Sunday, February 28, 2016

Luke 2:25-32

Luke 2:25-32
And behold!  A man was in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.  And this man was righteous and devout while waiting for the comfort of Israel.  And the Holy Spirit was upon him.  And it was having been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he should see the Christ of God.  And he came in the Spirit into the temple.  And the parents of the young Jesus brought Him in to do for Him according to the custom of the Law regarding Him.  And he took Him into the arms and blessed God and said, “Now dismiss your servant, Lord, according to Your breath in peace.  Because my eyes saw your salvation that you prepared in the presence of all of the people: a light into a revelation of the Gentiles and glory of your people Israel.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Once more we get a story that reminds us to start with God.  Simeon, a righteous and devout man, see Jesus.  He picks Jesus up into his arms.  He could have started by complementing Mary and Joseph.  He could have started by letting them be the focus.  He could have started by letting himself be the focus as he recognizes God’s Messiah.  No!  This righteous and devout man blesses God.  When God acts in our life, we start by blessing Him.

When do you bless God?  Are you quick to bless God when He deserves it, or are you quick to focus on yourself or the people around you who are benefitting from God’s hand?

Second Thought:

Take a close look at what Simeon says that he saw.  Simeon says that his eyes saw salvation.  But the question is, salvation for whom?  Of course, we know the words.  This salvation is for His people.  But it isn’t just His people the Jews.  This salvation will certainly be for the glory of the Hebrew people who are in God.  Of course it is!  But Simeon also tells us that this salvation will be a light of revelation into the nations, into the Gentiles!  God has brought Jesus to do what the Hebrew people did not fulfill.  God called the Jews to be His voice into the nations about what a relationship with God looks like.  They did not fulfill that calling.  In Jesus, we will see that calling fulfilled.  In Jesus, the world is being taught about a relationship with God.  In Jesus, the whole of creation is coming to know their Creator.

How does this show Simeon’s evangelistic focus?  From where, do you think, this evangelistic focus comes?  What does it mean to you that what God brought salvation to His people that He wanted to include all of the nations from the very beginning?

Third Thought:

Simeon’s opening in just as striking as the words that he used to close his blessing.  Notice what Simeon says?  “Dismiss your servant, Lord.”  The Greek word there is “apoluo” (ἀπολύω).  It is a word that literally means to release or to set free.  I find this to be striking because there is only one thing that we are told Simeon is bound to do.  Simeon was told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen God’s Messiah.  So when Simeon says, “Set me free, Lord,” Simeon is essentially saying, “Let me die, Lord.”  Simeon has seen it all.  He has waiting for the salvation to come.  Now that he has seen it, he is ready to leave this world and rest in God’s care.  Simeon has been righteous and devout.  He has served God for a lifetime.  But I can only imagine how weary he has become being righteous in a sinful world.  His calling is complete, and to be honest I think he just wants to go home – to his eternal home with his eternal Father.

Do you know the weariness that comes with living a righteous life in the face of an unrighteous world?  Why might Simeon want to be released and depart in peace?  Does this necessarily have to be a bad thing?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 2:33-35
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