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Today’s Reading: Luke 2:21-40

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking 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 should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And inspired by the Spirit he came 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 andsaid, 29 “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” 33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; 34and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against 35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” 36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, 37 and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Today’s Commentary:

Every male . . . to the Lord: A paraphrase of Ex 13:2. It implies either that Jesus is consecrated as a priest or that he was purchased from the Levites by a redemption price of five shekels (Num 18:1516). Either way, Mary and Joseph fulfill the Law faithfully (2:22, 24, 27) and completely (2:39).

called holy: This fulfills the angel’s announcement in 1:35.

Jesus’ presentation parallels the OT dedication of Samuel, who was also taken by devout parents to the Temple (1 Sam 1:24-27). Since Samuel was offered to God to become a priest (1 Sam 1:11, 22), Luke may imply the same of Jesus’dedication.

Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis (Latin for “now dismiss”) extols the Child as the crown of God’s covenant promises.

The oracle is a tapestry of Isaian prophecy fulfilled in Jesus. First, Jesus embodies God’s salvation (2:30), recalling Is 40:5, 46:13, and 52:9-10. He is also a light shining to the Gentiles, evoking Is 42:6 and 49:6. As Messiah, Jesus is thecovenant representative who takes Israel’s vocation upon himself and completes the mission that was left unfulfilled at his coming, i.e., to pour out blessings on all nations.