Simeon’s a good guy. He’s serious about following God and obeying all the religious rules. He believes the prophecies that say God will send someone to save them. Even though his people have waited for centuries, Simeon lives in expectation that God will rescue them as he promised long ago.
The Holy Spirit reveals to Simeon that this coming savior will arrive in his lifetime. God promises Simeon that he will see Jesus with his own eyes.
Throughout the centuries, people lived their whole lives with faith-filled expectation that they would see God’s promised Messiah, only to die before they realized their hope. Yet, God promises that Simeon will witness this firsthand. But God doesn’t say when.
Then one day the Holy Spirit prompts Simeon to go to the temple courts. Is today the day? He goes. He waits. His pulse no doubt quickens as he looks around, scanning the people milling about. Which one is the Messiah?
Then baby Jesus arrives with his parents. They come to fulfill the religious rituals commanded long ago by Moses. Simeon walks up. He takes baby Jesus in his arms and praises God. What must Jesus’s parents think?
Simeon affirms Jesus as the promised Savior for Israel—and for the entire world. His words shock Joseph and Mary. Then Simeon blesses them and prophesies.
Now, having seen Jesus firsthand, Simeon’s life is complete. He gives it over to God, knowing that he can now die in peace, with the knowledge that Jesus has arrived.
A lifetime of anticipation has now been fulfilled for Simeon. But what if he had ignored the Holy Spirit’s nudge and stayed home that day?
How well do we do at listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying his prompting?
[Discover more about Simeon in Luke 2:25–35.]
Read more about other people in the New Testament in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.