And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 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. So he came by 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, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel. And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Simeon, A Man of God
In this passage we read of a man who was different from others. We read in the Bible about Simeon and it gives us some insight as to who he was.
- He was a man who was just and devout.
- He was a man who was looking for the Messiah.
- He was a man who was led by the Holy Spirit.
- He was a man who had been given an unusual promise.
- He was a man who saw and held the Messiah.
Simeon was a man who was just and devout. What does that really mean to us today? Someone who is just “dikaios” in the sense that this passage means is someone who is righteous, well-behaved, living as one should live. And the word devout “eulabes” means cautious and careful in relation to God. It means a reverence for or pious toward God. That description does not fit a lot of people today. There is a care-free, nonchalant, no big deal attitude by a lot of people in their relationship to God.
Simeon was looking for the Messiah. The Messiah had been prophesied to come and save His people. The Messiah was longed for by the faithful.
Simeon was a man who was led by the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the Spirit only came upon men for special service. From what little we read here it appears that Simeon may have had the Spirit upon him continually. At any rate, one thing we know of this special man, he was a man who loved God.
Simeon was a man who had been given an unusual promise. He was going to be able to see the Christ before his death.
- We are to be Men and Women of God
- We should be just and devout, as was Simeon.
Micah 6: 8 – He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
- If we are people of God, then we should be looking for His appearing.
2 Timothy 4:8 – Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
2 Peter 3:10-12 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
- If we are people of God, then we will walk and live and move in the Spirit.
Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Galatians 5:25 – If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
- We, too, have been given an unusual promise.
John 14:1-3 – Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Simeon was not ashamed to declare that the One born was the Savior of the world. This was more than any of the scribes of his time had discerned. The scribes in Simeon’s day were men who looked upon Christ as a sign to be spoken against and to whom He would become a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. With godly Simeon it was different. He was Spirit taught and knew He whom he held was His salvation, and not only his, but the whole world.
Nowhere is it recorded that Simeon bragged about or wore his religion on his sleeve. He was led by the Holy Spirit, and yet he told no one of his walk with God. His great spirituality and closeness to God was known because of his walk, not his talk. He was one of a very few select of God who recognized this babe as the Savior of the world. There were many who saw him as babe but did not recognize him as Savior.
One who was just, devout, looking for the Messiah, led by the Holy Spirit, given an unusual promise and saw and held the Messiah. His name means “one who hears and obeys”. His faith had been justified and now he could die without fear. Have our eyes seen the salvation of the Lord? Can we die in peace?
The Apostle Peter asks this question in II Peter 3:11 when he is talking about the coming of the Lord.
2 Peter 3:11 – Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?