Morning Reading for January 20

Luke 2:21-24
Suggested further reading: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Our Lord rendered obedience as an infant to the Jewish law by being circumcised on the eighth day (v. 21). Our Lord's circumcision was a public testimony to Israel that, according to the flesh, he was a Jew, made of a Jewish woman and made under the law (Gal. 4:4). Without it he could never have fulfilled the law's requirements. Without it he could never have been recognized as the son of David and the seed of Abraham. Let us remember that circumcision was absolutely necessary before our Lord could be heard as a teacher in Israel. Without it he could have no place in any lawful Jewish assembly and no right to any Jewish ordinance. Without it he would have been regarded by all Jews as nothing better than an uncircumcised Gentile and an apostate from the faith of the fathers.

Let our Lord's submission to an ordinance that he did not need for himself be a lesson to us in our daily life. Let us endure much rather than increase the offence of the gospel or hinder in any way the cause of God. Paul walked very closely in the footsteps of his Master and his words deserve pondering (1 Cor. 9:19-22).

Our Lord was called `Jesus' by God's special command (v. 21). The Son of God could have chosen the King, the Lawgiver, the Prophet, the Priest, the Judge of fallen man as his proper title. But he bypassed them all. He selects a name which speaks of mercy, grace, help and deliverance for a lost world. It is as a Deliverer and Redeemer that he desires principally to be known. Let us ask ourselves what our own hearts know of the Son of God. Is he our Jesus, our Saviour? Do we know him as our Deliverer from the guilt and power of sin, and our Redeemer from Satan's bondage?

The offering given was that of a poor man and woman (v. 24; Lev. 12:6,8). Poverty was our Lord's portion from the days of his earliest infancy. Let the poor believer remember that his mighty Mediator in heaven is accustomed to poverty and is the true poor man's Friend.
For meditation: What inconveniences will we face for the salvation of men?

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