Summary: From the words of Simeon when he saw Joseph and Mary with baby Jesus in the Temple. Know that at Christmas (1) our consolation has come; and (2) we have all that we need for life.
Do you look forward to Christmas? Kids love Christmas, because they know many wonderful things happen at Christmas. They will have lots of fun, parties and gifts.
We all look forward to Christmas for many different reasons. Some for the bargains you’ll at Christmas sale; others will take it as a good break from work.
What are you looking for this Christmas? Are you longing for anything special to happen?
There was a man – Simeon, a just and devout man with the gift of prophecy. Verse 25 “He was waiting for the consolation of Israel.”
Today we need to return to the perspective of this man Simeon. He was a just and devout Israelite, endowed with the gift of prophecy. He was waiting for the first Christmas to come – v.25 “He was waiting for the consolation of Israel…”
What is that consolation? Verse 26 “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Simeon was actually waiting for someone – He was waiting for the arrival of Jesus Christ, for He will be the consolation for Israel.
(1) YOUR CONSOLATION HAS COME!
The people of Israel have turned their back on God. They were living in bondage to sin. They were oppressed under the Roman rule. For the righteous and devout man like Simeon, his only hope is to see the Messiah – the One who would save his people.
And God comforted him, revealing to him that he will not die until he sees Him. Isn’t God gracious? God wanted him to see… and so in verse 27 “Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.” – at the same time when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple to be consecrated.
And he was overjoyed. I think we can sense his joy, vv.28ff. “Simeon took him in his arms and praised God…” This song or poem is now being called "Nunc Dimittis" and is often used in funerals, even today.
Simeon was so satisfied at seeing Jesus that he said, “…You now dismiss your servant in peace.” (v.29), in order words, “I can die in peace now… Lord, you can let me die now!”
In fact, Joseph and Mary were surprised by this spontaneous outburst of joy.
What did he sing about? “30For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."
All those in the Temple were introduced to this Child by his song - Jesus is the Saviour they were all waiting for. It was a message of joy and hope. Yet this message has a serious tone to it, because Simeon when on to bless the parents and then said to Mary - this child of yours will cause many people in Israel to fall and others to stand. The child will be like a warning sign. Many will reject him, and you Mary, will suffer as though you had been stabbed by a dagger."
Yes, she will grieve because the Child will be sacrificed. For this Child was born to die for the sin of the world. As you know, it was Mary who stayed with Jesus at the foot of the cross.
(Traditionally it was believed that Joseph had already died when Jesus entered the ministry.)