Summary: This is the first of a two sermon series (I am not sure you can call two related sermons a series!) detailing the roles of Simeon and Anna in the visit of Mary and Joseph to the temple shortly after the birth of Jesus. This sermon highlights Simeon’s spir
Message No 1
Waiting For God
Simeon – Waiting for the Consolation of Israel
Aim: To show that God’s blesses the patient praying of the godly.
Text: Luke 2:21-36.
Introduction: How often have we heard it said that, “Christmas is for children.” That may be true of the secular Christmas, but in the Biblical account of the nativity the narrative is loaded with adults. The coming of the Messiah into the world was a matter that exercised the minds of grown ups at the time. And among those grown ups were two individuals we rarely mention in the run up to Christmas, both of them elderly and both blessed of God, namely Simeon (who we read about in our text) and Anna (who we will consider next week).
Sometimes the church is guilty of forgetting about the elderly. We are ever reminded about the needs of youth, but we forget that God is interested in all of us regardless of our age or what stage we are at in life’s journey, and God cares for us from the cradle to the grave. Isaiah wrote, “Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:3-4)
I am sure many of us remember the BBC TV comedy series “Waiting for God.” It centred upon two spirited residents of a retirement home who spent their time running rings around the home’s oppressive management and their own families. The title of the show intimates that retirement homes are but waiting rooms for eternity, and the residents are sitting around waiting to die, waiting for God. Well in Luke 2 we have these two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, waiting for God. They are not waiting for God to take their lives, they are waiting for God to act upon their prayers, and their godly example in waiting is a lesson for us all. Let’s consider the first of these two, Simeon.
I. Simeon’s Person – vss 25-27
A. As Luke’s narrative unfolds we leave the shepherds of Christmas returning to their flocks.
1. Jesus is circumcised, and Mary and Joseph wind their way down to the temple to make a presentation of their firstborn before the Lord and to make a customary offering.
2. It was a sin offering, an offering for the purification of Mary, of two turtledoves and two pigeons.
3. That was all they could afford. Mary’s offering was that of the poor.
4. How important it is that we see Mary was just an ordinary woman.
5. Like all Jewish women she was required to address the matter of her sin, and to keep the law.
6. In that respect we see that Mary was not a “saint” as portrayed by Catholicism, but a sinner as recorded by the Bible.
B. In any case, having made the offering, the young couple encounters Simeon.
1. This old man had been waiting for them.
2. Of course he didn’t know it was them specifically he was waiting for until they arrived, but God had promised him he would not die until he had seen the Christ.
3. The moment Mary & Joseph appeared in the temple court Simeon knew who they were, and that the baby they were carrying was the Christ of God.
4. Now, I want you to see something of the character of this old man, for although he fleets on to the pages of Scripture and just as quickly disappears again, there is enough information in these verse to help us see the kind of man he was and by extension the kind of men God does business with.
C. He was a just man – (vs. 25)
1. When the Bible applies the word “just” to a man, it is not saying that he was merely a fair-minded man, but that he was a “saved” man.
2. Throughout Scripture the saved are referred to as the “just”, those who are right with God, and God doesn’t deal with any man unless he is saved.
3. You see, unless we deal with the sin problem in our lives we are by nature separated from God, He will have nothing to do with us.
a. He will not respond to our prayers.
b. He will not accept our worship.
c. He will not permit us entry into heaven.
d. He will judge us as sinners and cast us off.
4. How vital it is to be a saved person, a just man/woman.
D. He was a devout man