And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
I never remember a time in my childhood that Jesus was not the central figure of our family. In fact, my parents began to tke me to church nine months before I was born! My mom and dad both were highly involved in church life through Sunday School, choir, and other activities. My dad, the business man, would frequently welcome new customers into his store with, “Where do you go to church?” He led us in prayer — even in public! I would classify them as pious people.
Mary and Joseph demonstrated themselves to be quite pious in their day. One may find it odd that Luke mentions of Jesus’ circumcision in his narrative of Jesus’ childhood, but there is something very important that we must not overlook. During the Old Testament period, it was customary for males among God’s people to be circumcised on the eighth day according to the law as a covenant sign (Gen. 17:12).
In Genesis 17, God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations. Circumcision was a sign to remember God’s promise to Abraham and the covenant that God made with Israel. Thus, circumcision was a physical expression of faith in God and a reminder of His promises. Each generation of Israelites would be a testament to the faithfulness of God.
Carefully recording Jesus’ circumcision in his gospel account, Luke reminds us that Jesus was born under the Old Testament law, and that He fulfilled every aspect of the law as only a perfect descdendant of Abraham could. When we look at Jesus, we can say, “God has fulfilled His promise.”
What promises has God demonstrated to you in your life? Because God has always kept and fulfilled His promises, what peace and comfort do you have in His promises today?