There is often more truth packed into a short pithy statement📄 than there is in an entire book 📘. Nuggets of gold 🔶 worth far more than libraries with many volumes 📗📘📙📒📓📕.
Word brokers📚 are a dime a dozen, but truth conveyors 🎯 are in short supply. Arrows that go directly deep into the head and heart of man.
There is an old adage that packs a double punch 👊👊! It simply but profoundly states:
“IT IS DARKEST ⚫ JUST BEFORE DAWN 🌒🌓🌔🌕!”
I have never measured the pre-dawn with a dark meter, nor have I measured the dawn with a light meter.
I do remember getting up in the early morning dark to go fishing 🐟 with my dear Dad. My it was dark, as he wanted to be at our favorite fishing hole before sun 🌞 up! I could barely see him in the front of the boat as I ran the motor!
I recall this one too,
“THE EARLY BIRD 🐦 GETS THE WORM 🐛.”
Dad strongly believed this:
“THE EARLY FISHERMAN GETS THE FISH 🐟.”
“IT IS DARKEST JUST BEFORE DAWN.”
I WOULD IMAGINE THAT PRE-DAWN DARKNESS IS THE MOST INTENSE 🌚, BECAUSE IN THE EARTH’S ROTATION AROUND THE SUN 🌞, WE ARE THEN THE FARTHEREST FROM THE POINT OF THE PREVIOUS DAYS LIGHT!
So it is stated:
“IT IS DARKEST 🌚 JUST BEFORE DAWN 🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕!”
A TWOFOLD TRUTH:
“THE OLD DAY MUST DIE DARK ⚫ FOR THE NEW DAY TO BE BIRTHED 🌞 BRIGHT!”
Every dark night and every bright morning is really a capsule of the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ:
“DYING 🌑 WITH CHRIST TO THE OLD SINFUL LIFE, AND BEING RAISED 🌕 WITH CHRIST TO THE NEW RIGHTEOUS LIFE!”
II Corinthians 5:17,
“IF ANY MAN IS IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION, OLD 🌑 THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY, BEHOLD ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW 🌕!”
We likewise see in the LIFE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST a powerful pattern that is unwavering! We must get a grip on it, for In Christ it is a pattern for us as well! It is too often unrecognized much to the harm of our own attitudes and lives.
The pattern is this:
“Wherever we read of weakness and darkness and sadness in the LIFE of Christ!, it is always soon followed by strength 💪 and brightness 🌅 and joy 🌞.”
The negative is conquered by the positive because light 🌕 is more powerful than darkness 🌑, good 😇 is more powerful than bad 😠, love 💓 is more powerful than hate 🌚, and God 🔵 is more powerful than Satan 😈!
Hear it in Christ:
“THE NEGATIVE 🚫 GIVES WAY TO THE POSITIVE ➕ ALWAYS!”
If you will:
“THE GOOD 🌕 HAS THE LAST WORD OVER THE BAD 🌑 – ALWAYS!”
If you will, as the old song puts it
“DAY IS DYING IN THE WEST,
HEAVEN IS TOUCHING EARTH WITH REST, WAIT AND WORSHIP WHILE THE NIGHT, CASTS HER EVENING LAMPS ALIGHT, ALL THROUGH THE SKY.”
There must be a DYING for there to be a LIVING! There must be a SUN SETTING 🌔🌓🌒🌑 for there to be a SUN RISING 🌘🌗🌖🌕!
Wait on the Lord 🔵and worship Him 🙌, FOR THE NEW DAY OF BRIGHTNESS 🌅 WILL DAWN!
It is wonderful:
“GET UP BEFORE 🌞 SUNRISE, AND BE REFRESHED BY HOW MUCH THE FORMER DARKNESS GIVES YOU A GREATER APPRECIATION FOR THE NEW MORNING LIGHT! ”
2. EIGHT DAYS TO PAIN 💢 AND BLOOD 🔴 AND CRYING 😢
As far as we can tell, there never was an upgrade in accommodations for the young couple MARY AND JOSEPH and their newly born baby boy 🚼.
Many of us WON’T be caught dead in a MOTEL 6, even though they do leave the light 💡 on for us. Nothing came open in the BETHLEHEM INN, so baby 👶Jesus with his parents stayed in COW SHED 1.
Nothing is told to us about the baby’s first week on earth 🌎! Mother Mary wrapped her baby 👶 boy in SWADDLING CLOTHES, which were nothing more than crude cloths and rags that Joseph and Mary could find! The SON OF GOD looking like a little RAGAMUFFIN 🙈!
(Far, far, far down from the ROYAL ROBES IN THE THRONE ROOM OF HEAVEN!)
I am afraid:
“THAT HIS CONDESCENSIONS TO US IN BETHLEHEM’S BARN STALL, HAVE TAKEN AWAY OUR HIGHEST HONORS TO HIM IN HEAVEN’S THRONE ROOM AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER.”
Sweet little Jesus boy in the BARN BUNK is where most people prefer to stop in their ideas of Jesus. Causing us to treat Jesus lower than the respect of an earthly judge or even our dearest friend!
Bonding between mother 👩 and son 👶went way beyond nursing and diapers and bathing and singing to sleep!
All that the ANGEL GABRIEL and the ANGEL- VISITED SHEPHERDS had told Mary about her virgin born son was spinning around in her head! The pondering ❔❓❕would escalate at every turn for 33 years!
Then we read something very Jewish and very painful and very bloody! Like 2:21 tells us,
“WHEN THE EIGHT DAYS WERE ACCOMPLISHED FOR CIRCUMCISION, HIS NAME WAS CALLED JESUS, WHICH IS THE NAME THE ANGEL HAD GIVEN HIM BEFORE HE WAS CONCEIVED.”
Wait just a minute here! What is going on in the BARN BUNK? Do we realize that we are dealing with GOD IN THE FLESH HERE!? This is the GOD 🔵 MAN! This is the GOD 🔵 BABY 🚼!
A. How could things go from low to lower so fast? How could the ETERNAL GOD 🔵 IN THE FLESH BE BOUND BY AN 8 DAY SCHEDULE? DO YOU REALIZE THAT HE HAS SPLIT ALL OF HISTORY IN HALF? BC and AD!
HE IS ABOVE TIME, NOT AT ALL CONTROLLED BY IT? FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING THOU ART GOD! PUT YOUR HUMAN CALENDAR 📅 AWAY! IT IS IRRELEVANT THAT 8 DAYS HAVE COME AND GONE! THIS IS THE EVERLASTING ONE!
B. How could GOD 🔵WHO IS PURE SPIRIT HAVE SURGERY DONE TO HIS MALE SEXUAL ORGAN? YOU SURELY DON’T CIRCUMCISE GOD! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? HOW DARE YOU SUBJECT GOD 🔵 IN THE FLESH TO SUCH A BLOODY, GORY THING?
GET YOUR BLASPHEMOUS HANDS OFF FROM HIM! REMEMBER UZZAH WHO TOUCHED THE ARK OF THE COVENANT! NOW YOU ARE SLICING UP THE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT! THIS IS APPALING!
C. How could the EVERLASTING GOD 🔵GET A NAME CHANGE? THE GREAT AND ALMIGHTY ELOHIM DOESN’T UNDERGO CHANGE OF ANY KIND. HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER.
YOU SHALL NOT TAMPER WITH HIS HOLY NAME! YOU SHALL NOT TAKE HIS NAME IN VAIN, LET ALONE CHANGE IT OR ADD TO IT!
Things seem to be going from BAD TO WORSE HERE IN THE BARN ⛺NURSERY! LEAVE THE GOD 🔵 👶BABY ALONE AND SHOW SOME RESPECT!
CIRCUMCISION was “A Divinely Instituted Jewish Law” from the time of Abraham (Genesisc17) that Jewish baby boys 👶👶👶at 8 days old be circumcised in the foreskins of their penises.
Jesus is a Jewish baby born from the womb of His Jewish mother Mary👩. He is the SEED OF ABRAHAM, as Hebrews 2:16 states,
“FOR VERILY HE DID NOT TAKE ON HIMSELF THE NATURE OF ANGELS, BUT TOOK ON HIMSELF THE SEED OF ABRAHAM.”
Jesus could have taken on angel-ness and died for fallen angels! But He chose to take on humanness to die for us humans.
And not just human-ness, but JEWISH HUMANESS! He chose to become the SEED of Abraham, for they were God’s 🔵 covenant people!
Any Jewish male baby 🚼 not circumcised would be cut off from God 🔵 and His covenant people. This was not optional but obligatory!
It was not a MEDICAL 🚑 BUT A SPIRITUAL ⛪ CEREMONY ordered by the Lord. It basically meant two holy realities:
1. It was the blood 🔴 covenant sign that they belonged to Jehovah God 🔵, and that Jehovah God belonged to them. It was the HOLY BLOOD COVENANT BOND THAT THEY BELONGED TO EACH OTHER! Bound to each other by blood 🔴 covenant!
2. It was also the sign in the reproductive organ that they were to multiply and fill the earth 🌎 with GOD’S CHOSEN JEWISH PEOPLE like the sands of the seas 🌊 and the stars ✨ of the heavens! (Genesis 22) And in them all the nations on the earth would be blessed! God’s plan for the earth 🌎 was through Jewish lineage. The Son Of God 🔵 honored God’s 🔵 Jewish purpose.
Joseph 👨 and Mary 👩, being devout Jewish parents in this entirely transcendent holy conception and birth, yet now must carry out the 8th DAY SACRED PRACTICE in their baby 🚼 boy’s week old life! They have no choice.
Yes, it is conjecture on my part, but I believe that Joseph now takes a sharp knife 🔪 and circumcises his miracle baby 🚼 son. It was a painful and bloody and squalling event commanded by God! I
Things are looking and sounding bleak in COW SHED 1!
Luke 2:21 goes on to say,
“THEY NOW CALLED HIS NAME JESUS, WHICH NAME WAS GIVEN HIM BEFORE HE WAS CONCEIVED.”
The Angel Gabriel had told Mary 👩 that she was to name her Son “JESUS”:
“FOR HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.”
Mother Mary 👩, even at her young age, must have sensed the baby that the Holy Spirit would conceive within her wouldn’t really belong to her! Even His name came SPECIAL DELIVERY FROM HEAVEN! They were not allowed to name their own baby 👶 son. Every single thing about Him was SPECIAL DELIVERY.
It was kept silent until now! They call Him JESUS for the first time at His circumcision! Conceived by God! Marked by God! Named by God! Owned by God!
It was a NAME CEREMONY therefore as well! His name is now settled as official. Jesus means SAVIOR or GOD SAVES!
He looks and acts like any circumcised Jewish baby 🚼 boy! But His name is as big as the world 🌎 of sinners for which He shall die! Who can begin to take it all in 😲?
JUST TO NOTE SOMETHING NOT OFTEN NOTED! This is the first time that SPOTLESS, PURE, PERFECT, FLAWLESS HUMAN BLOOD 🔴 HAS BEEN SHED ON EARTH!
It in fact was more PROPHETIC THAN CEREMONIAL! It is the blood 🔴 that the entire human race desperately needs. It was and is THE PERFECT BLOOD MATCH FOR IMPERFECT PEOPLE!
Already we can hear the words of John the Baptist in John 1:29,
“BEHOLD THE LAMB 🐑 OF GOD 🔴 THAT TAKETH AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD!”
Little did Joseph understand the blood 🔴 that he had just shed! It in fact was and is the FIRST AND ONLY CIRCUMCISION HEARD AROUND THE WORLD!
Anissa Ayala in her young life fell victim to a vicious and potentially terminal leukemia. All that could be done was being done – CHEMOTHERAPY AND RADIATION!
Neither were stemming the deadly tide in her bloodstream. What was needed as a last possible measure was a BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT. But there was no match available along with other mandatory factors in her family! The search went on to no avail.
Her parents prayerfully decided to have another baby🚼. If only Anissa could hold on that long! Mom became pregnant and the long, uncertain wait stretched out endlessly!
Finally Marissa Ayala was born! In time she proved to be a perfect match 👥. When it was determined that it was safe for little Marissa to give her bone marrow to sister Anissa the procedure was carried out!
The Lord blessed and healed Anissa, and both sisters went on to live normal healthy lives. A miracle of God’s 🔵 amazing grace!
ONE OF OUR OWN HAS BEEN BORN WITH PERFECT BLOOD 🔴 TYPE TO HEAL WHAT IS KILLING THE HUMAN RACE – SIN!
OLD SIMEON EXALTS HIS LORD AND SAVIOR
Time ⏰ neither passes slowly⏳ nor quickly ⌛for Joseph and Mary 🚻these days! In fact, if anything, time seems to stand still 🕛🕛🕛 in the mystery and wonder of it all!
In fact, time 🔢 seems irrelevant, as this entire miracle has been so filled with angels 👼 and signs 😳and wonders 😲 in Heaven’s 🆙 all pervasive intervention. Mary no doubt finds herself floating somewhere between Heaven and earth at times:
A. Angel 👼 Gabriel telling her she shall be impregnated by the Holy Spirit 💭. Joseph will have nothing to do with it! What young girl ever tried that as an explanation for her expanding tummy? Who ever even heard of such a thing?
Oh there will be those who will say to her, “It is a great sin to report lies, but even a greater sin to believe them.” And yet Mary told the angel that she wanted it to be done to her according to his word! times
She could have asked a bunch of questions! She didn’t, for who was she to inquire into the secrecies of God’s 🔵 actions? All that she asked was, “How can this be, seeing I know not a man?” As God’s servant, she will accept the jabs that will come for her obedience to God.
B. Gabriel 👼telling her she shall be the mother of Him Who shall be called THE SON OF THE MOST HIGH! Not called the Son of Joseph, not called the Son of Mary! She thought, “How can someone as low as me give birth to a son who is as HIGH AS GOD 🔵?
MOST HIGH – MOST HIGH – MOST HIGH – no doubt reverberated in her heart! She knew that she was not giving her approval. Why? You don’t give your approval to the MOST HIGH, because the MOST HIGH DOESN’T NEED IT! He is His own approval!
C. Elizabeth telling Mary that she is carrying Elizabeth’s Lord 🔵 in her womb! The LORD GOD IN MY WOMB!? Can you hold the entire ocean in your mouth? Can you hold the planets in your hand? Can you hold the blood of all humanity in your heart?
Those were no doubt some of the feelings that flooded her soul! More questions than there were answers. And she would no doubt think about it with wonder and joy to her dying day!
Elizabeth’s son in her womb does back flips when pregnant Mary enters the room with the Lord in her womb! Could she begin to fathom that the Son of God in her womb was turning Elizabeth’s womb into a trampoline?
All of this kept Mary in dazzled wonder 🌌 with her feet 👣 barely touching the earth. And so humbled that she should be so favored by the Lord!
Mary’s 👩 time of purification is now complete. The Jewish Law requires 40 days to pass after a woman gave birth and released blood and amniotic fluid. Until the 40 days had elapsed, the mother was considered unclean and could not go into the temple ⛪. She was in physical quarantine. Only God 🔵 knows where they lived during those 40 days and nights.
Was she having second thoughts? Was she having doubts? The # 40 in the Bible does not have easy connotations but rather hard! It is not a positive ➕ number, but rather negative ➖! In the great flood judgment, it rained ☔ for 40 days and 40 nights! In the wilderness the children of Israel had to wander for 40 years as punishment for their complaining and murmuring! Mary was ostracized 🙆 for 40 days with her son and husband for she was impure.
But now she with Joseph can go to church 🏰 in Jerusalem for BABY👶DEDICATION. Special day indeed for the young father 🚹 and mother 🚺 to present their son 🚼 in consecration to God!
You know how it is, a most Happy and Holy Time of celebration and commitment, as parents holding up their child before the Lord vow to walk 👣 with God 🔵 through life in righteousness and holiness!
Think of it, the only totally innocent, virtuous, and pure child to ever be presented to God in baby dedication! They all look so perfect and angelic👼, but looks are deceiving. But not in this 5 week old 🚼 baby! Their is not one sinful bent of mind or inclination of heart
Then something supernatural happens in the Temple! Why not? The entire incarnation of the Son of God has been miraculous from beginning to end! Why change now?
There was a man 🚹 who lived in Jerusalem whose name was SIMEON. He was righteous and totally devoted to God!
I think that I know Simeon! The type of man who is in the Temple every time the doors are open! God 🔵 was his whole life, with the Holy Spirit 🔵 heavy on him and powerful in him!
Simeon was waiting for the coming of Messiah, and the Holy Spirit had promised him that he would not die 💀 until THE LORD’S CHRIST HAD COME! He was waiting for how long no one knows.
When Joseph and Mary 🚻 and baby 🚼 JESUS came into the Temple, just like that out of nowhere, Simeon came to them, took the baby in His arms, and began to praise God in Like 2:29-31,
“SOVEREIGN LORD, AS YOU HAVE PROMISED, YOU NOW DISMISS YOUR SERVANT IN PEACE!”
“FOR MY EYES 👀 HAVE SEEN YOUR SALVATION 👶, WHICH YOU HAVE PREPARED IN THE SIGHT OF ALL THE PEOPLE,”
“A LIGHT💡FOR REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, AND FOR GLORY 💫 TO YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL.”
I can see the wonder and shock on the faces of Mary and Joseph! They don’t know Simeon from Adam! And yet everything he now says to God with baby Jesus kidnapped in His arms is but an echo of what the ANGELS HAD PROPHESIED TO Joseph and Mary!
It was the POSITIVE DES JA VUE that Mary and Joseph needed! It was like Simeon was another angel sent from God 🔵 to confirm everything. The Holy Spirit Who had impregnated Mary’s womb with Simeon’s Messiah now impregnated her spirit with peace and assurance!
Simeon says holding Jesus,
“YOU DID THIS SOVEREIGN LORD, YOU DID IT FOR EVERYONE TO SEE, YOU HID IT FROM NO ONE, FOR EVERYONE’S SALVATION 👶 HAS COME!”
Meanwhile, the reason for all the excitement in the Temple is fast asleep 😴. He has no more fear of losing His life, than He has fear of losing His mother’s breast. AMEN!