“And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”” (Luke 2:33–35, NASB95)
Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed. When Jesus enters all excuses flee. Standing in His presence is like being absolutely naked in a crowd. Every failure comes to light.
And yet, in that moment, for those who choose to accept His friendship, there is another reality, a kinder hope. In the surrender that must come to each of us when we accept the King of kings and Lord of lords as friend, there is peace. Such peace flows from a place of our repentance and His forgiveness.
To those of us who choose Jesus as King of our lives, there are the expected benefits, along with His enemies, of course. Once He has vanquished the last enemy – death – we will enjoy the rewards of our loyalty and faithfulness. Until then, we choose to spread the mission and message of our king to those who are yet lost to His love and leadership. We do so, no matter the cost because He first loved us.
And for those who choose to reject the gracious leadership of the Son of God, there can only be one reality. As an enemy of the King, defeat at His hands is certain. As Simeon said it, “this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed.”
Opposition isn’t new to Jesus or to His Father. The sad reality is that so many believe there is more to life than what God offers. However, such a life lived for self ends in pain and emptiness. We cannot support or sustain ourselves from our own resources. As much as we proclaim our abilities, the darkness each night reminds us that we are but dust, a speck in a vast universe created by His hands.
Today, as you bow your knee afresh before our Risen Lord, tell Him again, “I am still surrendered to your love and leadership.” Then rise, knowing that the day will be filled with His watch care and love.
Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.