Days of her purification - That is, thirty-three days after what was termed the seven days of her uncleanness - forty days in all: for that was the time appointed by the law, after the birth of a male child. See Leviticus 12:2, Leviticus 12:6.
The MSS. and versions differ much in the pronoun in this place: some reading αυτης, Her purification; others αυτου, His purification; others αυτων, Their purification; and others αυτοιν, the purification of Them Both. Two versions and two of the fathers omit the pronoun, Αυτων, their, and αυτου, his, have the greatest authorities in their support, and the former is received into most of the modern editions. A needless scrupulosity was, in my opinion, the origin of these various readings. Some would not allow that both needed purification, and referred the matter to Mary alone. Others thought neither could be supposed to be legally impure, and therefore omitted the pronoun entirely, leaving the meaning indeterminate. As there could be no moral defilement in the case, and what was done being for the performance of a legal ceremony, it is of little consequence which of the readings is received into the text.
The purification of every mother and child, which the law enjoined, is a powerful argument in proof of that original corruption and depravity which every human being brings into the world. The woman to be purified was placed in the east gate of the court, called Nicanor's gate, and was there sprinkled with blood: thus she received the atonement. See Lightfoot.
Days of her purification - Among the Hebrews a mother was required to remain at home for about forty days after the birth of a male child and about eighty for a female, and during that time she was reckoned as impure - that is, she was not permitted to go to the temple or to engage in religious services with the congregation, Leviticus 12:3-4.
To Jerusalem - The place where the temple was, and where the ordinances of religion were celebrated.
To present him to the Lord - Every first-born male child among the Jews was regarded as “holy” to the Lord, Exodus 13:2. By their being ““holy unto the Lord” was meant that unto them belonged the office of “priests.” It was theirs to be set apart to the service of God - to offer sacrifice, and to perform the duties of religion. It is probable that at first the duties of religion devolved on the “father,” and that, when he became infirm or died, that duty devolved on the eldest son; and it is still manifestly proper that where the father is infirm or has deceased, the duty of conducting family worship should be performed by the eldest son. Afterward, God chose “the tribe of Levi in the place” of the eldest sons, to serve him in the sanctuary, Numbers 8:13-18. Yet still it was proper to present the child to God, and it was required that it should be done with an offering.
In view of what Heaven is doing to save the lost, how can those who are partakers of the riches of the grace of Christ withdraw their interest and their sympathies from their fellow men? How can they indulge in pride of rank or caste, and despise the unfortunate and the poor? CS 160.1
Yet it is too true that the pride of rank, and the oppression of the poor which prevail in the world, exist also among the professed followers of Christ. With many, the sympathies that ought to be exercised in full measure toward humanity, seem frozen up. Men appropriate to themselves the gifts entrusted to them wherewith to bless others. The rich grind the face of the poor, and use the means thus gained to indulge their pride and love of display even in the house of God. The poor are made to feel that it is too costly a thing for them to attend the service of God. The feeling exists with many that only the rich can engage in the public worship of God so as to make a good impression on the world. Were it not that the Lord has revealed His love to the poor and lowly who are contrite in heart, this world would be a sad place for the poor man.... CS 160.2Read in context »
The poor widow gave her living to do the little that she did. She deprived herself of food in order to give those two mites to the cause she loved. And she did it in faith, believing that her heavenly Father would not overlook her great need. It was this unselfish spirit and childlike faith that won the Saviour's commendation. CS 176.1
Among the poor there are many who long to show their gratitude to God for His grace and truth. They greatly desire to share with their more prosperous brethren in sustaining His service. These souls should not be repulsed. Let them lay up their mites in the bank of heaven. If given from a heart filled with love for God, these seeming trifles become consecrated gifts, priceless offerings, which God smiles upon and blesses.—The Desire of Ages, 614-616. CS 176.2Read in context »
This chapter is based on Luke 2:21-38.
About forty days after the birth of Christ, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, and to offer sacrifice. This was according to the Jewish law, and as man's substitute Christ must conform to the law in every particular. He had already been subjected to the rite of circumcision, as a pledge of His obedience to the law. DA 50.1Read in context »
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14, 15. DA 231.1
The Messiah's coming had been first announced in Judea. In the temple at Jerusalem the birth of the forerunner had been foretold to Zacharias as he ministered before the altar. On the hills of Bethlehem the angels had proclaimed the birth of Jesus. To Jerusalem the magi had come in search of Him. In the temple Simeon and Anna had testified to His divinity. “Jerusalem, and all Judea” had listened to the preaching of John the Baptist; and the deputation from the Sanhedrin, with the multitude, had heard his testimony concerning Jesus. In Judea, Christ had received His first disciples. Here much of His early ministry had been spent. The flashing forth of His divinity in the cleansing of the temple, His miracles of healing, and the lessons of divine truth that fell from His lips, all proclaimed that which after the healing at Bethesda He had declared before the Sanhedrin,—His Sonship to the Eternal. DA 231.2Read in context »