He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭32‬ ‭(NLT‬‬)

Simeon speaks the words in Luke 2. He’s holding the baby Jesus, just eight days old and blessed God for letting him see the Messiah before he died. He’d been waiting for this moment for a long time. When he looks at this newborn baby, he says that Jesus will be a “light to reveal God to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel.” 

Light

I know that Jesus is the Light of the world. You probably know that too. Somehow in all the years I’ve walked with Jesus, I missed something big. I missed the point even with it shining in my eyes. Jesus reveals GOD to the nations. Other translations say He “brings revelation to the Gentiles.” (Hey, that’s me!) 

I love that Jesus is the Light! But I am so selfish, that I focused only on what His light could do for me. Jesus, light up my path. Jesus, light up my soul. Me, me, me. Ok, so I’m not totally self-absorbed, I do pray for God to light the way for my loved ones and those hurting. But Jesus’ light is bigger than even that. 

I thought that Jesus’ light was to reveal MY path, light up MY soul…and it is. But His light REVEALS GOD TO THE NATIONS! I’ve been perceiving God’s light as a flashlight, but His light is the SUN. I apologize for all the caps, I promise, I’m not yelling at you. I just can’t get over the fact that I’ve missed this for so long.

Here I’ve been walking around asking God to shine a pinprick of light into my little part of the world when His light made for magnificent Sonrises, glorious radiance at high noon, and eye popping Sonsets. God is revealed in all stages of our relationship with Jesus. From our first introduction to the slow realization of His truth, to the scorching heat that burns away our sins, to the setting of our lives as we enter His presence on the other side of the horizon. 

The Light of Christ reveals God to the nations. To you, to me, to everyone around the world. There is power in His Light. There is gentleness and warmth in His Light. There is a fresh revelation of God in His Light. 

Glory

Jesus is the glory of Israel. What does that even mean? Simeon, a devout Jew, faithful to God, and full of the Holy Spirit. He looked upon Jesus and saw the glory of Israel. When I think about someone shining “in all their glory,” I picture someone who is experiencing near perfection in some part of their life. And in that moment, the world stops and can’t help but gaze at the beauty of their performance in awe. 

Simply saying that Jesus lived a perfect life, doesn’t quite bring that home to me. But when I stop for a moment and say, “He is the glory of Israel,” now I can picture crowds stopping to gaze upon Him as he walked by. People clambering up trees to catch a glimpse, the dead coming out of their tombs to bear witness to His glorious splendor, angels breaking out in chorus and charging upon the earth to proclaim His birth. 

Jesus is the glory of Israel because He is the fulfillment of God’s promise. In a sense, He shows us what we are meant to be. I’m not talking about being God, but about being perfectly in tune with God. Jesus says, “Let me show you how to live like I made humans to live.” That is the glory of Israel, the glory of what should have been. The glory of what will be someday. 

In the Old Testament, God claimed Israel as His own. He set them apart and offered to live with them. He walked with them after freeing them from Egypt, going before them in cloud and fire. Jesus walked upon this earth with us, the glory of Israel, the Light of God. 

I wonder if Simeon used the phrase, “glory of Your people Israel” because when He looked at Jesus, He saw what God wanted for all of us—human life so intertwined with God that we live as one with Him.

Even Jesus prayed for this kind of unity in John 17. He prayed that we would live as one just as Jesus was one with the Father. The glory of Israel is humanity living in perfect unity with the God who created us. This is what Adam and Eve had for a few precious moments in Eden. It is what they lost when they chose to believe the devil’s lies. It is what our souls seek. Unity with God.

The Good News. Jesus made a way for us to enjoy unity with Him. And He promises that one day this hope will become our reality. 

Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be the Light for all nations and for revealing yourself and your glory through Him. Help us to hear You speak to us and to walk with You in each moment. Continue shining Your Light into the world through us and we wait expectantly for the day when we discover the beauty and glory of being One with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Spread the spark of hope everywhere you go,

Michelle

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