The Spirit of Simeon

Read: Luke 2

Simeon took the infant Jesus in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. ” (Luke 2:28-29, NLT)

I can just imagine this old, weathered prophet, Simeon, moved by the Holy Spirit, running up to Mary and grabbing the baby Jesus from her arms.  Perhaps Mary and Joseph were a bit stunned; maybe they were about to call for the temple guard to arrest this crazy old man, but before they could react, Simeon burst forth in a loud prophetic praise to God,

“…dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation…”

Then as suddenly as he took the baby, Simeon gently laid Jesus back into Mary’s arms.  He pronounced a blessing upon the young parents, uttered a few esoteric words, then turned and made his way through the curious onlookers. As Simeon walked away, he shouted his praises to God, and as suddenly as he had appeared, he was gone from the temple—and from any further mention in the Bible.

Not much is known about Simeon. Christian tradition suggests that he was very old—over 100 years of age. We don’t know for sure, but because of his eagerness to die, that would be a logical assumption. We’re told in Luke 2:25 that he was looking for the “consolation of Israel”—a reference to the messianic hope of the Jewish nation.  Then as we dig a little deeper into this passage, Luke 2:25-35, we actually begin to learn a great deal more about this otherwise obscure man:

One, we learn that he was a man who was dedicated to the ways of God — “devout and righteous”. (Luke 2:25)  Simeon had a consuming passion for God.

Two, we also discover that he was a man who was led by the Spirit of God— “The Holy Spirit was upon him… revealed to him by the Holy Spirit… Moved by the Spirit.” (Luke 2:25-27) Simeon had a unique connection to God.

Three, we likewise find that he was a man who was obedient to the will of God — “He was waiting for the consolation of Israel. It had been revealed to him that he would see it in his lifetime”. (Luke 2:25) Simeon had an unbending dedication to the plan of God.

Four, we then see he was a man who was committed to speaking the truth of God — “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many…And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35) Simeon had an unwavering commitment to speaking the prophetic Word of God.

Now this might seem like nothing more than otherwise unimportant and uninteresting biographical information on this old prophet, but there is something instructive here for you and me. You see, Simeon’s story has been included in Holy Scripture to remind us that God is still looking for people with the spirit of Simeon—people who are equally dedicated to the ways of God, who have learned to be led by the Spirit of God, who are obedient to the will of God and who will speak the Word of God.  Those are the kind of people for whom God is looking, through whom God will speak and to whom God will fulfill his promises.

Will you be that person?

“Incarnation is really an introduction to redemption. Christ’s cradle is in reality the opening act to the drama of the cross.”

What If God Took Over?

Simeon faithfully waited his entire life for the fulfillment of God’s promise. How long are you willing to wait?  Your willingness to trust and obey will be the very thing that determines the greatness of your faith.

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