hard rock savior

Notes on Luke 2:34-35

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.”

+ Jesus was not destined to be a star athlete, talented musician, gifted scholar, or dynamic leader. Nor was he destined to be a master craftsman or domesticated clergyman. From infancy he was destined to be a hard-rock prophet among deeply religious people.

+ Jesus was, and is, and will be a polarizing figure. He was destined to be a stone of offense and rock of stumbling to some; and as a sanctuary to others. (Luke 2:34-35; cp Isa 8:18)

+ Jesus was not appointed to save every single person no matter what. He is the living stone that was appointed to make some fall down and others rise up. Those who stumble on him will be broken to pieces; and the ones on whom he falls will be crushed. But the ones for whom he is crushed will be mended; and those who stand on him will never fall. Those who believe on him will be honored; but those who do not believe will be put to shame. (Luke 2:34-35; cp Isa 8:18; Mat 21:44; 1 Pet 2:6-8)

+ Jesus was destined to be sign that was spoken against, so that pensive, doubting, fearful thoughts might be revealed from many hearts. (Luke 2:35 cp Luke 5:22; 6:8; 9:46-47; 24:38)

Simeon told Mary that her child Jesus was appointed for a mission. The Greek word for appointed (keimai) also means destined, set, or laid. The same word appears in the birth and death narratives.

Upon Jesus’ birth the angels told the shepherds to look for a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and laying (keimai) in a manger (2:12, 16).

Upon his death the body of Jesus was taken down from the cross, wrapped in a linen shroud, and laid in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid (keimai) (23:53).

As Simeon prophesied: Jesus was laid as the cornerstone; he was destined for the falling and rising, the death and life, of many in Israel.


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