Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 12 December 2018
Page 6

Simeon: A Man Whose
Life Was Now Complete

Brian R. Kenyon

Brian R. KenyonThere are many interesting events surrounding the birth and infancy of Jesus Christ that do not get much attention. One such event concerns a man named Simeon. The setting was shortly after Mary, the virgin, gave birth to Jesus. “Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22). Joseph was the God-fearing head of his household and made sure that Mary, his wife, followed the Lord’s instruction (Luke 2:23-24; Leviticus 12:1-8). The sacrifice they brought, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” indicated their poverty. It was at Jerusalem on this occasion that we are introduced to Simeon. The account that follows reveals an attitude and a response to Christ that will make our lives complete when we, like Simeon, possess them.

Simeon Recognized the Lord’s Christ

The text says that Simeon was “just and devout,” and that he was among those who had Messianic hope (Luke 2:25). The word “consolation” in “waiting for the Consolation of Israel” is from a Greek word that means “calling to one’s side for comfort.” It would remind the first readers of Isaiah 40:1, that reads, “‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ Says your God,” a context in which the Lord comforts His people by announcing the coming Messiah. Even though many Jews of Jesus’ day were rebellious, there were still a few, like Simeon, who truly expected the Messiah. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that “he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26). This helps explain his lively hope in the Anointed One of God. When Jesus’ parents brought Him into the Temple, Simeon was there and recognized Jesus as the Christ (Luke 2:27-28). We are not be guided by the Holy Spirit in the same way that Simeon was, but we must still recognize the Lord’s Christ when we find Him. Although we can somewhat see His power through nature (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:19-20; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17), we can only find His true character and what our response to Him should be through the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Do we recognize and accept the Messiah revealed in the pages of inspiration?

Simeon Revealed the Greatness of Christ

Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms, thanked 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” (Luke 2:29-32). Simeon regarded seeing the promised Messiah as the fulfillment of his earthly life. He wanted to accomplish nothing more in this life! Seeing the Lord’s Christ was an assurance that his earthly labors were about to end. In thanking God, Simeon revealed Christ as God’s salvation. To Simeon, seeing the Messiah was equivalent to seeing salvation (Luke 2:30).

As we can imagine, “Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him” (Luke 2:33). Simeon, however, took this opportunity to reveal some truths to Mary. First, her child would be the occasion by which some would fall and some would rise. “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34a). Jesus was a stumbling block to all those who loved darkness (1 Peter 2:8). That same Jesus, when accepted and obeyed, will lift people out of darkness and into His marvelous light (Colossians 1:13). Second, Simeon revealed that Jesus’ life would be the test by which many hearts would be revealed. “Behold, this Child is destined…for a sign which will be spoken against…that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35). This baby would grow to challenge humanity like no person had before nor since. People react in opposite ways to the same Jesus (e.g., the rich young ruler, the disciples, etc.). Third, Jesus would grow and would bring a sense of sorrow to His mother. Simeon said, “yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also” (Luke 2:35a).


How complete are our lives today? Do we desire, more than anything, to “see” the Lord’s Christ? Are we “waiting” for Him? If we were to depart this life now, would our response to Christ be sufficient? Why not allow Him to make our lives complete?

Spiritual Tragedies

Therman Hodge

Almost daily, we are made aware of tragedies. Some tragedies are attributable to nature, like an earthquake. Some tragedies occur locally, such as those who die from the cold or others who die in fires. Still other people die by the hand of man, war dead, victims of terrorism or murder. The list of tragedies goes on and on. Lives are forever changed, and many lives are ruined. Tragedies of all sorts have been happening for a long time.

There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5 NKJV)

Yet in all of this, the greatest tragedies of any generation are spiritual tragedies.

Ignorance is a spiritual tragedy (Hosea 4:1, 6, 10). Sin was running rampant in Israel because of ignorance (Hosea 4:2). The nation was sliding like a backsliding heifer (Hosea 4:16). Israel was even described as forgetting her maker (Hosea 8:4). Ignorance will kill us!

Indifference is also a spiritual tragedy (Revelation 3:14-19). The one talent man was called “wicked,” “slothful” and “unprofitable servant” (Matthew 25:26-30). The Parable of the Vineyard shows that the Lord wants workers in His vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). Notice the word “idle” in verses 3, 6. We are to be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). We can always begin with prayer. It is something that all of us can do. Indifference will kill us!

Materialism is a spiritual tragedy (Luke 12:15-21). The rich young ruler was a religious man, but he could not bring himself to give up his riches to save his own soul (Mark 10:17-24). The rich man of Luke 16 would not even feed Lazarus, and we know the rich man’s destination (Luke 16:19-31). We must never forget that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Materialism will kill us!

Immorality is a spiritual tragedy (Proverbs 6:32). Look at the tragedy of David’s immorality. He was separated from God, a man was killed and the child died. David’s enemies laughed at him (2 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 51). Demas forsook Paul because of his love for the world (1 Timothy 4:10). Again, we must be aware (1 John 2:15-17). Immorality will kill us!

Procrastination is a spiritual tragedy (Acts 26:24-28). The “convenient season” far too often never comes (Acts 24:25). It is tragic for one to know what he ought to do to please God and keep putting it off until it is too late. Why do we not do what we know to do? “...and ye would not” (Matthew 23:37) are some of the most tragic words in the Bible. Don’t let it happen to you. The road to hell is filled with good intentions. Don’t procrastinate. It will kill us.

Obviously, these tragedies will affect our souls and send us to hell. We are all aware of the need to avoid physical tragedies, but what about spiritual tragedies? This year, we must avoid these spiritual tragedies in our lives.

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