Simeon, My Favorite Character

I often refer to Simeon as my favorite character.  The reason is found in the second chapter, of Luke’s Gospel:1

A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He lived an honorable and devout life. He was waiting for the one who would comfort Israel. The Holy Spirit was with Simeon and had told him that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah, whom the Lord would send.

Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courtyard. Mary and Joseph were bringing the child Yeshua into the courtyard at the same time. They brought him so that they could do for him what Moses’ Teachings required. Then Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God by saying,

“Now, Lord, you are allowing your servant to leave in peace
    as you promised.
My eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people to see.
He is a light that will reveal salvation to the nations
    and bring glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:25-32)

The reason he is my favorite character is that description of him being, “an honorable and devout” believer. Anyone who can fulfill that description is top-notch in my mind! Plus, because of his faithful life, it says, “The Holy Spirit . . . had told him that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah.” What an incredible promise! I know others who have heard the same promise, regarding His return.

I wonder if he ever shared that information with any of his friends? Or was he satisfied enough to receive such a great promise that he never felt a need to share it with anyone?

We don’t know anything more about Simeon than what we just read. But you know, he is like the old testament character, Melchizedek. Honest. Just like Melchizedek, Simeon appears out of nowhere, and we don’t know anything about him. We don’t know what tribe he comes from, or anything about his family. We don’t whether he was married or had any children or grandchildren. All we know is that he was honorable and devout. Well, I suppose, we don’t need to know anything more than that. That is what matters most to our God — His only concern is our faith and character, the things that tell us about our relationship with our God. And, I hope all of us are like Simeon, who “looked for the consolation of Israel,” the coming of her Messiah.

Not only did the Holy Spirit give Simeon a wonderful promise, He directed Simeon to go to the temple on the very day that Jesus’ parents brought Him to be circumcised. Not only that, the Spirit of God revealed to Simeon that this child was the fulfillment of that promise he received many years before! Come to think of it, we have no idea how long it took before the promise was fulfilled. But the moment Simeon took the child in his arms, he blessed God. After seeking this promised Messiah for possibly years, I can’t imagine how joyful he must have felt. Think about it, a man who knew that God held him in the palm of His hand, now holds God in his arms! That must have been a thrill for him. Think about that. The all-powerful God is a tiny baby! Simeon’s words of praise express the deep joy that he felt, a joy which so utterly filled and completed his life he was ready to die:

“Now, Lord, you are allowing your servant to leave in peace
    as you promised.
My eyes have seen your salvation.” (Luke 2:29-30).

The things Simeon saw were not hidden from others, they just couldn’t recognize them as the work of God. But we are told by Matthew, that all Jerusalem knew about the Messiah that the magi were looking for, but rather than rejoicing, the people were “troubled” (Matthew 2:3). Those of us who know the Messiah can’t understand what’s so “troubling,” because we have learned to worship and rejoice His coming:

Yahweh has made his salvation known.
    He has uncovered his righteousness for the nations to see.
He has not forgotten to be merciful and faithful
    to Israel’s descendants.
        All the ends of the earth have seen how our Elohim saves them (Psalm 98:2-3).

I, Yahweh, have called you to do what is right.
    I will take hold of your hand.
    I will protect you.
    I will appoint you as my promise to the people,
        as my light to the nations.
             You will give sight to the blind,
                bring prisoners out of prisons,
                    and bring those who live in darkness
    out of dungeons.
I am Yahweh; that is my name.
    I will not give my glory to anyone else
        or the praise I deserve to idols . . . You are not just my servant
    who restores the tribes of Jacob
        and brings back those in Israel whom I have preserved.
    I have also made you a light for the nations
    so that you would save people all over the world.
” (Isaiah 42:6-8; 49:6)

Yahweh will show his holy power to all the nations.
    All the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our Elohim (Isaiah. 52:10).

Arise! Shine! Your light has come,
    and the glory of Yahweh has dawned.
Darkness now covers the earth,
    and thick darkness covers the nations.
    But Yahweh dawns,
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    and kings will come to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

Wow! Look at Simeon’s words again:

“Now, Lord, you are allowing your servant to leave in peace
    as you promised.
My eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people to see.
He is a light that will reveal salvation to the nations
    and bring glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32)

Amazing!

Nickolas
Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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