And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
Christmas isn’t only immensely comforting, it’s also unapologetically confronting. How do you respond to the new born King? That is the most important question you can ever consider! Your actions reveal your response.
Simeon expressed and foretold Mary the nature of who Jesus is and what the results would be of His coming. In order to help us understand today’s verse, let’s bring in Paul who wrote: “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life” (2 Cor. 2:15-16). Jesus is either the best news (to those who are being saved) or He is the worst news (to those who are perishing). Either reality is dependent on our response to Him.
Jesus has been appointed for either our fall or rising. John stated that as follows: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). When we reject Jesus, we’ll continue to fall further away from God to our own detriment. On the other hand, when we receive Jesus, we’ll continue to rise to higher glory—forever and ever. Christmas isn’t just about a birth in Bethlehem; it’s about our eternal destiny.
He also foretold Mary in what way Jesus will be a fall or rise to many: His death on the cross. Our response to the cross is the determining factor of our fall or rise: “But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24). Is Jesus your stumbling block? Do you consider His birth, life, death, and resurrection foolishness? Or is He your salvation? The way you live reveals the thoughts of your heart.
The Devotional Writer