07 – Jesus Circumsized and Redeemed

When: March 29, 5 BC
Where: Temple, Jerusalem, Judea


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After Passover, people began to leave the area. Joseph and Mary moved the baby out of the manger and up onto the family living quarters. Joseph registered for the census and made plans to be in the area for at least the next 40 days.

Joseph and Mary gave the child the name Yeshua [in Aramaic, Joshua in Hebrew, and Jesus in Greek], which means “the Lord’s salvation”.

On March 28, after the end of the Festival of Unleavened Bread and on the eighth day after Passover, Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised. They approached the temple complex from the south wall [model], walked through the “double gate” [model] and then up the steps, through the tunnel and onto the temple platform. They approached the south side of the Temple, itself, and went to the “gate of the first born” [model] to have the child circumcised.

Thus, Jesus became a “son of the covenant” through circumcision in order to fulfill the law. They stayed in the Jerusalem area while Mary spent the remaining 32 days of her ritual impurity for women that have given birth.

On April 30, it was time for Mary to be purified and for her firstborn son to be redeemed [bought back] and dedicated to God. Mary brought two birds (doves or pigeons) and Joseph brought five silver shekels to the temple complex.

Coming up through the double gate onto the Temple platform, they took the birds that were to be sacrificed for Mary into the Court of women. At the same time, Joseph entered the Temple through the Nicanor gate [model] and into the “Court of Israel”, where he paid the Temple shekels to redeem Mary’s first-born son and to fulfill the requirements of the law found in Leviticus.

As they were leaving the Temple, while walking through the Court of the Gentiles, they encountered two memorable people. The first was a righteous man named Simeon. The Holy Spirit had promised Simeon that he would see the Messiah before he died [though not necessarily be able to identify the specific individual]. Knowing that the Messiah must be brought to the Temple, he came in daily to see the children that were brought in. Simeon had seen thousands of children over the years and knew that one of the children would be the Messiah.

Simeon came into the Court of the Gentiles at just that moment, singing praises to God for the coming Messiah. As he usually did, he picked up the newly circumcised infant and asked his name. “Jesus,” he was told. ‘I could die today and will have seen the Lord’s salvation for both Israel and the Gentiles,’ Simeon said.

Joseph and Mary were stunned. ‘Salvation for Israel AND the Gentiles’, asked Mary? Simeon reminded Mary that the Messiah would divide the believers and non-believers from among ALL people. Then Simeon went off into the crowd, once again, seeking new babies.

While trying to comprehend this latest revelation, they encountered an 84-year-old woman. Anna was constantly in the Temple area proclaiming her message and was considered a prophetess. She also spoke to Joseph and Mary about how God’s Messiah would one day redeem God’s people, just as Jesus had been redeemed.

Joseph and Mary left the Temple with lots to think about.


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