Circumcision of Jesus Christ (Gezret)

January 14, 2017
By Kassa Nigus


The Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus is observed on the 6th of January in the liturgical calendar of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church.

Jesus was circumcised eight days after His birth in keeping with the Old Testament law which holds that males should be circumcised eight days after birth on which they are also given their names. (Luke 2:21)

In the Old Testament, circumcision was a sign of the covenant made between God and Abraham’s offspring of promise. It represented a symbol which set apart those who believed in God from those who didn’t. (Leviticus 12:3) Isaac, the only son of Abraham chosen by God to be the heir of the covenant, was circumcised on the eighth day according to God’s order. From that time circumcision became a most important rite during the Old Testament. 

In the New Testament, circumcision has been replaced by baptism which came to symbolize entry into the new covenant and becoming an heir to God’s eternal promises. Our Lord Jesus Christ was taken to the temple eight days after His birth because He came to accomplish the law of prophets and Torahs. (Mathew 5:17, Luke 2:21) He was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He had been conceived. 

According to a tradition in the Ethiopian church, when the man who carried out circumcisions approached Jesus, his knife almost melted down and so he was afraid. Then Jesus opened His mouth and said, “My blood shall not be shed on earth except on [Good] Friday”. Later Jesus was found circumcised Divinely. 
• Ethiopic Synaxarium,on January 14. 
• Hiruy Ermias 2006E.C, Mezgebe Tarik part 2, pp.141.