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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 2 - Verse 24

Verse 24. And to offer a sacrifice, &c. Those who were able on such an occasion were required to offer a lamb for a burnt-offering, and a pigeon or a turtle-dove for a sin-offering. If not able to bring a lamb, then they were permitted to bring two turtle-doves or two young pigeons, Le 12:6,8.

Turtle-doves. Doves distinguished for having a plaintive and tender voice. By Mary's making this offering she showed her poverty; and our Saviour, by coming in a state of poverty, has shown that it is not dishonourable to be poor. No station is dishonourable where God places us. He knows what is best for us, and he often makes a state of poverty an occasion of the highest blessings. If with poverty he grants us, as is often the case, peace, contentment, and religion, it is worth far more than all the jewels of Golconda or the gold of Mexico. If it be asked why, since the Saviour was pure from any moral defilement in his conception and birth, it was necessary to offer such a sacrifice; why was it necessary that he should be circumcised, since he had no sin, it may be answered —

1st. That it was proper to fulfil all righteousness, and to show obedience to the law, Mt 3:15.

2nd. It was necessary for the future usefulness of Christ. Unless he had been circumcised, he could not have been admitted to any synagogue or to the temple. He would have had no access to the people, and could not have been regarded as the Messiah. Both he and Mary, therefore, yielded obedience to the laws of the land, and thus set us an example that we should walk in their steps. Comp. See Barnes on "Mt 3:15".

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