Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem to consecrate Him to the Lord, as was the custom. It was there that they encountered an old man by the name of Simeon who was worshipping in the Temple courts.
Simeon was a righteous and devout man who knew the Scriptures that prophesied that God’s Messiah would come. This Anointed One of God would be King over God’s people and, as God had promised through the Prophet Isaiah seven hundred years earlier, this Servant of the LORD would also be a light to the Gentiles who would open blind eyes and bring light to those sitting in spiritual darkness.
I wonder if Simeon had ever imagined what the Messiah would look like when He came? Did he imagine a wealthy powerful king born in a beautiful palace? Some lofty academic who had trained at the feet of the greatest Rabbis in the land? We don’t know, but surely, he did not expect the baby of a simple peasant woman who was too poor to offer the Lord anything more than the minimum sacrifice of two doves. Jesus is often different than who we imagine Him to be! Are we like Simeon willing to accept Him for who He is?
Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that “he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah” (Luke 2:28) and on the day Jesus was presented at the Temple God prompted Simeon to go quickly into the Temple courts. As soon as his old eyes saw the child cradled in Mary’s arms Simeon knew that God’s promise to him was fulfilled. Taking Jesus in his arms, he praised God saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
No matter who Simeon had imagined, this was the Promised One of God who would be for all people – Jew and Gentile alike. Simeon knew that his life could come to an end in peace because this was God’s Savior for all nations.
For many years I held back, I doubted that Jesus was the Savior, the Anointed One whom God had promised to send. One night as I lay in my bed in the darkness I realized that in my rejecting Christ I’d really been fighting God Himself and I understood that the only way I could find peace in God’s presence was through the sacrifice Jesus had made on the cross for me.
Simeon gladly accepted Him and we are to do the same. Will you accept Jesus as your Savior and the only One in whom you may have real peace? Now’s the time to take Jesus in your arms. In so doing, will receive eternal life in God’s presence. Jesus Christ is the only way that you’ll find peace. He will give you Salvation because He is the Light of the Gentiles and the glory of Israel.
Blessings on your day!