This Day in History: 0000-12-14
December 14 – Luke 2:25-26
At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
Simeon had been promised that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.
Luke 2:27-37 – That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen Your Salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a Light to reveal God to the nations, and He is the Glory of Your people Israel!”
Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and He said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose Him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.
What an honor to have been given a promise like Simeon’s! To be told by the Holy Spirit Himself that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah with his own eyes was (as far as we’ve been told) a promise given to only one man. So, it makes me wonder, what was so special about Simeon that qualified him for such a special privilege?
I believe the answer to that question is right there in the text: He was righteous and devout and WAS EAGERLY WAITING FOR THE MESSIAH TO COME AND RESCUE ISRAEL.
Before being given the promise, though, there was nothing extra special about Simeon in the sense that he didn’t have any extra revelation about when the Messiah would come. He had access to all the same prophecies and Scripture writings that all the rest of the Jewish people had. He’d been commanded to be ready, and to live in expectation of the coming Messiah just the same as every other Israelite. The difference was, he actually did!
While his fellow Hebrews had become distracted and grown complacent, Simeon had remained EAGER in his anticipation of the coming Rescuer. This attitude of expectancy sprouted within him the qualities of devotion and righteousness as he enjoyed fellowship with the Holy Spirit within his life.
Simeon’s story reminds me that I too have been given a command to live with eager expectation for the coming of the Messiah:
Matthew 24:42-44 – So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and no permit his house to be broken into. You also much be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
Luke 12: 35-38 – Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let Him in the moment He arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for His return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, He Himself will seat them, out on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever He comes, He will reward the servants who are ready.
My friends, may we be like Simeon, and be found ready and waiting!