Summary: A glimpse into the life of Simeon and three characteristics that give us a reason to rejoice.
A REASON TO REJOICE!
A man was asleep in the bed one night when his wife leaned over and shook him and said, "Wake up, I think somebody’s breaking in!"
You see, this man had gone through this almost every night for the past 20 years, and he knew that the only way he was going to get back to sleep was to go and check it out. This had just become a formality, a regular routine…
This time, however, the wife’s worst fear had come true…as her husband made his way down the hall he spotted a man with a gun robbing the house!
As the thief was about to run away the man said, “Wait a minute, you gotta come with me and meet my wife."
With a confused looked on his face the thief replied, “Now why in the world would you want me to meet your wife?"
The man said, "Well, she’s been expecting you for 20 years."
In our passage this morning, we’re going to meet somebody whose life was characterized by expectation. This man’s name was Simeon; as we look a little bit closer at this story of Simeon, there are three aspects that we will find giving us “A Reason to Rejoice”.
The set up for the story goes like this…
READ vv. 22-24
Now, there are two reasons that Joseph and Mary came to Jerusalem:
The first reason was for purification. You see, back in those days, a woman who had become pregnant and given birth to a son was considered ceremonially unclean. And as a rule, the woman had to be purified from her bleeding, and so by offering a sacrifice she was permitted to once again enter into the sanctuary.
The second reason was to redeem the firstborn, which according to the law belonged to God. Think about that for a second…the Redeemer having to be redeemed! Well, Joseph and Mary were at the temple to take care of this which would have been five shekels. In today’s economy that would be about $7.50.
This brings us to our study. The first aspect is…
1. ANTICIPATION (vv. 25-26)
READ vv. 25-26
Simeon was a good man; he was a devout believer in God. He read read God’s Word, studied God’s Word and meditated on God’s Word.
Our passage this morning also emphasizes that this was a man of the Spirit. The Spirit was on him; the Spirit was in him; the Spirit moved him. And the Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Messiah and so he is waiting.
The text doesn’t tell us when this information was revealed to him; we don’t know how long he’d been waiting. It could have been months, years or even decades. Regardless of how long it had actually been, I get the feeling that Simeon has been waiting for some time for God to fulfill his promise to him.
Not only was Simeon a good man, not only was he a devout believer, not only did he meditate on God’s Word, not only was he a man of the Spirit…but Simeon was also a patient man. He’s been living expectantly; he’s had a desire and a focus that he hasn’t given up on; he’s been anticipating the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I gotta admit, patience is not one of my best qualities. You see, we live in the age of immediate gratification. “We want the world and we want it now.” But what we need to understand; what I need to understand is that God doesn’t work in our time frame. The bible teaches that a thousand years to us is like a single day to God.
But the truth is that waiting can be such a hard thing for us to do. Our schedules are maxed out; we don’t leave any time to wait for anything. We don’t take the time to truly get to know our neighbors and whether or not they know God because who’s got time for that? We may have 1,000 Facebook friends who can like us in an instant, but have we really taken the time to get to know who those people are and whether or not they have a relationship with Christ. We want our trials and tribulations to be solved right now. It used to be that something worth having was worth waiting for, but now if we have to wait it’s almost not worth having.
This now brings us to the second aspect…
2. ADORATION (vv. 27-28)
READ vv. 27-28
The day that Simeon had been so patiently waiting for has finally arrived. He’s in the temple, doing what he usually does, and in walks this young couple carrying the promised Messiah!
Now we don’t really know exactly what this man was expecting, who he had pictured in his mind: maybe it was a great general, a king who would take the throne from Herod and establish justice and righteousness in the land again, or a great religious leader who would turn the people back to God? He was given this great promise from God that he would see the one and now that day has come. Simeon was looking for the hope of Israel and….it’s a baby! But this baby would grow to meet every human need and defy every expectation. In many ways we are all like Simeon.