Summary: Just as Simeon awoke every morning asking, "Is this the day that I will see the Messiah?" we should live every day looking for Jesus to return.
LOOKING FOR THE MESSIAH
Text: Luke 2:21 – 40
Show powerpoint of Tonya’s baby ultrasound.
Let me introduce you to the newest Campbell child. Although a name hasn’t been decided yet, Remy, Hadley, and Hannah are among the possibilities. We know that she is a girl, even though Caleb has been praying really hard that she’s a boy. I’ll tell you more about her in a few minutes.
There are several things worthy of a sermon in this scripture today. You could focus on the faithfulness of Mary and Joseph in keeping the Law to the tiniest detail, the very law that Jesus himself had come to fulfill. We could look at the commitment of Anna, an elderly widow that never left the temple, constantly worshipping, fasting, and praying. I could stress how that Jesus, as a human, grew in spirit and wisdom, and how that God’s grace was upon him.
But the Lord drew me to the story of Simeon as I prayed about this scripture. We know very little about Simeon. We don’t know what he did for a living. Maybe he was a priest at the Temple. He might have been a Levite, someone who assisted the priests with their duties. Maybe he was a farmer, or a fisherman.
We also don’t know how old Simeon was, but his statement in verse 29 leads me to believe that he was an older man.
Here’s what we do know about Simeon. The Bible describes him as a righteous and devout man who was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come. Again, we don’t know how long he had been waiting, but we do know that at some point the Holy Spirit had revealed unto him that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah with his own eyes.
I believe that this day was like every other day for Simeon. He woke up and immediately thought, “Is this the day Lord? Is this the day that I see the Messiah?” I believe that that thought was on his mind all day long as he did what he needed to do to survive and maybe provide for his family. Simeon had a goal…and a passion…to see the Messiah before he died, and as a result, he was constantly looking for him.
By “looking” I don’t mean that he was just standing around hoping that he would get a glance at the Messiah as he passed by. The Bible says that he was righteous and devout, and that the Holy Spirit was upon him. He was careful to obey God and to seek His will. He trusted that God would keep his promise. And I am sure that he excitedly told everyone that he came into contact with, “The Messiah is coming! Are you looking for him?”
Now Simeon had good reason to believe that the Messiah was on his way. First of all, the Holy Spirit had directly revealed it to him somehow. Although Simeon didn’t know the details, he was assured that he would see and recognize the Messiah before he died. But there were other reasons for him to believe. Surely, as a righteous and devout man, Simeon would have been familiar with the Scriptures, and there are many references in the Old Testament about a coming Messiah. The very first one appears in Genesis 3 as God pronounces judgment on the serpent for its role in causing mankind to sin. God told the serpent, “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) Centuries later, Moses commented, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15) That “prophet” was Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Several more centuries pass, and the prophet Isaiah prophesies that “…the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). (Isaiah 7:14) Another prophet, Micah, prophesies about the place of the Messiah’s birth centuries before he appears. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.” (Micah 5:2) Simeon had plenty of reasons to believe that the Messiah was on his way. He didn’t know how or when, but he was sure that it would happen.
Remember the Campbell baby? Tonya and Jamie have plenty of reasons to believe that they are expecting a baby in the near future. There was a pregnancy test, followed by a trip to the obstetrician, followed by several other tests. There were ultrasounds. Tonya’s body is changing, verifying that she is expecting. And of course, sometimes she can feel the baby move or kick.