ODJ: From a Distance

February 28, 2017 

READ: Luke 2:25-40 

I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people (30-31).

Salvador Dalí’s Madonna painting allows you to see different images based on your proximity to the canvas. Viewed up close, the grey and pink dots are abstract, but from a distance of six feet, an image of Mary and Jesus emerge. Viewed from an even greater distance— fifty feet—the painting looks like a giant ear; Dalí called it, “the ear of an angel.”

Simeon, a devout man, had an “up-close” look at Jesus. One day the Holy Spirit led Simeon to the temple in Jerusalem where he met Joseph, Mary, and their newborn son Jesus. The old man “took the child in his arms” and said to God: “I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (Luke 2:28,30-32).

In contrast to Simeon’s up-close view of Jesus, our view of Him is from a distance. We can’t hear His human voice or touch Him physically, but we can look back and see the bigger picture of His life. We see Jesus’ arrival, ministry, death, and resurrection as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. We see that even in the 400 years of silence that separated the Old Testament from the New Testament, people had every reason to believe that God would send His Chosen One—just as He promised.

The big-picture view of Jesus’ life shows us that God is “entirely faithful” (Psalm 89:8). When He makes a promise, He keeps it. This is one reason why we can trust what the Bible says about future events. Jesus will return to earth. One day, we will enjoy life in a place where we’re completely safe from evil. The curse will be lifted, and we will reign with God forever (Revelation 21:27, 22:3-7).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan: Joshua 2:1-24

Read 2 Peter 3:13-14 to see how future events can influence our outlook and life choices. 
Why is it easy to lose sight of the future God has promised you? What happens to you spiritually when you focus on your earthly life?