Luke 2:21 JESUS CIRCUMCISED
2:21 When Jesus was 8 days old, He was circumcised as was the law (Leviticus 12:2-3) and given his name. Mary and Joseph were obedient.
2:22-38 JESUS IS PRESENTED AT THE TEMPLE
After the circumcision, there were two more ceremonies for a family of newborns.
First, if the child was a firstborn son, he was presented to God at age one month for redemption. (Exodus 13:2, Exodus 13:11-16, Numbers 18:15-16). The child is bought back, or redeemed, through an offering as an acknowledgment that the child belongs to God.
Second, It was the law (Leviticus 12:3-8) that after childbirth and purification of the mother (33 days if son born), an offering of a bird and a lamb was to be made, but if they could not afford a lamb, they could offer two birds. Mary and Joseph's offering of turtledoves and two young pigeons shows that they were not wealthy. Mary and Joseph would have not yet returned home from his birth in Bethlehem. Staying for more than a month in a city far away I sure hope they eventually found somewhere else to stay than a stable! If the wise men had come, they would have been given the rich gifts and could have made an offering of a lamb and bird. This gives us a timeline into the next year before the wise men came.
Jesus, the only perfect One, was exempt from these ceremonies and yet even as a baby He was living fully man, identifying with those who He had come to save.
At the temple (court of women), Mary and Joseph met Simeon. Simeon has been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he say Christ. Simeon took Jesus up in his arms and the words he stated are now called the Nunc Dimittis (from the Latin translation of the first words). I love to think a prayer as I leave a worship service the words I learned as a youth, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people" (KJV). Leaving church thinking of myself as a servant to God is a wonderful way to start the week.
Simeon speaks that Christ is for all Gentiles and this must have astonished Mary and Joseph that their son would save the whole world and not just the Jews, as well as being astonished that Simeon himself recognized Jesus for as the Messiah. It was the Holy Spirit who helped Simeon to recognize Jesus. Holy Spirit, help me to recognize Jesus wherever I go. Simeon then speaks that some people will fall because of Jesus (Isaiah 8:14-15) and some will rise (Malachi 4:2). There is no sitting on the fence, one either falls or rises. Then Simeon speaks of sword that will be pierced into Jesus as He hangs on the cross, but at the same time will be felt with such great sorry by Mary, his mother. As a mother, I have experienced watching my children in pain and actually feeling their pain. To me, this is the best way to describe compassion.
Anna was a prophetess and she stayed at the temple worshiping, fasting, and praying all night and day. What devotion to God! This woman recognized Jesus and began to tell others about Him. The news of Jesus is spreading quickly.