The Testimony of Two Witnesses….
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon….,
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess…. (Read Luke 2:25:38)
Yesterday’s verse (Luke 1:68) told of Jesus’ Rite of Circumcision at the Temple on the eighth day of His life as required by the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12:3). In today’s reading thirty two additional days have elapsed and the Lord is now forty days old. Mary and Joseph have returned to the temple to fulfill the Rite of Presentation, also required by the Law (Numbers 13:3).
In our court system, for a case to be presented, there must be at least two witnesses, one for the prosecution and one for the defense. Our witnesses may be human or they may be evidential, like DNA or identifying fingerprints. Biblical Law required the testimony of at least two human witnesses to confirm anything as truth. Deuteronomy 19:15 says — by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.
Even at forty days of age, Jesus’ true identity was not unknown. Mary and Joseph had both been divinely informed. Even the unborn John and his mother Elizabeth knew. Zacharius knew, and when he regained speech, everyone within earshot also heard. The angels had told the shepherds, who had gone and found Jesus in Bethlehem. Surely, they told somebody about the most amazing night or their lives. Shepherds were known as notorious liars, ands their testimony was banned from court, so they may have been ignored. Magi knew, and were making their way to find Him.
Even as Mary and Joseph climbed the steps to the Temple Mount on that fortieth day to present Jesus to God, the Holy Spirit was at work. Simeon (his name in Hebrew was Shim-on, “he has heard”) was a devout and respected man at the Temple. His entire life he had been awaiting the fulfillment of a promise that the Holy Spirit had made him — And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. That’s a huge Word of Wisdom from God, and it is hard to imagine that Simeon’s friends at the Temple weren’t informed of this prophetic utterance. As Mary and Joseph were climbing the steps to the Temple Mount, so was Simeon. Scripture tells us — 27So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people….
Simeon was witness number one for the defense in a trial that would not begin in the Sanhedrin for another 33 ½ years.
The venerated Temple prophetess, Anna (her Hebrew name Chan-nah “Favor and Grace”) immediately appeared as Simeon concluded — coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Witness number two for the defense.
On that day, at the dwelling place of the Name of God, the one who has heard proclaimed that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, and favor and grace confirmed his testimony. But those to whom God had entrusted the dwelling place of His Name, comfortable in their positions and practice, disregarded the testimony.
Have you heard from God and had His message confirmed, but chosen to remain comfortable in your current position and practice?
In His Mighty Grip,