October 7, 2023 Haftarah New Testament
by Karen Pettingell
Circumcision of Jesus
21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.”
Simeon Sees God’s Salvation
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
In Gen. 17:9-12 we read, “9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.”
Mary and Joseph were Jews and were therefore part of the covenant the Lord had made with Abraham and his descendants. (See Lev. 12:1-8 in the Supporting Scripturess for purification and sacrifices.) We have been grafted into God’s family (see Rom. 11:16-27). The question is: does circumcision get you in God’s favor? Let’s look at Rom. 2:25-29 we discover, “25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”
Notice in verse 29b “…circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” These words very clearly state that the Holy Spirit must guide our hearts. This is very important to the Lord that our hearts are in line with the Scriptures not our own theology.
In Gen. 17:11, 13 it states, “11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. … 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.” The outward sign of removing the foreskin is a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham. If we look up the word foreskin in Hebrew we discover it means the foreskin of the male and figuratively the human heart. In Deut. 10:15-16 we find, “ 15 The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.” (See Deut. 10:14-17 and Jer. 4:4 in the Supporting Scriptures.)
Notice in Deut. 10:16 is says, “… be stiff-necked no longer.” There are several verses on stiff-neck (see Stiff-Necked in Supporting Scriptures). In Acts 7:51-53 we read, “ 51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”
Throughout history circumcision was an outward sign that if you were a man you were a Jew. If you were a woman and the men in your family were circumcised you were a Jew. Circumcision was important because it told the world you were a part of the Abrahamic Covenant and belonged to God’s people (family). As Christians we must be circumcised in our hearts. The heart pumps life giving blood to all parts of the body. Each of needs God’s Word, His Spirit and His essence to be in all our body – in all we do and say. There should be no room in our lives to be stiff-necked.
When we are stiff-necked we only see or believe our point of view. We cannot turn our head and heart to see God’s view. The Holy Spirit cannot guide and correct us. In our New Testament portion we have an example of Simeon who was blessed by the Lord. He was not an uncircumcised stiff-necked man. His heart was right with God. Let’s look at his traits that please the Lord.
He was just. In Strong’s Greek dictionary just “refers to the one who acts comfortably to justice and right without any deficiency or failure.”
He was devout. Strong’s Greek Dictionary had this to say of this verse, “The first occurrence is Luke 2:25 and it concerns Simeon who is called just (dikaios) and devout (eulab¢¡s). Simeon was waiting for the consolation (i.e. exhorting, encouraging and comforting) of Israel, the promise of the coming Messiah. He was one who had well and rightly received the promises of God and that is the fundamental meaning of devout, one who had taken seriously God’s promises and God’s Word”
Simeon had the Holy Spirit on him. He listened and followed the Holy Spirit (verse 17). In verse 28
he took baby Jesus in his arms and blessed God. In Greek blessed means to praise, speak well of with words of praise and thanksgiving.
Each of us has a choice to be dogmatic and stiff-necked or be like Simeon.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You truly are God. Your qualities are amazing! With my whole heart I bless You. Holy Spirit guide me. I don’t want to be so wrapped up in my opinions and theology that I’m stiff necked. Holy Spirit I need Your wisdom, guidance and knowledge. I need your life giving blood, Jesus. I want my circumcised heart to reflect You in all I do and say. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Lev 12 – 1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. 3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.
5 ‘But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days.
6 ‘When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Then he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female.
8 ‘And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons — one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'”
Rom 11:16-27 – 16 For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
Circumcision of Males
Gen 17:9-14 – 9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
Gen 17:23-27 – 23 So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; 27 and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Circumcision of the Heart/Stiffed-Neck
Deut 10:12-22 – 12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? 14 Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. 15 The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.
Jer 4:4 – Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench it, Because of the evil of your doings.”
Ex 32:7-10 – 7 And the LORD said to Moses,”Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said,’This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!'” 9 And the LORD said to Moses,”I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
Acts 7:51-53 – 51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”
All Scriptures are New King James Bible version