Jesus, the litmus test – Luke 2:34-35
Scripture reading for this week: Luke 2:22-40
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 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35)
Reading this prophecy that Simeon spoke to Mary reminds of Jesus’ statement in Matthew 10:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)
What Jesus is saying is that the gospel message brings a person to a decision point: You must wither accept Jesus for who He is, which means devoting your entire life to Him, or you must reject Him. There is no middle ground, no safe zone.
The 2016 Presidential race is starting up, and one of the candidates received criticism for not taking a position on a particular piece of legislation. I’m sure the candidate has a position, and they’ll eventually make that position known. But their position will be revealed when it’s convenient to them. For now, they want to remain in the “safe zone,” and hopefully avoid controversy.
Simeon’s prophecy is revealing a truth about Jesus: You cannot be ambivalent towards the Lord Jesus Christ. We must either embrace Him, or reject Him. We must either acknowledge Him, or deny Him. Jesus taught in Luke 12:
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9)
You could say that Jesus is the litmus test for where a person’s heart is. It’s one thing to “believe in God,” its another thing entirely to “follow Jesus Christ.”
We can save the world, one life at a time…