Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised. For my eyes have seen your salvation.
And So Much More
Mary and Joseph took their child to the temple to perform a religious rite. They ended up receiving so much more than they had bargained for when a righteous and devout man of faith delivered a messianic prophecy. This is another story of God making good on the promise He made long ago.
Sometimes we may go to church or attend a Bible study because it seems like the right thing to do, without knowing how God may be planning to use other people to speak blessing and encouragement into our lives.
Behold The Promised Messiah
Luke and Acts have a lot to say about the activity of the Holy Spirit in the ministry of Jesus. And by extension, these books also tell us a lot about the early church. Simeon had received a revelation that he would not die until he saw the Messiah. Luke tells us that the Spirit led Simeon into the temple. And as soon as he saw Jesus there, he knew this was in fact the Messiah.
Simeon knew God had done exactly what He had promised, and he responded in praise. Being in the presence of the Messiah meant that God’s promise of salvation was at hand. This reality expresses the contrast between religion and relationship. The ministry of Jesus was not defined by religious ritual, or simply by fulfilling the law, but rather by relationship.
The Faithful God
Mary and Joseph were in fact doing the right thing by taking Jesus to the temple. God was honoring their choice as well as Simeon’s by giving this prophetic word of praise to them. In other words, God is faithful to keep His promises, and Simeon remained faithful to what God had told him.
Luke does not tell us how long it had been since Simeon had received this revelation, yet somehow he knew Jesus was the Messiah as soon as he set eyes on Him.
Nothing To Fear
As followers of Jesus, we should be able to recognize Him no matter the circumstance. And when we see the Lord at work in our lives, we should respond by giving Him praise and glorifying His name. No matter what the world may say, it is always appropriate to give God glory.
Simeon spoke prophecy about the baby Jesus at a time when many believed prophecy had ceased. Yet he was undaunted in speaking what he knew to be true. If we truly believe God is faithful in keeping His promises, we have nothing to fear from the judgments of this world.
Reflect on what it looks like for you to continue in faithful, faith-filled obedience to the Lord just as Simeon did. Which areas in your life are the most difficult for you to see Him at work in? Now, consider what it would look like to live a lifestyle of thankfulness and praise.
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