Advent: A Promise Kept.

25:” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 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. 27 And he came in 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, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:25–32)

Last time, we saw from today’s text that Simeon was a special man. He was righteous, devout, waiting for the Messiah’s arrival (the consolation of Israel), was anointed by the Holy Spirit and had received a special promise from God. That promise made by God is found in Luke 2:26 which says, “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.”

The question is, did God keep His promise to Simeon? Yes, He did. Luke 2:27-28 says that, “And he came in 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, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,…”

As you may recall from our previous blog, Mary and Joseph had come to Jerusalem not only to have Jesus circumcised (Lev. 12:3), but also to present their firstborn to God (Ex. 13:2, 12) 33 days later and to bring an offering for Mary’s purification after childbirth (Lev. 12:1–8). It was during this dedication and purification observance that Simeon came onto the scene.

Simeon’s song of praise is called the “Nunc Dimittis” which is from Latin meaning either “now you dismiss” or “now you are letting depart.” Simeon said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

Dr. John Walvoord writes, “On seeing the Child and picking Him up, Simeon … praised God, the response of godly people toward the Messiah throughout the Gospel of Luke. He then uttered a psalm of praise extolling God for fulfilling His promise by bringing salvation. The Messiah is the Source of salvation, as His name Jesus indicates. In all three of the hymns of thanksgiving and praise recorded by Luke in his first two chapters (1:46–55, 68–79; 2:29–32) lie the deep significance of the births of John and Jesus for the salvation of Israel and the world. Simeon noted that the Messiah was to be for the Gentiles as well as for Israel. The idea of salvation for the Gentiles is set forth many times in the Gospel of Luke.”

Dr. John MacArthur comments that, “It is significant that with messianic expectation running so high (cf. 3:15), and with the many OT prophecies that spoke of his coming, still only a handful of people realized the significance of Christ’s birth. Most of them, including Simeon, received some angelic message or other special revelation to make the fulfillment of the OT prophecies clear.”

What was Mary and Joseph’s response to Simeon’s psalm of praise? We will examine this when next we meet. Until then, may we praise the Lord for His person and work in redeeming lost souls such as ours.

May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!   

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