The years are catching up to me, Simeon thought as he made his way through the dirt-covered streets of Jerusalem. This was once an easy walk; in the corner of his mind’s eye he recalled himself as a younger man bounding through the alleys, markets, and crowded roads that led to the place of worship. That young man had since been hidden behind the wrinkles and squinting eyes of a man who has spent a lifetime serving the Lord.
Simeon was not sure why the Spirit was leading him to the Temple on this particular day. After all, regular visits there were part of his weekly routine. However, the old man had always been sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit. How many years had it been since Simeon had received the special Word of the Lord? Five? Ten? Twenty? It didn’t matter. Each new day brought him one day closer to the fulfillment of God’s promise: "You will not see death until you have seen the Lord’s Christ." Maybe it will be today, he mused as he finally reached the steps of the Temple.
As he paced the finely laid floors of the outer patio, Simeon reflected upon his longtime career in serving God. He was not a priest, nor a prophet; he was simply a soldier in the Lord’s army, a common man with an uncommon attunement to the Spirit of God. In a time when prophecy was rare and the Lord was often silent, the Word fell upon this one servant whose very name means "to hear and obey." Called to duty by his Commander, Simeon stood at attention and waited expectantly for the One who would bring salvation to the world.
As his feet began to cramp and the midday sun seared his almost-bare scalp, the old soldier felt a familiar tug in his spirit. Something was happening. The Lord was moving. Where? What was God saying to him? Then, in an inaudible whisper that glided through the ears of his soul, Simeon heard the Spirit’s voice. "There, Simeon. Look there. Your waiting has come to an end."
At that moment, a young couple topped the Temple steps and emerged onto the porch. The husband seemed tired; he looked as though he had walked for hundreds of miles. The tenderness in his eyes, however, betrayed a warm heart that Simeon had not seen in years.
The weary traveler’s wife appeared to be bursting with joy and excitement. Her eyes opened wide and she turned her head from side to side, as though she was trying to take in all of the glorious sights at once. She leaned forward to whisper something to her husband, laughed, and then refocused her attention on the infant in her arms.
The child, Simeon thought. There was something . . . peculiar . . . about the child. The bustling crowds walked past the mother and six-week-old boy without a second glance; nothing out of the ordinary attracted their attention. However, Simeon stood stupefied. He could not turn his eyes away from the perfect picture of innocence wrapped snugly in a blanket and held close to his mother’s heart.
Approaching the young family, Simeon took the babe in his arms and he knew . . . immediately he knew that this was the Child of Promise, the One for whom Simeon had waited for so long. Messiah. Savior. Christ. This child was Emmanuel, God with us. He was the Light of the world. He was the Word made flesh. He was the One of whom prophets foretold, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, and the Son of Man of Daniel. This child was Jesus, the ...
Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Frank Gallagher on Nov 26, 2000
We’ve all read and heard these Bible verses about the shepherds before, taught by pastors and Sunday School teachers at Christmas time. We can even hear these verses on TV each year if we watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Charlie Brown spends the show as so many people do today, looking in all ...read more
Contributed by Owen Bourgaize on Dec 10, 2000
Christian message hasn’t been accepted for what it is -hope for the world in the coming of the Christ-child. The Christians of the first generation knew better. Many of them would have known Jesus personally or knew someone who did. He wasn’t a remote historical figure to them. He was a ...read more
Contributed by Owen Bourgaize on Dec 10, 2000
Terry Waite, who was a hostage in Lebanon for five long years, tells in his autobiography, how for month after month he was kept chained hand and foot. Most of his clothes were taken from him, his shoes and even his watch. For hours at a time he could only curl up as a baby and he says he felt ...read more
Contributed by Kyle Meador on Dec 18, 2000
There was a art contest held in a local school one Christmas season a few years ago in East Texas. One of the prize winners was a picture drawn by a nine year old boy showing three men, offering gifts to the baby Jesus in his manger. What made the picture unique is how the three gift presenters ...read more
Contributed by Don Walker on Dec 21, 2000
The New Testament word “worthy” or “worth” basically refers to weight. It refers to a time when people did business with coins that were minted with the exact amount of metal that the coin declared to be its value. To put it into our thinking, a $20 gold piece contained ...read more