Sunday 31 March 2019

Bible Book:

'This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed — and a sword will pierce your own soul too' (vs. 34-35)

Luke 2:33-35 Sunday 31 March 2019

Psalm: Psalm 34:11-20


We have jumped a bit in our reading of Luke since the beginning of last week. Today’s passage appears immediately after the ‘Nunc dimittis’ and contains the words of the elderly Simeon to Jesus’ parents, though he seems to address Mary only. He continues Mary’s theme in the ‘Magnificat’ of things being thrown into chaos and turned upside down – it is the authorities who will ultimately fall and those who have been oppressed who will rise.

The ‘sign’ is a feature of Jesus’ ministry, of his arguments with theologians and of his frustration with the distracted and demanding crowds. He refuses to offer anyone a sign, but everything points to him as the sign, as Simeon does here, just as the child Immanuel was, hundreds of years previously (see Matthew’s reference to Isaiah 7 in his own nativity story). As a ‘sign’ he was an irritant or a catalyst, it is in people’s reactions to him that ‘the inner thoughts of many will be revealed’, which inevitably comes with opposition, and a painful end. The Gospels have their roots in the Resurrection story, which must follow the path of disappointment and death.


To Ponder:

  • How do you handle opposition in your life and, perhaps, to your beliefs?
  • What sense do you have of the sadness, and death, which pervades and penetrates the Gospel story?
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