Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Simeon: A Song Of Hope

Jesus gives me hope for this life and for eternity.

Luke 2:25-32  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 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

27 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, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 "Sovereign Lord, now let Your servant die in peace, as You have promised. 30 I have seen Your salvation, 31 which You have prepared for all people. 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and He is the glory of Your people Israel!"

The story of Simeon is a perfect blog post for after Christmas because Simeon didn't get to celebrate Jesus birth on the day it happened. The shepherds were told but Simeon didn't get to meet Jesus until Joseph and Mary brought him to the temple.

Mary was considered impure and consequently, she was not permitted to go to the temple, The laws pertaining to the "days of her purification" required the mother to stay home for forty days after the birth of a baby boy. (Leviticus 12:3-4)

We do not know very much about Simeon but what the Bible shares with us is enough. We know about the character and honor of this man, we know that God made a promise to him, and most importantly he believed the promise and God came through for him.

The Man's Character

He was a devout man with a proper relationship with God, from what we know of the other men of Jerusalem, he might have been the only one. Simeon was eagerly waiting, there was an expectation, I think that maybe he was like a kid that is waiting for Christmas morning.

We can see from these verses that Simeon's faith is mature, the fact that the Holy Spirit was upon him was an unusual occurrence at this time, this isn't said of many people before the Holy Spirit came to the early church after Jesus' resurrection.

We can also see his spiritual maturity from the things that he said about Jesus. He was fully aware of Jesus' mission to be the Messiah to all people.

The Promise Comes

Simeon is still living with the power of the Holy Spirit when Jesus is brought to the temple. Can you imagine the commotion that he must have made as he rushed to see Jesus? What did Jesus' parents think about this old guy rushing up to hold their son?

What did the people around them think about the prophecy that Simeon made about Jesus? It seems that nobody else in the temple that day had any idea what was happening. They must have been cold spiritually to ignore the excitement. The light of the world, the glory of God's people was here and yet there wasn't any response from anybody else.
The Source Of Hope
Romans 15:13  I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The hope that comes from God will give you peace and joy that will get you through the difficult times that you experience in this world. This hope will also give you peace and joy when you realize that the end of your life on earth is near, there will not be any reason to fret or worry about dying, this hope is good for today and will stay with you for eternity.

Simeon endeavored to have a right relationship with God. He didn't go after God so that he would get something from God, he pursued God first before the promises came along, Simeon knew that he should seek the giver, not the gifts that he can provide.
1 Peter 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
I was dead in my sin, a hopeless situation that I could not possibly get myself out of, but now I have been born again into a life of hope. The resurrection of Jesus is proof that I will also rise. Praise God for such an awesome Christmas gift!

I am still waiting for my hope to be realized in the life to come for all of eternity. I will rejoice despite the waiting for my hope to be realized. I will continue to live for Jesus each day out of gratitude for the hope that I could never deserve.

How Advent Teaches Us To Wait Well (crossway.org)