LIVING A THANKFUL LIFE
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Jesus had been brought to be circumcised – to fulfill Mosaic law. (Luke 2:25-35)
Joseph and Mary were devout Jews, as were most of the “common” people of that day. So they were following the dictates of their religion to bring Jesus into the Temple on the eighth day after His birth.
This act by Joseph and Mary not only fulfilled the Jewish religious requirements, it fulfilled a promise having been made to the Priest Simeon. I love how time and time again we see fulfilled promises, prophecies of God in the lives of everyday people.
Have you ever been promised anything by God? I know a couple of people who had been promised something very special, and God fulfilled it! They were promised a child, their own child, after 12 miscarriages. They are Joe and Beth Green. I’ll get to their story later.
Simeon took him (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:28-32)
God had promised Simeon that he would see God’s Salvation. It was a personal promise to Simeon, but a prophecy to us as we see it fulfilled in the Life of Jesus. When Simeon saw Jesus, he knew the promise had been fulfilled. Simeon saw the promise fulfilled in Jesus, a person, not something to be done.
Simeon said God had revealed His Salvation is a person, not something you do You can’t DO anything, you have to have a relationship with someone – Jesus. Simeon was wise enough to realize the Salvation was extended to all people, not just his people. And he realized that Salvation came through a person, as God had revealed to Him.
Did you notice the second sentence in the passage about the Holy Spirit? He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. The Holy Spirit was there, before Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is evident in many ways in many places, even before Pentecost. God had revealed the coming of Jesus to Simeon and now Simeon realized He was holding the Messiah, our Messiah.
Since the outset, Christianity has been for everyone everywhere. Most other religions appeal to a particular people, race or location – not Christianity. Whoever will enter is welcomed. Simeon realized it and through that realization, Mary and Joseph were blessed.
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:33-35)
Mary has known all along that there was something special going on with her child. She wasn’t exactly sure what it all entailed, but something special was going on.
Simeon is saying many hearts will be revealed, that is what the Word of God and following Christ does. Following Christ, truly following Christ reveals truths to you about your own self. Christ in your heart reveals to you who you are in your heart.
Sometimes revelations can come to us in various ways. Sometimes through songs, or through reading God’s Word, or maybe even through a sermon you hear somewhere. However they come we should always be thankful for them.
Bostwick UMC 11/8/2020