Summary: This is part four in a series looking at the characters in the Christmas narrative. In this case, Simeon is a man who has been promised by the Lord that he will live to see the Messiah and he eagerly waits for that day, knowing by faith it will come.
The Voices of Christmas Part IV
Simeon – the Voice of Faith
Over the last few weeks we have looked at some of the people who would unwittingly participate in the great drama that would surround the birth of our Lord.
A drama that was written before the foundation of the world
NOW THERE WAS A MAN IN JERUSALEM CALLED SIMEON, WHO WAS RIGHTEOUS AND DEVOUT. HE WAS WAITING FOR THE CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS UPON HIM. 26 IT HAD BEEN REVEALED TO HIM BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT HE WOULD NOT DIE BEFORE HE HAD SEEN THE LORD’S CHRIST. 27 MOVED BY THE SPIRIT, HE WENT INTO THE TEMPLE COURTS. WHEN THE PARENTS BROUGHT IN THE CHILD JESUS TO DO FOR HIM WHAT THE CUSTOM OF THE LAW REQUIRED, 28 SIMEON TOOK HIM IN HIS ARMS AND PRAISED GOD, SAYING:
29 "SOVEREIGN LORD, AS YOU HAVE PROMISED,
YOU NOW DISMISS YOUR SERVANT IN PEACE.
30 FOR MY EYES HAVE SEEN YOUR SALVATION,
31 WHICH YOU HAVE PREPARED IN THE SIGHT OF ALL PEOPLE,
32 A LIGHT FOR REVELATION TO THE GENTILES
AND FOR GLORY TO YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL."
33 THE CHILD’S FATHER AND MOTHER MARVELED AT WHAT WAS SAID ABOUT HIM. 34 THEN SIMEON BLESSED THEM AND SAID TO MARY, HIS MOTHER: "THIS CHILD IS DESTINED TO CAUSE THE FALLING AND RISING OF MANY IN ISRAEL, AND TO BE A SIGN THAT WILL BE SPOKEN AGAINST, 35 SO THAT THE THOUGHTS OF MANY HEARTS WILL BE REVEALED. AND A SWORD WILL PIERCE YOUR OWN SOUL TOO."
1. Rooted in Scripture—
SOVEREIGN LORD, AS YOU HAVE PROMISED…
His waiting was rooted in scripture; the promise was rooted in revelation.
LUKE 2:25 AMP
…THIS MAN WAS RIGHTEOUS AND DEVOUT [CAREFULLY AND CAUTIOUSLY OBSERVING THE DIVINE LAW], AND LOOKING FOR THE CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL…
ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD-BREATHED…
We know that Simeon was a righteous and devout man, not one given to baseless beliefs. His was a faith rooted in God’s Word – in this He had confidence.
There were many who had come and would come claiming to be the Christ but God’s Word is the only and final arbiter of the truth.
FOR MANY WILL COME IN MY NAME, CLAIMING, ’I AM THE CHRIST,’ AND WILL DECEIVE MANY.
Particularly leading up to the destruction of the Temple Jesus prophesied that false Messiah’s would come.
AT THAT TIME IF ANYONE SAYS TO YOU, ’LOOK, HERE IS THE CHRIST!’ OR, ’LOOK, THERE HE IS!’ DO NOT BELIEVE IT. 22 FOR FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS WILL APPEAR AND PERFORM SIGNS AND MIRACLES TO DECEIVE THE ELECT-IF THAT WERE POSSIBLE. 23 SO BE ON YOUR GUARD; I HAVE TOLD YOU EVERYTHING AHEAD OF TIME.
That last verse is the key – He has told us everything ahead of time. These prophecies have dual fulfillment. We live in the day of false Messiahs too.
One afternoon in 1965, Daniel Waswa, a citizen of Kenya, struggled up a hill and was crucified by his wife at his own direction. As he hung on the cross, he told the gathered crowd, “I am dying for the sins of all Kenyans.”
After nailing her husband to the cross, the woman collapsed on the ground and died, apparently from shock.
Waswa’s neighbors knew this was no spur-of-the-moment act. He had talked about it for a year and had told them he had been called by God for this purpose.
They begged him to let them take him down. He refused all requests. Finally he was taken down still alive, but he soon died from the nail wounds which had become infected.
Superstitious people now make pilgrimages to the spot where Daniel Waswa died and pray for him to forgive their sins.
There have been over 1,100 religious leaders in different parts of the world in the last fifty years who have claimed to be Christ and the Savior of the world. Most of these false christs have risen in Africa, in India or in the Orient and have spread into the West.
If we are going to truly know Jesus, we must know Him as He reveals Himself through His Word. We cannot create Jesus in the image we want Him – we must accept Him as His Word reveals Him.
"NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS TO ME, ’LORD, LORD,’ WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT ONLY HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. 22 MANY WILL SAY TO ME ON THAT DAY, ’LORD, LORD, DID WE NOT PROPHESY IN YOUR NAME, AND IN YOUR NAME DRIVE OUT DEMONS AND PERFORM MANY MIRACLES?’ 23 THEN I WILL TELL THEM PLAINLY, ’I NEVER KNEW YOU. AWAY FROM ME, YOU EVILDOERS!’