Someone said, ‘’If you just have the Word you will dry up; if you just have the Spirit you will blow up; but if you have the Word and the Spirit together you will grow up.’’
I am struck by the balance between the Word and the Spirit in today’s passage. Joseph and Mary were eager to perform what was prescribed in God’s Word. But we also encounter Simeon and Anna, who were truly ‘charismatic’ people. These two elderly individuals were living lives rooted in the Scriptures, but at the same time they were moving and speaking in the Holy Spirit. This is an important balance for all Christians to maintain. We must be obedient to the Bible and open to the Holy Spirit.
Here are some other thoughts from this part of Luke’s gospel:
- Joseph and Mary were devout and godly parents who, from the beginning, wanted to raise their child according to God’s Word. That is such a blessing. Mary and Joseph were poor. They couldn’t even afford to bring a lamb (24). But Jesus was blessed to have such God-honouring parents. (I have to add, though, that Mary and Joseph were presenting ‘’the Lamb of God’’, presumably without realising the fact). He, who owns everything, came to nothing. What humility on the part of Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:9);
- Consider the miracle of timing that the Holy Spirit moved Simeon and Anna to be in the right place at the right time. Here are two examples of ‘divine appointments’. A hidden life of worship and fasting may be preparing someone for one special moment (27, 38);
- Jesus is the hope of the world (29-32): Luke the Gentile is communicating that Jesus has come to save the Gentiles, not only Jews. (In every encounter with Mary thus far in this gospel there have been repeated affirmations of how special her baby is);
- Jesus is also a divider of people (34, 35; see also Matthew 10:34-36). The response to Jesus will split humanity in two. It will determine eternal destinies. It will also reveal hearts. Perhaps nothing exposes a person’s heart quite like how they react to Jesus;
- God mightily uses older people. Don’t think you are finished because you have a few decades behind you. Stay soaked in the Word and immersed in the Spirit, and always be ready for action. After Alan Redpath turned 70 he commented that he was now in ‘extra time’. But he said he realised that a goal scored in injury time could turn the game.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that there is no retirement age in the Kingdom of God.