There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah.
One of the most shocking statements in the Bible (in my opinion, anyways) occurs in John 16:7: “I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you.” Were I to make that statement, it would not be shocking; but for Jesus to make that statement is staggering!
We see an early New Testament appearance of the Holy Spirit in our text for today as the Holy Spirit reveals to Simeon that Messiah is afoot. Simeon had longed for the day that Messiah would come and must have been overjoyed that he would get to see Him. Notice that the text says that the Holy Spirit was on him and that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would see Messiah. The Holy Spirit brings truth into our lives, just like he did in Simeon’s life.
The Holy Spirit teaches us all things concerning Jesus and leads us in the way of righteousness. We see how Simeon’s longing for the “setting right” of the Israel was core to his devotion and righteous living. In a way, we find ourselves in a similar position to Simeon, though with some advantages. Like Simeon, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin and leads us to righteousness. Like Simeon, we are longing for a hopeful future: that day when Messiah will come again and finalize His kingdom.
But we have advantages that Simeon did not. We have the church, those believers who gather to praise God, encourage one another, and provoke one another to good works. And, most importantly, we have “seen” the resurrection of Lord Jesus. We know clearly what our future existence will be because Jesus was raised from the dead in the same way we will be raised.
I pray that these truths encourage us to righteousness. I hope that you recognize the “voice” of the Holy Spirit in your life and are able to respond to his promptings. Let the hope of Jesus’ return, the truth of his resurrection, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit be your guide to making Jesus known among your friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
We’re Called for Keeps