Baby Jesus Dedicated in the Temple
21 On the day of the baby’s circumcision ceremony, eight days after his birth, his parents gave him the name Jesus, the name prophesied by the angel before he was born. 22 After Mary’s days of purification had ended, it was time for her to come to the temple with a sacrifice, according to the law of Moses after the birth of a son.[l] So Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to Jerusalem to be dedicated before the Lord.[m] 23 For it is required in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be a set-apart one for God.”[n] 24 And, to offer a prescribed sacrifice, “either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”[o]
25 As they came to the temple to fulfill this requirement, an elderly man was there waiting—a resident of Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. He was a very good man, a lover of God who kept himself pure, and the Spirit of holiness rested upon him. Simeon believed in the imminent appearing of the one called “The Refreshing of Israel.”[p] 26 For the Holy Spirit had revealed to him[q] that he would not see death before he saw the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. 27 For this reason the Holy Spirit had moved him to be in the temple court at the very moment Jesus’ parents entered to fulfill the requirement of the sacrifice.
28 Simeon cradled the baby in his arms and praised God and prophesied, saying:
29–31 “Lord and Master, I am your loving servant,
and now I can die content,
for your promise to me has been fulfilled.
With my own eyes I have seen your Word,[r]
the Savior you sent into the world.
32 He will be glory for your people Israel,
and the Revelation Light for all people everywhere!”[s]
33 Mary and Joseph stood there, awestruck over what was being said about their baby.
Simeon then blessed them and prophesied over Mary, saying:
34–35 “A painful sword[t] will one day pierce your inner being,
for your child will be rejected by many in Israel.
And the destiny of your child is this:
he will be laid down[u] as a miracle sign
for the downfall[v] and resurrection of many in Israel.
Many will oppose this sign, but it will expose to all
the innermost thoughts of their hearts before God.”
36–37 A prophetess named Anna was also in the temple court that day. She was from the Jewish tribe of Asher and the daughter of Phanuel.[w] Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died she chose to worship God in the temple continually. For the past eighty-four years[x] she had been serving God with night-and-day prayer and fasting.
38 While Simeon was prophesying over Mary and Joseph and the baby, Anna walked up to them and burst forth with a great chorus of praise to God for the child. And from that day forward she told everyone in Jerusalem who was waiting for their redemption that the anticipated Messiah had come![y]
39 When Mary and Joseph had completed everything required of them by the law of Moses, they took Jesus and returned to their home[z] in Nazareth in Galilee. 40 The child grew more powerful in grace, for he was being filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.