The True Grace of God upon Jesus as a Child!!!
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him………. Luke 2:36-40
In our last study, we read of a Man called Simeon who welcomed death because He has seen the Salvation of the Lord. Here we read of a Woman called Anna who also found that body of Christ. Teaching us that God is interested in leading both Male and Female into Fellowship with Him. Remember also that when Jesus was born, it was not only the Poor Shepherds that Visited Him, Rich Wise Men from the East also Visited Him with gifts. Teaching us that Jesus is both Interested in the Rich and the Poor. All are the same and welcome by Him!!! There is No Partiality with God. The body of Christ is filled with Male, Female, Rich and Poor Members. Let us therefore learn to love and accept one another.
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.: Here is a Woman who had lost her husband after Seven years of Marriage and afterwards decided to remain Single. If she had remarried, there was no Sin in that. For remarriage is allowed for those who have lost their Husband and Wife. But she chose not to use this right, instead she devoted herself to the Lord in prayer and fasting. She continued in service to the Lord until her old age. She made the Temple her House and never depart from the presence of the Lord. A good example for Widows who have decided to remain like that. She did not go around house to house gossiping and doing busy body in other people’s Matter like those Widows described in 1 Timothy 5:13.
These are the kind of people who finds the body of Christ. These are the kind of people the Lord reveals Himself to. It is those who Hunger and thirst after God in fasting and prayer, crying out to Him day and night that He reveals Himself to. These are the ones who come to see the body of Christ even today. Anna found the body of Christ because she has that tremendous Hunger and thirst after God. There is no partiality with God, what He did for Anna, He will do for us. If He could lead Anna to where Christ His, why won’t He lead us to where the True Body of Christ is in our Locality. If God see a Tremendous Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness in any man or woman, He will definitely lead such to the True Church. And If there is no True Church in that Location, the Lord is able to start one with such a person.
And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem: See how God ordered her Steps that at that very moment when Jesus was been blessed in the Temple she came around. Indeed, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way(Psalm 37:23)” If there is a desire in us to know the Lord, we can be sure that the Holy Spirit will direct our paths to Jesus. All those who have found Christ have reasons to be thankful. It is such a great mercy the Lord has shown unto us if we have been led to meet with Jesus. Let us never take this privilege for granted. Let us therefore remain thankful to the Father for He has counted us among those who will see the Salvation of the Lord and part of those who will form the body of Christ.
Notice what Anna did after She found the body of Christ. It was said that she spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. This has always been the Experience of those who have found the Messiah. They cannot but share the news with others. Those who claim to have met the Lord and fail to take about Him only deceive themselves. No one come in contact with the Lord and keeps mute about it. People who have met the Lord are always eager to see that others also experience that they have experienced. When the Samaritan Woman met with Jesus at the well, she left her water pot, ran into the city shouting “Come and See O!!! Come and see a Man who told Me Everything that I have ever done!!! Could this be the Christ?(John 4:28-29)” When Philip met with Jesus, He quickly found Nathaniel and said to Him, ” “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.(John 1:45)”. You can easily know if a Man or a Woman has found the Lord by listening to what He or she talks about. We tend to speak more about what we value and what is closest to our Heart. If it is money, sports or your career that fills your Heart, You will speak more about it. Similarly, if it is the love of Lord and his Kingdom that fills your Heart, You will speak more about it. Our Words is the over flow of what fills our Hearts. For Out of the abundance of the Heart, the Mouth speaks. Let us therefore check what we speak about always and see if it is about the Lord or about Ourselves.
So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.: It is an interesting fact to note that the First Person in the entire Bible upon whom it is said that the Grace of God rested was Jesus!!! Many people understand Grace as the “Unmerited Favour of God”. Yet the Bible says, ” For the law was given through Moses, but Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.(John 1:17)” So Grace is something that is distinctively made available ONLY after Jesus came. All those who Lived before Jesus NEVER enjoyed Grace. But we know that the Children of Israel received Unmerited Favour from God but not Grace. So saying that Grace is God’s Unmerited Favour is totally Unscriptural because those who lived before Christ Got things they never merited from God.
So what then is Grace? “Grace is God’s Help offered to a Person according to His or Her present need”. In our case, our first need is forgiveness of Sin, so we read in Ephesians 1:7 that, ” In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace” But once our Sins are Forgiven, We also need Help to overcome Sin in our daily lives. And for that, we read in Hebrews 4:16 that, ” Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace , that we may obtain mercy and find Grace to Help in time of need.” And the time of need is when we are tempted and under pressure to Sin. Also we Read in Hebrews 4:15 that, “Jesus was TEMPTED in ALL POINTS exactly as We Are”. Because He was Made in ALL things exactly as we are, He partook of the same Flesh that pulls us to Sin(Hebrews 2:14,18). It would have been impossible for Christ to overcome Sin if the Father had not given Him Grace(Help). Remember He now came as a Man. He had emptied Himself of all the prerogatives He had as God. He lived on Earth as a Man so He needed Help from the Father in order to live in purity. The Reason why Jesus never sinned all through His Life was because the Grace of God was upon Him. When Grace is upon a Person(which means, “The Person is Under Grace”) it is impossible to Sin. For We read in Romans 6:14 that,” For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under Grace.” Romans 8:3 says, ” For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,” So as A Little Child, the Grace was upon Him and even when He was to Die it was said that, ” It was by the Grace of God that Jesus tasted Death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9)” This is the Reason why Jesus never Sinned as a Man!!!
However, 1 Peter 5:5 says, “God resist the proud but gives Grace to the Humble”. This means that Jesus must have remained in Humility right through His Life from Childhood till Death for that Grace to be upon Him. This is the whole Secret of the Christian Life!!! The Greatest virtue to seek after is Humility. Oh how I wish You will see this Great Mystery of Godliness!!! This is the Greatest Mystery in the whole Bible. 1 Timothy 3:16 (Living Bible) says” It is quite true that the way to live a godly life is not an easy matter. But the answer lies in Christ, who came to earth as a Man , was proved spotless and pure in his Spirit” It would be impossible for us to follow Jesus as an Example if He was not a Man tempted Like Us. It will be wickedness for God to give Jesus a Special Power to overcome Sin that is not made available for others on Earth. It will be wickedness of the Highest order for Jesus to say, “Follow Me and Learn from Me if He had a Special Grace that we cannot have”. But thanks be to God that He is an impartial God. He loves us exactly as He loves Jesus(John 17:23). What He did for Jesus, He will do for Us. What He did for the Firstborn, He will do the same for the Last born!!! But the condition is to Walk as Jesus walked(1 John 2:6). Jesus got the Highest measure of Grace because He was the Humblest Man who ever Walked on Earth. And if God the Father can find a Man, a Woman or a Child who will Humble Himself or Herself like Jesus , then He will release Grace on Such a Life. And believe Me, if the Grace of God is Upon You, You will increase in Wisdom and become strong in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Let us therefore seek after Humility My Brothers and Sisters. For this is the Greatest Virtue for Victory over the Power of Sin.
Dear Friend, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but MADE HIMSELF of NO REPUTATION , taking the form of a BONDSERVANT , and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He HUMBLED HIMSELF and became OBEDIENT TO THE POINT OF DEATH , even the death of the cross. THEREFORE God also has highly EXALTED HIM and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Humble Yourself in All circumstances that God brings across Your path and He will Exalt You (Not over People but) Over All Sins!!! May God give us the Spirit of Humility so that Grace may be upon Us in Jesus name(Amen). God bless You. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.