“Now Lord, Thou dost let thy bond-servant depart in peace, according to Thy word. For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” ~Luke 2:29-32 (NASB)
So Charlie Brown yell’s out, “Isn’t there anybody who knows what Christmas is all about?” Then Linus Van Pelt replies, “Sure Charlie Brown I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” Linus cue’s up his light man, we get the KJV rendition of Luke 2: 8-14, and as he finishes Linus picks up his blanket, walks back over to Charlie Brown and says, “And that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown” then goes back to sucking his thumb. I’ve been seeing this scene for a better part of my 50+ years and it never gets old…despite the fact that I am getting older.
For most Christians this is also where the scene ends in the story. Sure they’ll finish listening to or read the verses that lead up to Luke 2:20 but for the most part it stops there. It’s a shame because I think the crux of the story continues with a little known guy named Simeon. Now I suppose that Simeon is not-so-famous because we aren’t told much about him. Luke 2:25 say’s that a man named Simeon was in Jerusalem, that he lived an honorable and devout life and that he was waiting for the One who would comfort Israel or to put it in an Old Testament viewpoint he was looking for the consolation of Israel through the coming of her Messiah. But that’s pretty much it, however…
The Holy Spirit was with Simeon and it was the Holy Spirit who had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen Israel’s Messiah. It was also the Holy Spirit that directed Simeon to the temple on the particular day that Jesus’ parents brought Him to be presented to the Lord. Finally, in some unspecified way, it was the Spirit of God who revealed to Simeon that this child was indeed the Messiah. (Did I mention the presence of the Holy Spirit? Anyway…) I am so sure that there was great joy in Simeon’s heart because of what we read in Luke 2:29-32 and this is what I would like to focus in on. Even though Simeon was a devout Hebrew there was no way he was gonna view the Messiah’s arrival as only for the benefit of Israel, oh no, Simeon knows his Word and surely Isaiah 52:10 crosses his mind…“The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all nations; That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.”
And “A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES”, isn’t something that any Jew at that time would have shouted out in THE Temple but Simeon did. Everyone, and I
mean EVERYONE that was living in those times wandered around in darkness and the Roman Empire was doing a fantastic job of keeping it that way. So is it possible that by The Holy Spirit’s leading Simeon was being used to witness this prophetic announcement from Isaiah 42:6: “I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate My righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to My people, Israel, as a symbol of My covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.” I think it might be so…
I realize that Jesus had to reach His Father’s people first because things needed to so ironed with them. They come back from exile pretty much a downtrodden people and it had been so long since they heard from YHVH. The only thing they had was religion…and religion, being as ultra-legalistic or as blended as it was, had been weighing heavy on everyone. Enslaved to believe on what the Pharisees told you to believe in (yes there were a few expectations, i.e. 1Kings 19:18) and the rules to make sure you carried that belief out made relationship with YHVH impossible.
The Gentile world had it all different until Jesus. They worshipped the created rather than The Creator. They would chop down a tree, widdle an image, bow down and say, “you are my god”. And if that one didn’t work…they would carve something outta stone, bow down to it and say, “Now YOU are my god”. (Side bar here…nowadays we click on the Zombie King and select something from the menu and then say, “WHAT is my god?”) In any case once the miracles of Jesus Christ started happening everything got thrown out the window.
So, Yes Simeon we ALL have access to The Messiah, if we choose to receive and use that access. Did YHVH fore know this moment in the Temple was gonna happen? Did a Triune God know the effect it would have on His creation? For the Christian the answer is obvious but to truly believe that answer takes obedience to The Holy Spirit’s leading and the faith to carry it out. We don’t need to be Super-Christians either, just being a Simeon is enough. Amen?
Think About This: “The very fact the Holy Spirit has left the love and joy of heaven and made His residence for nearly 2,00 years in this uncongenial world places His sacrifice alongside that of Jesus Christ in His incarnation and redemption” —A.B. Simpson
Written by Chris Hughes, graduate of The Colony of Mercy 11-2003, serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne, NJ.
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: “If God called us to a task, He will then qualify us for the job.” ~Jack Hyles
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.~Psalm 27:3 (NKJV)