scene shifts to Jerusalem. Circumcision was not done in the Temple. It was a family ritual done in the home or the community eight days after birth. Circumcision is an ancient ritual, but at the command of the Lord Israel used it for a most specific purpose.
Every Jewish boy was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. So sacred was that ceremony that it could be carried out even on a Sabbath when the Law forbid almost every other act, which was not absolutely essential.
Circumcision was the sign of God's covenant with the people of Israel. It is spelled out in Genesis 17:9-14. Note verses 10-11.
The child was named not at birth, but eight days after birth, and following His circumcision. No doubt He was crying after being circumcised, and the family, relatives, neighbors and friends would look at Him and say, "Oh, He looks like His Uncle John or His Cousin Mat ...
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