And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. Luke 2:21
Today’s verse is one of those verses that I love because they tell us so much about life in biblical times even though they are relatively short and sometime seems as if they are superfluous. Of course nothing in God’s Word is filler and each has something to teach us. But we go from shepherds spreading the word as to what they had witnessed to a circumcision.
So, what did I learn from this verse? First we see that Mary and Joseph are following Jewish custom and law. God told Abraham in Genesis 17:12 to circumcise every male in his household from eight days old and up. Here we are thousands of years later and Mary and Joseph are circumcising their baby boy when he is eight days old. Keeping a Jewish tradition handed down for around 2,000 years. Also, just as Zechariah and Elizabeth did, Mary and Joseph did not name the baby until the circumcision on the eighth day. This was also a custom of the Jews. And of course they named Jesus as instructed by the angel Gabriel.
There is something else we can learn from this verse along with Genesis 17:12. Why circumcise on the eight day? Today when a baby boy is circumcised it is usually dome before they leave the hospital so that would be within a day or two of birth. The thing is in order to do a circumcision that soon the baby needs a shot of vitamin K. The reason for the shot is that vitamin K is used by the body in the liver to produce prothrombin which in turn is converted to thrombin which is used in the clotting of blood. The thing is that the vitamin K is produced naturally by the gut bacteria and both vitamin K and prothrombin reach the peak of over 100 percent of normal on the eighth day and the clotting factor is also at its highest on that day. In fact, never again in a male’s life will the clotting factor be that high.
The interesting thing is that all the above was not known until the twentieth century. Turns out that what the Jews have been doing for over 4,000 years was scientifically valid. This is just one of the things that God had His people do that we found out much later had good science behind it.
In one short verse we see a young couple following God’s commands both ancient and recent as it concerned the birth of Jesus and we see how the timing of the things that God told the Jews to do turn out to be scientifically correct. There is only one way that the Jewish people would have known why circumcision on the eighth day was the best day to do it. God who created our bodies knew when the best time was for the healing needed for a circumcision. It took science almost 4,000 years to know why.
Have a blessed day,