21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. 22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord" ), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons." 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." 33 The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. (Luke 2:21-33 NASB)Remember when they rebuilt the temple of God in Jerusalem? The temple was supposed to be God's house, where he lived with his people, and they went to meet with him. Only, God hadn't been in his temple for almost 400 years.
Then Mary and Joseph take their baby son to the temple to dedicate him to God, he was probably between 1 and 2 months old, and Simeon, an old prophet who has been waiting to see the sign of God's forgiveness picks up the child and says, "At last. He is come. Now I can die in peace."
Hundreds of people were probably there that day. Only 2 of them noticed the salvation of God entering the temple. Simeon, and an old woman named Anna, also full of God's spirit. Those two noticed. Those two saw. Those two spent their days looking, and all their time listening to God.
God's promise was fulfilled. He lived with his people again.
All that most people that day saw was a little baby, with 2 very poor parents, coming through the temple as thousands had done before.
It's a lot different from the cloud and thunder and fire of the first time isn't it?
Why do you suppose that is?
Why did Jesus come in secret, so only those who were looking could see him?
Do you remember what God told the prophet Samuel, when he was looking at David's brothers and thinking they must be the ones God had chosen, since they were handsome. He said, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
God was after hearts. He always has been. I think that has something to do with it.
When Isaiah the prophet talked about the one who was to come, the promised deliverer, he said this. "1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:1-4 NASB)God came, and very few knew him, because their hearts were not looking. "9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him." (John 1:9-11 NASB)
But Jesus did what he came to do anyway. He kept the promise. He acted out God's forgiveness here, in the history of our world. And because of him, you, me, everyone can have the breath of Life in them again if they say yes to it. As always, it didn't look anything like they expected it to. Do you know what happened?
Is your heart looking for Jesus? Do you see where God is working all around you? Have you tried listening and watching to see?