Saturday, December 22, 2012


Today is the twenty-first day of Advent.  Our word for today is "Sign."

Luke 2:33 Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what Simeon had said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “God has chosen this child to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God that many people will not accept 35 so that the thoughts of many will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart sad, too.”(NCV)

When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple forty days after His birth, we have recorded some special words from the priest Simeon. He said that Jesus will be a "sign" ... a sign that many people will not accept... 

A sign is something that brings verification and points to someone or some thing.  When I sign my name to an official document it is verification that I really have entered into the contract.  Often to make my signature more convincing it requires another party called a Notary who witnesses the signing and then attaches their stamp and signature.  This will hold up in a court of law.

When traveling we depend on signs to get us where we are going.  It is important to know where we are going before we leave on a trip.  I once picked up a hitchhiker, and after he got into my car, I ask him where he was heading.  He very calmly ask me, "where are you headed?"  I told him and he quickly replied, "well that's where I'm heading."  If you do not know where you are going, you do not need a sign(any place will do,) but if you do know where you are going signs become very important. 

The Gospel of John records seven special miracles performed by Jesus Christ.  John specifically refers to these as "signs."  For instance, in John chapter 11 Jesus raises his friend Lazarus from the dead.  This sign can be interpreted this way:  Only God could raise a person from the dead; Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead; therefore Jesus must be God.  This sign, as spectacular as it was, still did not convince the religious leaders that Jesus was the true Messiah.

The Christ child in that manger 2000 years ago was a sign from God the Father.  It  was verification that God loved the world so much that He was willing to send His only son as heaven's missionary to bring us the good news of salvation.  It was a sign that Christ was God in the flesh.  It  was a sign that God would do what was necessary to make redemption available to lost humanity. 

John 3:16 “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him. 18 People who believe in God’s Son are not judged guilty. Those who do not believe have already been judged guilty, because they have not believed in God’s one and only Son. 19 They are judged by this fact: The Light has come into the world, but they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things. 20 All who do evil hate the light and will not come to the light, because it will show all the evil things they do. 21 But those who follow the true way come to the light, and it shows that the things they do were done through God.”(NCV)

Jesus continued to be a sign from God.  He pointed THE WAY to God:

John 14:5 Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. So how can we know the way?”  6 Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.(NCV)

Simeon's prophecy came true time and again.  Jesus is only a sign to those who are willing to truly believe:
Matthew 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law answered Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we want to see you work a miracle as a sign.”  39 Jesus answered, “Evil and sinful people are the ones who want to see a miracle for a sign. But no sign will be given to them, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 Jonah was in the stomach of the big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the grave three days and three nights.  The resurrection was the final and greatest sign of all.


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