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Who Do You Say That I Am?

Who Do You Say That I Am?

The birth of Jesus was a joyous occasion. It came at a time called the intertestamental period—between the last book in the Old Testament, Malachi, and the New Testament appearance of John the Baptist—commonly known as ‘400 years of silence’. But God was not absent. 

In Luke 2:25–35 is the account of Simeon. He was a righteous man who was on talking terms with the Holy Spirit, so much so that he was in the Temple at the exact time Mary and Joseph brought Jesus in to fulfil the ceremonial aspects of the Law. God had told Simeon that he would see the Messiah before he died. Simeon was not a priest or a prophet but a Jewish man who walked by the Spirit of God.

Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms and after glorifying God and stating why the baby had been born, he turned to Mary and said: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

Amidst the angelic announcements of the birth of the Messiah came Simeon’s prophetic insight as to the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ. Simeon’s prophecy points to the polarisation that Jesus Christ would bring. Rather than a line in the sand, he drew a blood line across history separating legal requirements from grace to come. But Jesus’ life was not just about grace. The predictions point to the division that would come between those who believe and enter into relationship with him and those who reject Jesus and his divinity.

Jesus asks each of us the same question today: ‘“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”’ (Matthew 15:16).

WORDS Vivienne Hill  |  ART Sam Coates

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