LUKE 2:25-39 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Luke 2:25-26 NLT
Simeon was righteous in his keeping of the law, and devout toward God.
It is possible, maybe even likely, this is the same Simeon, son of Hillel, who was founder and president of a Jewish college. Also president of the Jewish ruling body, the Sanhedrin, and a very well-respected rabbi. According to Matthew Henry, “The Jews say that he was endued with a prophetical spirit, and that he was turned out of his place because he witnessed against the common opinion of the Jews concerning the temporal kingdom of the Messiah…” Taken from blb.org, Matthew Henry commentary, 1/3/2022.
Simeon’s son was the renowned Gamaliel, for whom there is no recorded profession of faith in Jesus Christ. A persecutor of Christianity in his role as a Pharisee, it might be assumed he was a member of the Sanhedrin that called for Christ’s death. It is unthinkable his father, Simeon, would not have shared this event at the temple with him. An interesting aside, but enough about Gamaliel.
That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.
After everything that had already happened to them because of this baby, the infant Son of God, it is kind of amazing to me that they were amazed! Something like that probably takes awhile to sink in, though. For his part, God’s promise to him fulfilled, Simeon knew everything else in life would be anticlimactic. He was ready to go any time now.
Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Luke 2:34-35 NLT
How much did Mary know of her Son’s purpose, or the prophecies concerning Him, since women were not normally schooled? Whatever the case, this cannot have been a welcome thought, and was probably one of those things she kept to herself for pondering.
Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38 NLT
How exciting to have witnessed this! And encouraging to us, who wait for His return… one day the waiting will be over.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NLT
Categories: About Jesus