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Preparing the Way of the Lord

Luke 2

Luke 2

The birth of Jesus the Christ [Hebrew: Yeshua; Salvation]

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

Since most people went up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles [which was at the end of the main harvest], that would have been the most convenient time for the taxing.

2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

Jesus is born

2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The angelic announcement to the shepherds in the fields

2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The shepherds then sought out the child in haste.

2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

After finding the child the shepherds began to tell everyone of what they had seen.

2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

The people wondered what these things could mean as did Mary herself.

2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Jesus [Hebrew: Yeshua; Salvation] was circumcised on the eighth day; which commandment and example we should follow by circumcising our male children on the eighth day.  [Paul was speaking only of adult converts as being already circumcised in heart, and was NOT speaking of new born males.]

2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS [Luke is writing in Greek for the Greeks. In his own Hebrew language the child was called Yeshua, meaning “Our Salvation”], which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Leviticus 12 is about things associated with childbirth

Leviticus 12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

We are commanded to circumcise our sons on the eighth day of their life. The eighth day represents a new beginning.

Circumcision removes a piece of skin covering a most sensitive area and is an allegory of the removal of the sin that separates people from God, making people sensitive to the whole Word of God.

Physical circumcision is an allegory of the spiritual circumcision of the heart which is sincere repentance 

Jeremiah 4:4  Circumcise yourselves to the Lord [sincerely repent], and take away the foreskins of your heart [remove the sin which separates us from God], ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Circumcision of the flesh is an allegory of circumcision of the heart which is the sincere repentance which truly reconciles all humanity to God the Father.

Circumcision pictures the Eighth Day Feast [after the Feast of Tabernacles] representing all humanity being harvested and changed to spirit, going forward into eternity with God the Father, sensitive to and living by every Word of God.

Leviticus 12:3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

Paul tells us that adult converts need not be circumcised for they are already circumcised in heart; that in no way obviates the command to circumcise our male children on the eighth day; as they are not circumcised in heart. We are to circumcise all of our male children on their eighth ay of life.

Seclusion of mother and child

After the first seven days the mother must remain in seclusion for another 33 days making the total of 40 days. The forty days being the period of purifying before entering the presence of God [the tabernacle, temple or any holy place].

Let me also say that such a seclusion is of great benefit to the mother and child; giving them time in a close family home environment to bond and to recover from the birth and develop immunity to disease. Breast feeding is highly important for this bonding and natural immunization process.

One should never allow the child to be artificially immunized by physicians since this is known to cause autism and a variety of other issues like SIDS; and  baby formulas should be avoided unless the mother cannot nurse; then the first choice should be a converted wet nurse [with a biblical diet] and not formula. 

Commercial prepared baby foods which are high in starch and preservatives [a ticking time bomb for future diabetes] should also be avoided.

12:4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.

If the child is female the mother’s separation shall be double that of a male child

12:5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six [66] days.

66 days plus two weeks is 80 days.

We make these specified sacrificial offerings today, by going to God the Father in prayer and asking that the sacrifice of Christ be applied to us and to the child, setting apart the child through our faithfulness, and asking for an understanding of these things.

A sin offering for the shed blood; which goes back to Eden where sin and bloodshed entered the world and a burden was placed on women for that sin, as a perpetual reminder of sin (Gen 3:16); the sin offering for the mother, being the application of Christ’s sacrifice for the repentant obedient woman. And a burnt offering to demonstrate the wholehearted faithful service to God the Father and Jesus Christ and those of like-mind.

For the woman is commanded to reproduce, and childbearing is a great service to God the Father, for a woman gave birth to Messiah the Christ, the Deliverer of humanity.

12:6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: 12:7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.

Today the new mother and child are to be separated from public exposure for the required number of days; besides the spiritual meaning, this protects the health of mother and child, facilitates bonding and allows the mother recovery time from her pregnancy. This law is a law of mercy for women and newborns.

No sacrifice can be made today, because there is no longer a physical Temple; we therefore go to the heavenly Father in prayer, asking to be purified by the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The spiritual meaning of the period of exclusion is this. The forty days of uncleanness represents the period of testing, preparation and cleansing for entering the physical Temple. 

As it rained for forty days in the days of Noah, to cleanse the earth of sin; Moses fasted forty days to enter the presence of the Creator, and Jesus fasted and was tried for forty days before entering his ministry.

Because by woman sin entered the world, the purification for a female child is double the male.

This law is to emphasize to us that we must become pure from all uncleanness and sin to enter the spiritual Temple of God.

Simeon received his promise from God that he would see the Messiah in his lifetime.

Luke 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Simeon the aged, inspired by God’s Spirit blessed the child.

2:27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,2:28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 2:29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 2:31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Joseph and Mary again marveled at all the wondrous things surrounding the child.

2:33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Anna also prophesied of the child. Anna having been married [the average age of marriage then was about 14 for a female].  Let us say as a supposition that Anna married at 16 and was married for seven years, or until age 23; after which she was a widow for 84 years, to total about 107 years old.  While 16 may be wrong, it would be close to the minimum age of her marriage.

2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 2:38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

They kept every word of the whole law. Those who say that God’s Word cannot be kept are ignorant knowing nothing; for the scripture speaks of many who DID live by every Word of God and were faithful to God.

At this point Luke skips over and leaves out the flight into Egypt which is found in Matthew. Luke was the last Gospel written and Luke was probably trying to add what the others neglected to write; so that the four Gospels together would present a comprehensive account when studied TOGETHER.

2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Every year they went to Jerusalem for the Passover and would have remained for the Passover and kept the full seven days of Unleavened Bread as God commands; and which the Ekklesia turned away from in the late 60’s.

Luke 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover [and for the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread]. 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

2:43 And when they had fulfilled the days [days plural, the Passover and the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Deu 16:16)], as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 2:44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 2:45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

The child of twelve, who would have had the six year basic education in the local synagogue school, surprised the Doctors of the Word in Jerusalem, at his level of learning and understanding.  Doubtless they thought that here was a future rabbi in their midst. Later Jesus would have continued to study with the best of the doctors of the scriptures as be prepared for his ministry.

2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 2:47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

2:48 And when they saw [found] him, they were amazed [surprised]: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 2:50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

2:51 And he [obeyed them and] went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

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