Summary: In this lesson we learn that the testimony of Simeon will show us the true identity and mission of Jesus.
We are studying the life of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke in a sermon series I am calling, “To Seek and To Save the Lost.”
Luke described the birth of Jesus, which took place in a stable in Bethlehem. Then he told us about the shepherds visiting Jesus on the night of his birth.
Joseph and Mary continued to stay in Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus. Eight days after his birth, Jesus was circumcised and named “Jesus,” in accordance with the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb (2:21). Forty days after his birth, Mary, along with Joseph and Jesus, went to the temple for her purification and Jesus’ presentation to the Lord, as it is written in the Law of the Lord (2:22-24).
While they were in the temple precincts, Joseph and Mary and Jesus met two very godly people who gave an astounding testimony regarding Jesus. Today we are going to examine the testimony of Simeon, and next time we will examine the testimony of Anna.
Let’s read about the testimony of Simeon in Luke 2:25-35:
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant
depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the
presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:25-35)
Most of us do not remember much about the Cold War. The Cold War is usually dated from 1945 to 1991, and was a state of political and military tension primarily between the United States and the former Soviet Union.
One of the most controversial episodes of the Cold War was the trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in 1953, who were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union against the United States.
Almost 50 years later the controversy was revived with the confession of a key witness who said that he lied in court to protect himself. That key witness turned out be Ethel Rosenberg’s younger brother, David Greenglass, himself a convicted spy who spent 10 years in prison.
Greenglass said that he felt no remorse over his action that may have sent his sister to the electric chair. He said he gave false testimony to protect himself and his wife, and that he was encouraged by the prosecution to do so. He said, “I would not sacrifice my wife and my children for my sister.”
Greenglass believes he will be remembered by history as “a spy that turned his family in.” But, he says, he does not care.
Telling lies in a court of law is a serious crime. Our legal system tries to ensure the accuracy of testimony so that the truth may be established.
Luke does a masterful job of presenting many eyewitnesses who testify about Jesus so that the truth may be established. Luke wants his readers—and us—to learn about Jesus’ true identity and mission.
In today’s text Luke introduces us to Simeon who testifies to the true identity and mission of Jesus.
Let us then analyze the testimony of Simeon in Luke 2:25-35.
1. The Character of Simeon (2:25a)
2. The Expectation of Simeon (2:25b)
3. The Anointing of Simeon (2:25c-27)
4. The Song of Simeon (2:28-33)
5. The Prophecy of Simeon (2:34-35)
I. The Character of Simeon (2:25a)
First, we learn about the character of Simeon.
Luke began by telling us that there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon (2:25a). This is the only place in Scripture where this Simeon is mentioned. His name means “God has heard” (cf. Genesis 29:33). Actually, Simeon was a common name. A number of people in the Bible were named Simeon, such as, one of Jacob’s twelve sons (Genesis 34:25), an ancestor of Jesus (Luke 3:30), one of the teachers in the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1), and one of the apostles, Simon Peter, whose Hebrew name was Simeon (Acts 15:14).