Luke 2:21-24 CSB – 21 When the eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus – the name given by the angel before he was conceived. 22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) 24 and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons). (emphasis mine)
These young people, Joseph and Mary, had endured months of misunderstanding, judgmental stares, behind-their-back whispers. The angel appeared to Joseph and Mary — he did not appear in the Nazareth synagogue to notify the entire town of God’s marvelous plan. Even in Bethlehem, though not “home,” was their ancestral home, held no guarantee they would be safe from rumors and misunderstanding.
Why obey the decree and travel the distance when it will be so hard and uncomfortable? Why go through the ritual of presenting Jesus in Jerusalem? Why obey when life has been hard and confusing since Gabriel first showed up?
Psalm 119:1-8 CSB – 1 How happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the LORD’s instruction! 2 Happy are those who keep his decrees and seek him with all their heart. 3 They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. 4 You have commanded that your precepts be diligently kept. 5 If only my ways were committed to keeping your statutes! 6 Then I would not be ashamed when I think about all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart when I learn your righteous judgments. 8 I will keep your statutes; never abandon me.
Obedience is not quid pro quo.
Obedience is not an I will see if it works out for me and makes sense, and then ok . . .
Psalm 94:17-19 CSB – 17 If the LORD had not been my helper, I would soon rest in the silence of death. 18 If I say, “My foot is slipping,” your faithful love will support me, LORD. 19 When I am filled with cares, your comfort brings me joy.
Obedience is a response of love and worship to my Creator who has saved me. I trust His plan, even though I do not know all the details or outcomes. I trust that my obedience is a part of God’s plan in this world.
Joseph and Mary obeyed; Simeon saw the Messiah. Joseph and Mary didn’t know about the promise made to Simeon. They obeyed because they trusted God, and trusted his plan.