Mohel: The man who circumcised Jesus
Luke 2: 21
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
The traditional Church have a celebration on January 1st called, the Feast of the Circumcision. It is a reminder of how Mary and Joseph from the beginning were determined to bring Jesus up in the way of Jehovah. They were not disobedient to the Law of Moses which clearly stated that the boy needed to be circumcised on the 8th day after his birth (Lev 12:3). He was a child of the covenant of Abraham whose blessing was for the nations. They were not disobedient either to the angel who had instructed Mary to name her son Jesus (1:31). Jesus was also for the nations, for all people, the Saviour, Christ the Lord.
This morning I ponder this simple verse. Jesus, name above all names, God incarnate, Saviour to the world who has his penis cut. How can this be in the same verse? How can the holy and the perfect be mentioned in such earthy practices? We are thankful that it is for it shows the humanity of Jesus.
But I want to know about the man who made the cut. Who took the blade and brought the first shedding of the blood of Jesus? In ancient times it would be the father but not by the time of Joseph, he would have taken his son with Mary to a special rabbi, to a Mohel, they still operate today. They would have paid this man to perform this important ceremony.
Mohel’s never make it into the nativity plays even though this man appeared well before the gold, frankincense and myrrh did. But who was he? Did he ever meet the man Jesus? Was he there at the shedding of the blood of Jesus on the cross?
We have to assume the following:
When Mohel cut Jesus, it was one of hundreds maybe thousands that he had done. Jesus was just one of many.
Mohel didn’t see any connection in this procedure and the baby’s death.
Mohel had no idea Jesus was special, that He was the Messiah.
As blood poured from the genital organ of Jesus and as he gave instructions to Mary how to keep it clean so that it would heal quickly and well, Mohel was blind to the sacredness of that moment.
We would not judge Mohel for his blindness.
But what about our blindness to the sacred?
When we gather to worship in churches is what we see too casual that we miss the importance? We focus on one thing but miss the whole thing. The music is too long, loud, too contemporary, too traditional, quiet and too short. It is too human and we have become blinded to what is in front of us.
When we are with people, they are too human so that we miss the fact that they are eternal beings, we have become blind.
We must be discipled to hold the earthy and the special together at the same time, heaven and earth, let us never lose the wonder in our world.