Week 4, Day 7

Day 7: Luke 2:25-33

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,
Now, Master,
you can dismiss your servant in peace,
as you promised.
For my eyes have seen your salvation.
You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to your people Israel.
His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.

1. Simeon, a man about whom we know nothing but what we are told here, is held up by the gospel writer Luke as a paragon of faith in dark times. In his days, the temple was terribly corrupt. The temple was filled with people bent on personal gain. The building itself was a bit of a vanity project for Herod, a vain and wicked man. The priesthood had devolved to parties that angled for influence over the people, the Edomite rulers, and the Romans. Yet here is Simeon, with the Holy Spirit on him, awaiting the consolation of Israel. He is the faithful Israelite, and God has given him a promise: he will see the Lord’s salvation before he dies. When he sees Jesus he recognizes him as God’s salvation for his people, and he pronounces a profoundly God-centered prayer: Simeon is wholly content and at peace now that he has seen God’s salvation.
2. Jesus is the light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory to…Israel that he has spent his life waiting for. He is the consolation of Israel for all it’s misfortune and punishment for sin. He is the Lord’s Messiah, the salvation of God.
3. Like Simeon long ago, believers in God’s great salvation plan are waiting for their final consolation. We have the advantage on Simeon that Jesus has already appeared. Our eyes have seen God’s salvation. But we await the fulfillment of his great promises. Simeon bent his life’s purpose towards seeing the promises of God fulfilled. We should do likewise. It will not always seem the most urgent or prudent direction of our efforts. But there is nothing more useful we can do with our minds, hearts, and hands than make ourselves ready for the appearance of God’s salvation once again.
4. Advent is anticipation. Christmas is the beginning of fulfillment. Our lives today are the great anticipation- the great Advent that proceeds from the first. God has promised that those who believe will see his salvation. To die before his appearance is but to wait with the saints before his throne shouting how long, Oh Lord?! (Revelation 6:10) until he appears. Simeon had great anticipation. Ours is the greater anticipation. Maranatha