"Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed... to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2:34
This was Simeon's prophecy as he was holding the Baby Jesus, the Sto. Nino, in his hands. I omitted the insert "and you (to Mary), your own heart will be pierced", for this has been the focus of most of what I've heard regarding this prophecy.
For a carpenter's child to be the fall and rise of many in Israel, that must have sounded so incredible to the child's parents. They have lived their lives virtually anonymous, just ordinary folk, ordinary laborers. Yet their child is destined to cause such an upheaval! Sounds looney!
But not to Mary, for she has received the announcement from the Angel Gabriel. And neither to Joseph, either through Mary or through that dream of the angel. I could imagine that they received this prophecy with both pride and dread.
Jesus was destined to be a sign to be opposed, contradicted. Many will not believe his message of Good News, that the Kingdom or Reign of God is here and now! (His message was not that he was the son of God.) He will be opposed to the point of crucifixion and death.
And being the Truth himself, the knowledge of Him will 'lay bare the thoughts from many hearts." Truth is like light shining on something that used to be in darkness and secrecy. I could imagine how it was living during those times. Before Jesus, they couldn't tell or understand what was going on inside the hearts of people. Motivations for acts and behaviors seemed hard to comprehend, particularly for 'holy and righteous' persons like the Scribes and the Pharisees. They know the Law by heart so they must be living by it to the letter. They must be living their lives in love and compassion. Yet one couldn't be sure. Are they for real?
Jesus' life and message ultimately revealed who among them was pure of heart (for not all of them had selfish intentions.) He exposed them, without having to say anything. Their reactions and connivances against Him exposed themselves.
How do my own actions and behaviors reflect the light that is Jesus in my life? Hmmm.
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