A sword will pierce your heart
The whole world knows how the Angel greeted Mary and blessed her and told her she is full of grace and favor of God when He announced the virgin birth of Jesus; but very few remember what Simeon prophesied to her when he told her: ‘a sword will pierce your heart…’ (Luke 2:35)
We like to remember what pleases us and sometimes tend to forget what we do not want to hear. That is human nature. We forget our hardships and failures and hold on to our success and achievement.
But today I want provide revelations to what Simeon told her in a way that will give better understanding regarding negative experiences in life. I will give godly perspective concerning the pain in your heart when something happened that you did not understand. Today you will see the benefits of that experience and make peace with the fact that God allowed it in your life.
Simeon prophesied that Jesus would be a sign to many that would be spoken against and that a sword would pierce Mary’s heart also. He explained that experience as follows:
‘That the secret thoughts of many hearts may be brought out and disclosed.’
The missing child
The first time Mary felt that sword was when Jesus remained behind in the Temple and they only discovered that he was not with them for 3 days on the way back to Nazareth.
Mary reprimanded Jesus and said, ‘why have you treated us like this? Here your father and I have been anxiously looking for you, distressed and tormented.’ (Luke 2:48)
Notice that Jesus was missing for three days. What does that say to you? He was in the grave for three days as well. Notice the blame Mary puts on Jesus. What about the parents’ duty to take care of their own children? How could they only notice that he was not amongst them for three days? God must have kept them from knowing.
How quick we are to blame others. How quickly we blame God instead of seeking understanding for the sword that pierces our hearts!
When Aje our oldest son was only about 3 years old we went to Port Elizabeth for a holiday with Nola’s family. On King’s Beach he disappeared while I was rubbing some sun tan lotion onto Nola’s back. When we turned around he was gone! We began calling after him and running around frantically asking people if they saw a little boy lost? No one saw him. Nola cried and I prayed. We did not know what to do. Eventually a lady brought him to Nola and handed him over to her. What a sense of relief!
But throughout our lives we could feel for people who went through similar experiences. We understood their hearts because our own hearts were pierced.
Mary kept all these things persistently and guarded them in her heart. (Luke 2:51) Why did she do that? She remembered the words of Simeon that her heart would be pierced.
The man in the wilderness
When Jesus disappeared the second time, it must have pierced Mary’s heart. He was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted of the devil for 40 days. Imagine if your son just disappears for 40 days! How would you respond to that? No one knew where he was. And what would you do if you knew he was being tempted of the devil all that time? Your heart will be pierced also.
But when he defeated the enemy with the Word of God he returned in the power of the Spirit and his fame went out throughout the whole region.
The Sword of the Spirit
Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word of God is quick and powerful like a two edged sword that pierces to the dividing of spirit, soul and bone and marrow.
Jesus defeated the enemy’s temptations with the Sword of the Spirit. Paul describes the Word of God as the Sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17)
Pierced in the heart
When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost all the people were cut to the heart. He wielded the Sword of the Spirit as the Holy Spirit’s anointing showed him. He took ancient prophecies of Joel and David and mixed them together with faith in his heart and it cut the hearts of the hearers so that they cried out: ‘what must we do to be saved?’ (Acts 2:37)
Peter told them to repent of their sins and be baptized in water and they will receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)
Peter experienced the cutting of the Sword of the Spirit in his own life as well.
When Jesus predicted His own death at the hands of the religious Jews, Peter vowed that he would not forsake Him but defend Him even if all the other disciples fled. But Jesus told him that he would deny Him three times before the cock crowed twice!
When Jesus was arrested Peter tried to get to Jesus but the crowds prevented him. So he stood at a fire where others recognized him as one of Jesus’ disciples. He denied it three times and then the cock crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the words of Jesus and went outside and wept bitterly! The words of Jesus came true and they cut his heart! He knew the power of the words of God. So when he preached on the day of Pentecost he used the Word of God to speak to the people to explain why the disciples were speaking in tongues!
The man rejected
Isaiah prophesied that Immanuel would be a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. Mary and Joseph saw how Jesus was rejected in His own hometown, Nazareth, the first time He preached. They wanted to kill him by throwing Him off the high cliff above the town. But Jesus passed through them and escaped.
They saw how the religious leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, opposed Jesus and they heard that they were planning to kill Him. And Jesus did nothing wrong. He went about doing good healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)
How would you feel if your son goes around healing people and the religious leaders oppose him and plan to kill him? It would pierce your heart also.
How could Mary handle all these negative experiences? She was full of grace! She had to have sufficient grace to handle all those negative experiences regarding her son, Jesus.
The Crucified One
And finally, when they crucified Jesus, Mary and John were the only two who stood at the foot of the cross watching Him die. Her heart must have been torn to shreds watching His pain and agony on that cross. He called to His mother and told her that John was now her son and told John that Mary was his mother from now on. In his suffering he still took care of his mother.
Then he cried out and said, ‘Father, why have you forsaken me?’ and a few minutes later He announced: ‘ it is finished’ and added: ‘Father, into your hands I commit My spirit.’ And then He gave up the ghost and died.
What a terrible moment for Mary. She must have been totally heart broken and filled with sorrow. Her heart was pierced.
But because of His death, many hearts will be saved. Many people will come to salvation through His sacrificial deed. One man died so that millions can live eternally. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life! (John 3:16)
Jesus emptied Himself of all His divine privileges and took upon Himself the form of a servant. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient even unto death. Therefore God highly honored Him and gave Him a Name that is above every other name that at His Name every knee would bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord! (Philippians 2:5-9)
The piercing Word
Today as you hear His voice, do not harden your heart, but believe! Today is the well-accepted time for salvation. Today the same word that pierced Mary’s heart is piercing hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today hearts are being disclosed and revealed. Today the same word that defeated Satan in the wilderness when he tempted Jesus is defeating the enemy’s temptation in many lives. Today the prophetic word is being fulfilled. God’s Word is still as quick and powerful as a two edged sword: it cuts both speaker and hearers with the same word and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts!
Let us respond to that word with faith in our hearts today. Hebrews 4:2 tells us the word did not benefit those who did not mix it with faith in their hearts.
The entrance of His Word brings light. Today as His word enters your heart it enlightens the eyes of your understanding so you might know the hope of your calling, the riches of God among the saints and the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead that works mightily through us who believe! (Ephesians 1: 17-19)
What is the Word of God speaking to you right now? How is it piercing your heart? It divides between spirit and soul and bone and marrow and reveals things that are hidden. Today is the right time to respond to it.
Mary’s great secret was the fact that she yielded to the Word of God when she said, ‘let it be with me according to your Word.’ For the Angel told her, ‘nothing shall be impossible to God!’
Today I am bringing you good news: nothing is impossible to God if you believe His Word! His Word will not return void, but it will accomplish the thing that it was sent to do. God’s word will never fail. You can trust God’s word. Today as you hear His voice, do not harden your heart, but believe! God’s word will accomplish in your life what it was sent to do!
Even though your heart was pierced, even though you experienced pain and sorrow, today the word of the Lord to you is that many other hearts will be exposed and secret things revealed because of what you experienced. Your sorrow will turn into joy!
He will give you the oil of gladness for mourning and the garments of praise instead of a spirit of depression. He will give you beauty for ashes! God anoints you today and breaks the heavy yoke you have been carrying all these years!
Because Mary’s heart was pierced, our hearts are naked and open before God. God understands us and knows our deepest feelings. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, because Jesus became a man to feel what we feel, sit where we sit and go through what we have to go through.
Therefore He is a faithful High Priest to us. His sacrifice of Himself one for all is sufficient to cleanse us from our sin and transgression and to unite us with God forever.
That is why we call Him Lord. That is why we call Him God. That is why we bow down and worship Him. He is Immanuel, God with us, as Isaiah prophesied.
The same Word that pierces the heart, is the Word that comforts and heals. David said, ‘His rod and His staff comfort me!’
Today that word that pierces also heals your broken heart. He’s the Healer of broken hearts, He will mend your shattered dreams, He will pick up the pieces of your broken life and weave them together again. To your soul He’ll bring peace and rest. And a friend indeed He’ll always be. He’s the Healer of Broken Hearts – is Jesus of Nazareth! (Composed by A. A. Allen.)