Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 10 Sep 2017
Luke 2 v 21
“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.”
I have three points-
• When 8 days were past
• Before his circumcision
• His name had to be called Jesus
We read in Genesis 10 that on the 8th day a child had to be circumcised. There were many reasons, one being to protect the Israelites from diseases. Even today Doctors say the 8th day is the perfect day for the operation and is when the child bleeds the least. More important than that in Romans 2 we see that circumcision is a spiritual commitment and focus. Paul writes about righteousness and being in perfect submission to God. Circumcision is a symbol of the need for spiritual cleansing. That was God’s way of reminding people that another sinner had been born and needed cleansing and needed a spiritual operation on the inside. We are born as sinners because of our fathers. And God visits the iniquities of the father on the children and that is why they had to be circumcised.
Circumcision was a sign that the child belonged to God’s nation of Israel. God had instructed that all the male offspring had to be circumcised so that he had a sign that he belonged to God’s people. Moses married Zipporah from Midian. On their way back to where the children of Israel were, Moses got ill and God wanted to kill Moses because he had not circumcised his sons. Why hadn’t he done so? Zipporah probably didn’t want the circumcision and went against Moses. Moses tried to convince her and they probably argued but Zipporah refused. If you are married great is the matter concerning the wife. That’s why Abraham made his servant swear not to take a wife for Isaac from among the heathen. You are children of revival. You are not allowed to take a wife from among those who are not of the revival because she will bother you. Moses said, “It’s God’s requirement to circumcise our son”, but she didn’t want to and because of her opposition Moses couldn’t circumcise his child. God came and said, ”Moses, I will put you to death because of this.” As he was dying, Zipporah remembered that she had refused to have her sons circumcised. Maybe she said to Moses, ”If you circumcise my son I will leave you.” You see what a role a woman can play. However, when Moses got so sick Zipporah circumcised her son and said, “Moses is a bridegroom of blood to me.” After that Moses was healed. This is a serious matter.
You child of revival don’t marry such a person, they will trouble you. Because of God’s anger Moses almost died. He failed to circumcise his sons. Woe if you are not faithful to God because of your marriage. Zipporah realized she was the cause and so she circumcised her son. Moses almost died because of God’s anger coming down on him. You young men don’t dare take a wife from someone who doesn’t know revival because some have forsaken us because of the wife. Don’t forget this matter. You married people you also must fulfill God’s command. Don’t stand in your husband’s way if he wants to do God’s will. She threw the foreskins at Moses’ feet because she was unwilling. God commanded Israel to do the same with the oxen and sheep. He said, “You must offer the first of the animals to God. On the 8th day you must give them to me.” The 8th day is the perfect day for circumcision because that is when the child bleeds the least. From the 8th day onwards the sacrifice was made and shows that God’s kingdom is eternal. On the 8th day you commit yourself and it is forever. Woe to you if you go back. Jesus wasn’t sinful. Why did he have to be circumcised? Firstly, it was the sign of being a child in the Abrahamical line. More than that Matt 3:15 says you must fulfill all righteousness and so the Lord Jesus was circumcised. In Gal. 4:4 it says that He followed every aspect of God’s law. He didn’t need the water baptism but because of you and me He submitted to it. Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh. This was to confirm that he was justified by his faith and that he was righteous. Abraham was justified by his faith. Jesus was born into this world and He submitted to the law to save those under the law.
His name was called Jesus. We find that concerning John they called his father Zechariah but his mother said, “No, he must be called John.” Remember Zechariah had been struck dumb when he received the message from the angel. We receive a name when we are born and our name is sinner. You are a sinner because you are born a sinner. You steal and lie because you are a sinner. If you are not born again, you are a sinner. If you do not sin openly, you sin behind closed doors like lying and being immoral.
A cat lived in a restaurant. It stayed there and watched the people being served by the waiters. It went and practised to act like the waiters and wanted to become a waiter. This cat could eventually do it perfectly. The cat then asked the manager to be a waiter. The manager laughed and said it wouldn’t work. Then the cat replied, “Please, I will do it exactly the same as any other waiter.” The cat became a waiter and did it very well. Everybody complimented the cat and said it did it very well. But one day something happened. As the cat was balancing a tray, a mouse ran across the floor in front of its nose. When the cat saw the mouse, it forgot everything. It dropped the tray and everything was smashed. When it saw the mouse, it forgot that it was a waiter. Why? Because it still had the heart of a cat. You can imitate the Christians, but if your heart doesn’t change you will forget everything and go after the mouse.
The child was given the name Jesus. On the day of circumcision they wanted to call him Joseph but he was called Jesus the Savior. Jesus is the same as Joshua. Joshua lead people out of sin. Joshua is Hebrew and translated into Greek is Jesus which means the Lord is salvation. So Jesus came to save us from our sin to get the people out of the desert and lead us to God’s kingdom. Jesus came to his own, the Jews. To as many as received Him He gave the power to become children of God; those born not of the flesh or the will of man but of God. How important isn’t it to be born again so that you don’t have the heart of a cat but have the heart of a child of God. If you believe in Him your life must show it. Are you just good at imitating? When the mouse comes all the immorality and lies are there. God is known as the God who saves. You cannot believe in Him and not be saved.
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