Jesus is Circumcised

Many years ago, a young mother was making her way on foot across the hills of South Wales, carrying her infant son. A blinding blizzard overtook the pair, and the mother never reached her destination. Searchers found her lifeless body, with the baby snuggled beneath her, warm and … More


Luke tells us that eight days after the Baby was born, He was circumcised and given the name “Jesus,” just as the angel had said (v. 21). Every boy was circumcised and named on the eighth day after his birth (Lev. 12:3; Luke 1:59-60). Circumcision symbolized the Jews’ separation from Gentiles and their unique relationship with God. The infant Messiah is given a name. We may ask, ‘What’s in a name?’ but in the Bible names are very important. ‘Jesus’ was literally ‘Yeshua’, meaning, ‘Saviour’ (Matt. 1:21).

Luke apparently fast forwards to forty days later, when Mary and Joseph go to the temple (v. 22). They make the five-mile journey from Bethlehem to Jerusalem with Jesus, to go through two ceremonies (vv. 23-24). The first was Mary’s purification rite following childbirth, which is described in the Old Testament in Leviticus 12. For 40 days after the birth of a son and 80 days after the birth of a daughter, the mother was ceremonially unclean and could not enter the temple. Mary’s forty-day purification was over. At the end of her time of separation the parents were to bring a lamb for a burnt offering and a dove or pigeon for a sin offering. If the individual could not afford a sheep, two doves or pigeons could be offered instead. Apparently because they didn’t have much money, Mary and Joseph bring two birds.

The second reason for coming to the temple was to consecrate or dedicate their firstborn son to God, just as had been done in Exodus 13, and much like we do in church today when we dedicate a baby to the Lord.


It is easy for me to think giving my all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table. Giving my life to serving Christ isn’t a one time decision; it’s done in little acts of love, 25 cents at a time.

Luke 2:21-24 (English Standard Version)

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