Text: Luke 1:25-35
The He I am referring to in the title of this message is of course the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophets of the Old Testament had prophesied of Him. Of all the prophets of the Old Testament, Isaiah gave one of my favorite presentations of the identity of Christ in Isa.9:6Isaiah called him Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.
Up until the time Christ was born, the history of man was about 4,000 years. Before the birth of Jesus there were 400 silent years in regard to Gods revelation to man. The voice of God was silent but not permanently.
Christs first coming was proclaimed in Genesis 3:15, where the Scripture says, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Christs heel would only be bruised but the Lord Jesus would bruise the serpents head. Moses wrote Gods works spoken in the Garden of Eden and informed us that the Lord Jesus would be coming in the future to destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8).
I am sure that if you could talk to Simeon today about the coming of Jesus, he would tell you, "I waited many years for the Messiah, the Christ to come, but when He finally did come, He was worth the wait."
I also believe that when Jesus comes back to this earth in the second coming that you and I will say, "It seemed like a long wait, but He did finally come, and He was worth the wait."
In the events of the Christmas account, after the adoration of the shepherds, there are two other significant events listed in Luke 2. First, there is the circumcision of Jesus which involved 8 days, and then there was the adoration of Simeon and his prophecy of Jesus effect upon the people.
We do not know the exact time frame of Simeons adoration of the Lord Jesus Christ, but we do know that time is involved.
Jesus circumcision involved eight days (Luke 2:21), then the days of the purification of Mary, entailed some forty days. The first seven days after she gave birth she was considered unclean; afterwards she continued some thirty three days in the blood of her purifying. We can come to the conclusion that this meeting of Simeon and the baby Jesus in the Temple, occurred when Jesus was at least forty days old.
Keep in mind there are several Simeons in the Bible:
1. Second son of Jacob through Leah (Gen. 29:33).
2. An ancestor of Jesus (Lk.3:30).
3. One of the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch.(Acts 13:1).
4. The name used by James with reference to Simon Peter (Acts 15:14)
5. A devout man of Jerusalem who had been promised of God that he would see the Messiah before he died (Luke 2). It is this last one that I will stress in the message this morning.
I. A Characterization
There is a man mentioned in this passage of Scripture that is especially noted in divine revelation. He is the kind of man that any man should want to bean exemplary, role model kind of person in his daily living.
The Bible says"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8). That does not just mean that if a person is pure in heart, when he or she dies there is a heavenly home provided. It also has the idea of present perception and seeing or perceiving the things of God nowin this present time. Simeon obviously knew what it was to have intimate spiritual communion with the God of the Bible. He knew what it was to fellowship with the Lord, to walk with him as did Enoch of old ( Gen. 5:24) and Noah (Gen. 6:9). The closer you walk with God, the more you will hear Him say to you. Life takes on a new seasoning and a new flavor when God is first and foremost in our daily living.
Lets look at what the Bible says about Simeon, who held the baby Jesus in his arms:
A. The Meaning Of His Name
His name Simeon means"the deity hears." His name is associated with answered prayers. Simeon obviously knew how to ring the prayer bells of heaven. We need more people like that today.
When I was a boy I used to hear the song:
"Prayer bells of heaven oh how sweetly they ring,
Bearing a message unto Jesus our King,
When you are burdened down with troubles and cares,
Ring on and on for God will answer your prayers.
B. The Manner of His Life"just"(Lk.2:25)
The word "just" describes his outward life.
The Bible calls him a "just" man. How would you identify a just man? There are several ways:
1. He sought to keep the commandments of God.
Jesus said,"If ye love me, keep my commandments"(Jn.14:15).
2. He lived a life which was above reproach from others.
He would have made a good deacon for some church.
3. His way of thinking, feeling and acting conformed to the will of God for his life.
We are called up to"Prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).
What you say is greatly overshadowed by how you life. You can talk about the Lord all you want, but if your life does not manifest the right kind of spirit, what you say will not mean a thing to those who have an spiritual discernment at all.
Someone said, "What we do speaks so loudly that people cannot hear so much what we say." We can never underestimate the impact of our conduct and manner of life. Do you want people to listen to what you have to say about spiritual things? Live right and more folks will listen.
C. The Mark of His Devotion "devout" (Lk. 2:25)
While "just" speaks of our outward behavior, the word "devout"stresses more his inner life. For the outward behavior to be what it should be, the inner life is going to have to be what it should be.
The Bible in Luke 2:25 calls him a "devout" man. That word has the idea of "taking hold well" or "reverencing" God. You knew whose side Simeon was on. He was not holding hands with evil and sin, he was dedicated to the holy things of God.
Our problem today is that we are not "devout" people. So many come to church on Sunday morning and that is all that you see them. They may be saved, but are not as devoted to the Lord Jesus, not as "devout" as they ought to be.
On the surface, it looks like many professing believers have not taken hold of God very well. When the Lord touches your life, when he is in charge, it is clearly manifest in a devoted spirit. We should be a DEDICATED people today when it comes to spiritual thingsthe things of God.
II. A Consolation
The Messiah was referred to as the Comforter among the Jewish people. He would be the One who would bring divine comfort to His people.
Isaiah 49:13 ¶ Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
Note the phrase inLuke 2:25 which reads, "Waiting for the consolation of Israel."
The physical seed of Abraham have gone thorough more troubles and trials than any people who have ever lived on the face of this earth. They many times have experienced the conquering of their lands by other people, various captivities where they were carried off by other nations, heartaches and troubles beyond full comprehension.
German Nazis in 1945 killed over six million Jews. Some were killed by firing squads, others died of starvation or as a result of experiments performed on them by German doctors and scientists, and most died in poison gas chambers. They have had a rough road.
In our Scripture we should realize the Jews had gone through the Babylonian Captivity and had fought nation after nation for the control of their land God promised to them.
Rome was now in control, and the Jews were looking for a Messiah to come, who would break them from the yoke of the Roman government and set them free as a people.
God chose Israel as the "apple of His eye" (Zech. 2:8). Zechariah 2:8 says, " For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye." That still holds true today. Nations had better listen to that warning. Those who mistreat the Jewish people, of the physical seed of Abraham, will suffer because of it.
They waited but not in vain. Finally, the one who would give consolation to Israel had come. It should have meant, "celebration time." Instead, the Jews sought to trump up charges against Jesus and have Him crucified.
III. A Co-operation
The Holy Ghost comes into the picture. We found Him at the conception of Jesus in the womb of the virgin Mary. She was with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18 tells us, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."
Simeon was a just and devout man, so the Spirit of God could share personal truths and insight to Simeon, that He would not show to others.
A. The Spirit of God Revealed To Him
What did the Spirit reveal to Simeon? That he would see the Christ child before he faced physical death.
Luke 2:26 states, " And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ."
You can be on the "inside" when it comes to knowing what going is doing and is going to do.
John 16:13 tells us of the Holy Ghost, " Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
B. The Spirit of God Directed Him
Luke 2:27 says, "He came by the Spirit into the temple."
It was no accident that Simeon found himself in the temple the same time that Mary brought him there.
There is a God who is controlling and putting together the peices of our life.
Life is like a puzzle with many different parts. Only God can make them fit together as they should. One He know where to put the various pieces to make our lives productive and beautiful for His honor and glory.
We are wise only as we co-operate with the leading of the Holy Ghost.
IV. A Confirmation
Luke 2:29-30 says, " Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
Simeon had nothing to gain by claiming falsely that Jesus was the Christ. There was no political gain, no monetary gain, no social gain. He made the statement of verse 30 because the Holy Ghost somehow inside let Him know that Jesus was the Messiah that the Old Testament prophets had declared would come.
No one could have talked Simeon out of the reality of who Jesus was. Simeon was convinced, confident and positive that the Messiah had arrived in the coming of Jesus Christ through a virgin birth.
Most Jews today deny that Jesus is the Messiah, but I am thoroughly convinced that Christ is the "Shiloh" that was predicted would come.
V. A Declaration
These declarations tell us why waiting for Jesus was worth the wait for Simeon:
A. Salvation Is Come (v.30) "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
Jn. 1:12- But as many as received Him to them............"
1. For all salvation
2. Free salvation
3. Forever salvation
B. Light Is Come (v.32) "A light to lighten the Gentiles"
Jesus said in John 8:12, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
Isa. 61:1-3 says:
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
C. Glory Has Come (v.32) "The glory of my people Israel"
It is not the laws, the ordinances that should be the glory of Israel, but the Lord Jesus Himself. Israel glories in the law but we glory in the Law-Giver.
D. Truth Has Come
Luke 2:34-35 says:
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Many stumble over the birth of Jesus, His parentage, His education, and His death, but there are those who gladly receive Him.
Isa. 8:14-15 says of the Messiah (Jesus):
14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
I am sold on Him.
Something will pierce our soul(Luke 2:35)Word of God is quicker than any two edged sword ---Hebrews 4:12 declares, "For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Simeon could testify He was worth waiting for in life.
So can we when He finally comes again. It will have been worth the waitall the trials, all the troubles, all the heartaches, all misunderstanding will mean nothing when we see Him. It will have been worth the wait.