([A]nd a sword will pierce via your personal soul also), so that thoughts from lots of hearts may possibly be revealed.”
— Luke two:35
Oftentimes our joy comes in strategies we do not anticipate. In the days of Jesus, the folks of Israel have been incredibly considerably waiting on the arrival of the Messiah. They looked forward with eager expectation and zealous hope for the day the promised a single would jump on the scene, overthrow the Roman oppressors, and reestablish God’s tangible kingdom on earth. The dominant vision for this deliverance involved the use of stallions and swords. But then the King lastly does come. And he is riding on a donkey. There are no swords in the air, but rather palm branches. But the kingdom of God was not coming to bear any significantly less in this peaceable rebellion.
When the blind Simeon lastly saw the salvation of Israel, he was not beholding some muscular warrior armed for battle. He was holding up a infant. And however the salvation this infant carried was no significantly less potent, no significantly less vindicating, no significantly less revolutionary. In truth, by coming as a infant, by coming in humility and low estate, by coming to serve and to teach and at some point to die, Jesus brought an even a lot more dramatic rebellion than if he’d come with the zealot’s warfare.
Simeon declares the kid Jesus “a glory to your folks Israel,” but also “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Lk. two:32). He brings a salvation that God has ready “in the presence of all peoples” (v.31). This was no Program B. This was not some unexpected twist in God’s covenant story. What Paul calls the “grafting in” of the Gentiles was forecast as aspect of God’s redemptive purposes all through the Old Testament prophecies. And now that Christ has come, he is placing the strategy into impact.
Christ’s function, then, frustrates the Gentiles’ search for glory apart from the God of Israel and unravels the Jews’ search for glory apart from the inclusion of the Gentiles. Christ has not come to overthrow physical kingdoms – at least, not however – but to overthrow spiritual ones, the toughest ones to overthrow. Simeon promises “a sword via the soul” (v.35).
What’s in your soul that the gospel ought to run a sword via? Are you browsing for pleasure and which means in strategies contrary to God’s strategy? Are you attempting to create the story of your personal glory with your life? Are there locations of stubborn sin you have however to attack with the energy of Christ’s grace?
We attempt and attempt and attempt. We assume the finest answer to our undesirable behavior is attempting to appear very good. We’re allergic to searching un-hard. But hope and joy comes in unexpected strategies. It is leaning on the completed function of Christ that lastly undoes our desires for fulfillment apart from him. As Simeon, could inform you, not even religion can do that.