What can we learn from a man in Jerusalem called Simeon? Today brings us to week three in our series of Advent celebrations. I invite you to join me in considering a cameo tucked into the Book of Luke. Simeon, like Mary and the shepherds, also participated in God’s Bigger Story surrounding the life of our Newborn King.
Luke 2: 22-35.
When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord) and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
What can we learn from a man in Jerusalem called Simeon?
What sets Simeon apart?
The Significance of his character: Indeed, he was righteous and devout. This man honored God, walked with God, waited on God, believed God, listened to God, knew the character of God, recognized the Son of God, and he praised God.
The Significance of the Holy Spirit in his life: Guided by the Spirit (HCSB), Simeon was where he was supposed to be at just the exact time to intersect with the new family for this most incredible Divine Appointment.
The Significance of his actions: Simeon knew this was no ordinary Baby. No indeed. Upon seeing the Baby, he took Him into his arms: devout meets Deity! (Picturing the tenderness overwhelms my grandmother's heart.)
Holding The Child, this man’s joy erupted in praise and thanksgiving to God, the One who had told him to wait for this Divine Appointment.
After praying and talking aloud to God, Simeon directed his thoughts to the husband and wife standing before him. In this poignant moment, he blessed them! Perhaps he spoke the rich words from Numbers 6:24-25. We do not know; we are not told.
Yet, put yourself in the place of Mary and Joseph, a young couple caught up in caring for God’s Only Son during these embryonic days of His life on earth. Imagine how this elderly man's blessing would have brought encouragement to your hearts.
Did the Divine Appointment conclude with Simeon's blessing? No. He then moved to speak prophecy, a painful prophecy, customized just for Mary.
Then, Simeon’s Divine Appointment in the temple was over. But he had been waiting, and waiting and waiting; and he had been ready. Because he walked with God, listened to God, and was led by God, he met the Son of God—in a Divine Appointment.
Living With Eternal Intentionality™
How is God working to build godly character into your life that you see in the life of Simeon?
Describe the difference in the story if Simeon had not listened to God—if he had been too busy, too distracted, or too absorbed in his own agenda.
When is the last time God led you into a Divine Appointment? What occurred as a result?
May I make a suggestion? Treat a friend to coffee this week, and share with each other the amazing work of the Holy Spirit in your lives.