Summary: A study of Simeon and the fact that Jesus was the answer to some of his questions.
Luke 2:25- 40 – 4 Questions from Simeon …
I want to ask everyone here how patient they are. Come on does anyone here like waiting for things? If you were to put yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being so impatient that you don’t even know what the word patience means to 10 not having a care in the world and not even owning a watch, where would you be? Take a Poll.
Three women who arrived at the Pearly Gates at the same time. St. Peter came along but said he had some pressing business and would they please wait. He was gone for a long time, but finally he came back and called one of the women in and asked her if she minded waiting.
"No," she said, "I’ve looked forward to this for so long. I love God and can’t wait to meet Jesus. I don’t mind at all."
St. Peter then said, "Well I have one more question. How do you spell `God?’"
She said, "Capital-G-o-d."
St. Peter said, "Welcome, Go right on in."
He went out and got one of the other women, told her to come on inside, and said, "Did you mind waiting?"
She said, "Oh, no. I have been a Christian for fifty years, and I’ll spend eternity here. I didn’t mind at all."
So St. Peter said, "Just one more thing. How do you spell `God?’"
She said, "g-o-d. No, I mean capital-G."
St. Peter said that was good and sent her on in to Heaven.
He went back out and invited the third woman in and asked her if she minded waiting.
"Yes, I did," she said huffily. "I’ve had to stand in line all my life—at the supermarket, when I went to school, when I registered my children for school, when I went to the movies--everywhere--and I resent having to wait
in line for Heaven!"
St. Peter said, "Well that’s all right for you to feel that way. It won’t be held against you, but there is just one more question you need to answer before I let you into heaven. How do you spell `Czechoslovakia?’"
For some people, waiting is almost akin to being tortured by having your nails pulled out. It is painful. Tonight, I want to talk about 2 people who waited. Their names were Simeon and Anna and they were waiters. We don’t actually know much about them - we know virtually nothing about Simeon – but we know they were playing the waiting game. What were they waiting for? For the coming of the Messiah and they had waited a long time – patiently. So turn in your bibles to Luke 2:25-40. Tonight, I want to focus particularly on Simeon and I want us to ask ourselves 4 questions tonight about our view of Jesus and his impact he has on our lives.
Before I read this passage, let’s set the scene a little. Last week, I talked about 3 rituals that occurred at the birth of a first born male child. Well events we’ll read about soon occurred 40 days after Jesus was born as soon as Mary was ritually clean. Mary & Joseph entered the temple to pay the 5 sheckels of Silver to Redeem the Firstborn back from God. If you want to know what that is all about, get the tape from last week. As Mary & Joseph enter the temple, they meet 2 people. Let’s read about them.
Read & Pray
Question 1: Are you willing to wait for God’s timing?
Both Simeon and Anna were waiters. Though we don’t know how old Simeon was, we are told that God had told him that he wouldn’t die before seeing the Messiah. He may have been quite elderly and just waiting for this day, we don’t know. But what we do know, is that he waited patiently.
Let’s face it, most of us find waiting difficult. In our consumer orientated world, we are programmed to expect instant service, but this isn’t how God works.
So often we fight against the process of waiting. It is not natural to us – but that doesn’t mean it is not good. Often waiting can be painful also. I think of both my Grandfathers. Both godly men and widowers and both would have wanted to just die and go to be with their Lord quickly. One had a stroke and was in a coma on ventilators for almost 5 months. It was painful for him and in his subconscious state, he kept pulling out the nasal-gastric tubes that were keeping him alive. He had to wait though – and it was painful. My other grandfather passed out across a bar heater getting out of the shower and received horrible burns across his legs and groin. He lingered in pain in hospital for sometime, before passing away. Waiting is often painful for those amongst it – it is definitely not easy.