As you read in Luke 2:34-35, Mary knows just eight days after Jesus’ birth that “a sword will pierce” her soul. This is clearly a reference to the murder of her firstborn son. I imagine Mary standing at the cross (as she does in John 19:26-7), and remembering the words of Simeon the day of Jesus’ circumcision. What must it have been like to live with that knowledge your whole life? Consider, for a moment, the awesome faith of this young woman and mom.
We too are told that following Jesus will lead us to suffering. Jesus says, “take up your cross and follow me.” How can we be encouraged by Mary’s example in our own lives?
Jesus begins his ministry in Luke by teaching in his hometown (Luke 4:14-30). What do we learn about Jesus from this story? What do we learn about the people he came to save? Why are they so upset that he quotes stories about the faithfulness of non-Jews, as contrasted with the unfaithfulness of the Jewish people?
Why does Jesus say that he has come?
What stands out to you about Jesus and his ministry in these chapters?
Merry Christmas! Keep reading and I’ll see you tonight, Christmas Eve!
Grace and Peace,