Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
Jesus has come and Jesus will come again!
Advent is the season set aside for us to celebrate the arrival of Jesus, and look ahead to his second coming. This year, over these four weeks, we have chosen to take a look at the four “songs” of Advent in Luke’s gospel. We have zoomed in on Zechariah’s song as his tongue was loosed after his son, John the Baptist, was born. We have examined the angels’ song as the heavens broke through with a declaration of redemption of God’s creation. We pondered Mary’s song - called the Magnificat. Today, we’re looking at a song of an old man name SImeon.
This section of Luke’s narrative contains three intertwining stories of promise–leading to fulfillment–resulting in praise. He uses a very typical Jewish pattern that connects these events to the Old Testament.
Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to dedicate Him back to the Lord (verse 22). It was customary to do this and that a sacrifice be offered for cleansing after a birth. Wealthier families would pay for a lamb to be sacrificed. Jesus’ parents only afforded the minimum offering of the poor–two pigeons (verse 24). The Son of God is of low and humble rank. Jesus became as nothing in order to rescue us from the depths of hell and raise us up to God His Father.
The Holy Spirit had revealed to an old man named Simeon that “he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (verse 26). Simeon was a righteous man and one of the very few recorded in the gospels that understood the Old Testament correctly. In our text, Simeon is guided by the Holy Spirit to the Temple where Jesus was taken. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and blessed God.
About The Song
Since the Holy Spirit prompted this poetic praise, it is also very much God’s affirmation of His blessed and only Son. Simon expresses that this is the greatest experience of his life - seeing this promise fulfilled (verse 29).
There are number of things that this prophetic blessing addresses.
- He declares Jesus to be the means God would use to bring salvation to the world - all peoples, all nations, Jews, and Gentiles (31-32)
- Jesus gives Himself to all without exception
- Jesus is the Redeemer that God’s people looked forward to; and He is a salvation which is now ours
- Jesus Christ is offered to all - but He also came to fulfill the promise made to Abraham
- This salvation has been prepared by God - we cannot attain it by our own efforts
- Christ gives us light; without Him we are wandering helplessly in darkness
A Lesson In Waiting
The Advent story is bigger than the ordinary people that God used - but their lives, their faith, their failures, their character, and their journeys are inspiring. SImeon was a man that had waited. God had told him that he would not die before he had seen the Savior - the Messiah of Israel.
Simeon lived during a dark time in Israel. There had been no revelation from God through either the Scripture or the Prophets in over 400 years. It wasn’t a time of optimism. He had a hope within him that was greater than the hopelessness around him.
Day after day, month after month, year after year, Simeon waited. Finally, he laid eyes on the Christ child and is the first to declare that not only was Jesus the Messiah of Israel, but He was going to be the Savior of all people who would believe in Him.
We all have things we want so badly we can hardly stand it—things like healthy relationships, the end of pain and suffering, a restoration of normal, whatever that is for you. The waiting seems like torture. And the question we all wonder is, “Is it worth the wait?”
Simeon’s faith should speak to us - he had faith that God was at work despite the circumstances around him. He stayed faithful to the promise God had given him. He longed for the hope, love joy and peace that the promised Christ would bring. This is now ours through Jesus Christ.
We long and wait for the completion of God’s salvation!
Our Via Communities are our primary discipleship tool. This section is to help you as you discuss the sermon with others in your life. It is designed for communities to utilize but can be used to facilitate a conversation between spouses, good friends, co-workers, etc., as we live to be faithful to God’s mission in his world.
This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the expression of that commandment in loving your neighbor (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.
The Gospel is powerful. The good news of Jesus changes us. This section is to record the ways you are noticing the good news of Jesus transforming your life. Jot notes to help you remember.
As we examined God’s Word, in what ways was His Word examining you?
Describe how Jesus is becoming more central in your life.
What does trusting in Jesus look like for you this week?