“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Luke 2:25-32 (NKJ)
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just 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 So he came by 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 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
The Bible says that there was a man, whose name was Simeon, a righteous and devout Israelite. He was a truly godly man, filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit led him to Jesus and he prophesied of the salvation of God through Him. He recognized the hand and the work of God in Jesus, the Messiah. Anna was a prophetess, who had served God with fasting and prayers in the temple for about 60 years. She saw Jesus in Simeon’s arms, heard his words and recognized Him as the Messiah, proclaiming Him to be the redeemer that God had promised (Luke 2:36-38).
The shepherds believed the angels, came to see Jesus the Messiah, and told everyone what the angels had declared to them – praising and glorifying God (Luke 2:8-20). The wise men from the East traveled many hundreds of miles to see and acknowledge the King of Kings, bowing down to worship Him and bestowing their wealth upon Him (Matthew 2:1-12).
Matthew 2:2 (NKJ)
2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
Even the centurion who was responsible for the execution of Jesus recognized Him as truly the Son of God.
Mark 15:39 (NKJ)
39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
The scribes, pharisees and chief priests did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, because they were religious, but they were not godly. They could not find anything wrong with Jesus, but they killed Him because of the unrepentant sin in their own hearts. The truth of His words cut them to the heart, but they refused to yield to God’s discipline.
Mark 15:31-32 (NKJ)
31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.
32 “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.
Will you recognize Jesus when He comes to you? Will you recognize the hand of God at work or will you oppose the move and the will of God? The state of your heart determines your viewpoint and opinion. Just as Jesus manifested Himself in the flesh for the first time, He comes to us today in the move of His Spirit. If we love Him and if our hearts remain humble before Him, we will recognize Him when He comes to us and we will acknowledge the move and the work of the Spirit in the earth today. The true meaning of Christmas is this – not that He came to us 2000 years ago, but that He is here with us today. Let us celebrate His presence today!