Bible Studies for Life
December 30 2018
Luke 2:25-35 (HCSB)
Simeon was an enigmatic character which we know very little about. Tradition says he was an old man because of his readiness and eagerness to die (Luke 2:29). Simeon like Anna Elizabeth and Zechariah was part of the faithful Jewish remnant who waited eagerly for the Messiah (Mal. 3:16). This anticipation was captured in a traditional Jewish prayer “May I see the consolation of Israel.”
The Holy Spirit guided Simeon to the temple for the dedication of Jesus (Luke 2:23 27). He also revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he saw the Messiah (Luke 2:26). Simeon gazed upon Jesus took Him in his arms and praised God “For my eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:30). The promised Messiah would bring salvation to Israel and all the peoples of the earth (Luke 2:31-32). We don’t know how much of Simeon’s words Mary and Joseph understood but they were amazed.
Simeon’s praise turned to prophecy (Luke 2:34-35). He said Jesus would cause the fall and rise of many. Many in Israel would fall in conviction and then rise in salvation. Even today Israel stumbles over the cross. He would also be a sign a revelation of divine truth – a truth that Israel would reject. He would also be a sword. The sword speaks of suffering and sorrow which Mary would bear in her soul. Simeon expressed what we must not forget. Jesus came to die for the sins of the world. The cradle must lead to the cross before it can lead to a crown.
One of my favorite Christmas songs is “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The last line of the first stanza captures Simeon’s praise “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Simeon held hope in his arms; we can hold this hope in our hearts. All our hopes and fears are met in Jesus. He is our consolation our comfort and our salvation.