Simeon took the baby in his arms and thanked God: “Now, Lord, you can let me, your servant, die in peace as you said. I have seen with my own eyes how you will save your people. Now all people can see your plan. He is a light to show your way to the other nations. And he will bring honor to your people Israel.”
~ Luke 2: 28-32
Not much is known about a man named Simeon, other than he was a devout righteous man. We also know he was full of the Holy Spirit, and this was many years before Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was revealed to the new Christians. The few words Simeon spoke, would be written down for all generations to hear. His words were the help set the foundation for our Christian faith, today.
Simeon had a belief in the message of the ancient prophets, of the coming Messiah. Many years had passed but Simeon still watched, waited and believed. The Holy Spirit had told him that he would see the Messiah before his death and prompted him to go to the temple on the very day that Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to dedicate him to God
We need to keep in mind that Jesus was only a baby. He had not started his ministry. He had not performed any miracles. He had not died on the cross or risen from the dead. Today, we have all of the story in the Bible to come to our faith, however Simeon, with nothing more than a baby boy, Mary, Joseph, and most importantly, the Holy Spirit, looked at this child and knew. I’m sure his eyes filled with tears as he took baby Jesus in his arms and proclaimed, “Now I can die because I have seen how you will save your people.”
The very beginning of the Christian faith was displayed right here in this room of the temple, even though the term Christian had not yet come into existence. But Simeon also said one other important thing, “He will bring God to the Gentile nation.” This is all before Peter was shown the blanket of unclean animals coming down from heaven; his commission to preach to the Gentiles.
These words were amazing to Mary and Joseph and are amazing words for us today. Simeon’s faith was a forward faith. He could see that Jesus would be rejected and sorrow would pierce the hearts of his parents. In this helpless little baby, he could see the Redeemer.
Ours is a backward faith, in that we have the message in its entirety, in the Bible, and we can believe. But we can also have a forward faith, by believing that Christ will one day return. It’s a promise to come, just as the promise to Simeon that the Messiah would come.
Dearest Savior, Thank you for the completed message we have in your word. Help us to grow in faith. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert