At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Sovereign Lord, now let Your servant die in peace, as You have promised. I have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and He is the glory of Your people Israel!”
Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about Him.
Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but He will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose Him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”Luke 25-35
Who was Simeon? Some have thought “Simeon the just”, the last of the men of the great synagogue, of whom the Jews often make mention. Though this Simeon bears the same character, yet he could not be the one; because he was not only an high priest, but also lived some years before this time. Others have thought him to be Rabban Simeon, the son of Hillell, who was president of the sanhedrim for forty years; and in which office this his son succeeded him; and which Simeon was the father of Gamaliel, the master of the Apostle Paul, of whom the Jewish chronologer thus writes:
“Rabban Simeon, the son of Hillell the old, received from his father, and was appointed president after his father; but the time of the beginning of his presidentship I do not find in any authors”.
There are some things which seem to agree with, and favour this thought; for certain it is, that Christ was born in his time, whilst he was living. The chronologer wrote “Jesus of Nazareth was born at Bethlehem Judah, a parsa and a half from Jerusalem, in the year 3761 of the creation, and in the 42nd year of Caesar Augustus; that, according to this computation, his birth was in the days of Rabban Simeon, the son of Hillell.” However this Simeon lived some years after the birth of Christ; whereas our Simeon seems to be at the end of his life. Yet that is not necessarily true. All that is is recorded is that he would not die before he saw the Messiah. That could also apply to a younger man but most commentators conclude that the Simeon mentioned here was elderly.
The truth of the matter is it is uncertain as to who he was. We just don’t know. The tendency is also to look for someone who was well known. I suppose that was thought to give more clout to the prophetic word he brought. But that also doesn’t necessary need to be so. No matter who makes the statement, known or unknown, the power is still present and even if the man was unknown it doesn’t detract from the significance of the statement.
We see from the text that he was a holy, good man in his life and conversation. He was feared God, and avoided evil. He was righteous before men, and devout towards God. Hence the Lord used him as His mouth piece. Here is yet another piece of input to Mary and Joseph as to who their son really was. Luke is stacking up the little touches that point to this child being the Messiah.
“Waiting for the consolation of Israel” that is, the Messiah; for this was one of his names with the Jews, who sometimes refer to him as “the comforter”. for so they report (e) that “there are some that say his name is Menachen the comforter; as it is said, “because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me”. Lam 1:16. They also observed, that “the name of the Messiah is Menachem, the comforter; and Menachem, by the use of “gematria” (the numeric value of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet) is the same value as “Tzemach” the branch, Zec 3:8.
There are several passages of Scripture which speak of God’s comforting his people, at the time of redemption by the Messiah. and particularly, from its being part of his work and office, to comfort them that mourn, for which he was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord, Isa 61:1.
The Holy Ghost was upon Simeon – prophecy had ceased among the Jews, from the times of Malachi. Yet from the conception and birth of Christ, it now returned. Zechariah, Elisabeth, and Mary all receive words from the Lord via angels. Now here Simeon, as well comes forth with a statement of a prophetic nature.
Perhaps the most interesting statement in all of this lie in the words “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but He will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose Him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
How can Simeon say this sweet, innocent baby is going to cause many in Israel to fall? We will look at that concept tomorrow. It needs a Gem all of it’s own. It is the most significant statement that Simeon made. Clearly the Holy Spirit revealed to him the true of nature of this little baby he was holding. Why is this little baby destined to cause many to fall? Think about it.
Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who circumcised the globe with a 75-foot clipper. (A high school student’s wisdom). Thanks Michael for giving me another circumcision quote even if a day late.Michael Martens
Conflict cannot survive without your participation! “Where there’s no wood, the fire goes out!”Rick Godwin
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong!Rick Godwin
Two reasons people haven’t become Christians:
1. They’ve never met a Christian
2. They’ve met a Christian! Ouch!Rick Godwin