My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation

luke 2_30–32 [widescreen]

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading, which is below. Please be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along as we read through the Life of Christ in 2019.

Reading the Word

Luke 2:21–38 (ESV)

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

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Good News of Great Joy

white sheep on farm

Photo by kailash kumar on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Luke 2:8–20 (ESV)

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Yesterday we read how Jesus was placed into a manger, which is an animal feeding trough, when he was born. Such an amazing thing to think that the King of kings, the Creator of all things, would enter into the world in such a humble way.

Today, we read of the birth announcement. Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah promised in the Old Testament Scriptures. The Jewish people had been waiting for hundreds of years for his arrival. So, when he does arrive we expect it to be a grand occasion! What we get is an angel appearing to a few shepherds out in a field nearby. The angel makes sense, but why these lowly shepherds?

Jesus was a Savior for all people. He did not come just for the rich or the powerful or the social elite. As the angel said, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all of the people.” The birth of Jesus was good news for everyone, including the shepherds. It was good news for you and for me. And it is good news for all who will turn to Jesus as Savior. Let us do as the shepherds did: let us tell the world of Jesus and give glory and praise to God for all we have seen and heard.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We are reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.

What Is Man?

Paper Christmas Title

 

Reading the Word

Psalm 144:1–8 (ESV)

1 Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
2 he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.

3 O LORD, what is man that you regard him,
or the son of man that you think of him?
4 Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.

5 Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down!
Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
6 Flash forth the lightning and scatter them;
send out your arrows and rout them!
7 Stretch out your hand from on high;
rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,
from the hand of foreigners,
8 whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses, David gives credit to God for his strength and military successes. It is only because of God that David has accomplished all that he has. In verses 5-8, David once again calls on God to come to his assistance.

In verses 3-4, we find David asking an important question: “O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him?” In other words, why does God care about mankind? In the vast scheme of all of creation, why does God take interest in the affairs of humanity. We are so small and seemingly insignificant!

Have you ever wondered about this? Why does God care so much about us? Christmas is a wonderful time to think about this. After all, this is the season when we remember and celebrate the incarnation. God came into the world as man. This is amazing in and of itself, but when we also consider that Jesus gave up his life for the salvation of mankind, it is truly a cause for wonder and worship. God entered the world and died to save mankind from our sin. What is man, O Lord, that you regard him? As the great hymn asks:

What wondrous love is this,
O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse
for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

**Want to read the Bible every day? Be sure to subscribe to this page and follow along! We are currently reading through the Book of Psalms. In 2019, we will focus on the Life of Christ for our daily readings.