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. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Led by the Spirit, he came into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he received Him in his arms and blessed God and said (Luke 2:25-28).
Once in Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary met a man named Simeon who loved God. The Holy Spirit had confirmed to Simeon that he was alive during a strategic moment in history and "would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2:26b). Simeon was waiting to meet the anointed one, the Messiah.
A reading of Luke reveals that he is emphatic to repeatedly teach us about the Holy Spirit. Luke shows that Jesus was revealed by prophecy through the Holy Spirit, that Jesus was filled and led by the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in his baptism, enabling and empowering and encouraging his ministry. He is very keen to remind us continually of the work of the Holy Spirit, through what we would consider natural events, those providential moments where God brings people, circumstances and things together; and through more obvious, supernatural moments where miracles, prophecies, revelations, the combating with demons and those types of activities occur.
Simeon has this revelation from the Holy Spirit. He has a prophecy. "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, he took him up in his arms and he blessed God and said 'Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel'" (Luke 2:27-32).
At last, the day Simeon waited for had arrived. He held the child, praised God, and prophesied. "[My] eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples," Simeon declared, "a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel" (Luke 2:30–32). God loves the Jews. God loves the Gentiles. Jesus came to save "all peoples," every language, tribe, tongue, nation, culture, background and sub-culture.
Simeon goes on to predict the more painful aspects of Jesus' ministry. Jesus would be a man at the center of extraordinary controversy, conflict, acrimony, and strife. History itself is divided into B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini, the year of our Lord) around this man, Jesus, as he literally divides history and many in it. Just as Simeon said, to this day Jesus is still incredibly divisive. He remains a point of unity for those who love him, and disunity for those who do not.
Joseph and Mary encounter another prophecy during their trip to Jerusalem from Anna, a prophetess, who also praised God for the opportunity to witness "the redemption of Jerusalem" (Luke 2:38). After these powerful encounters with the Spirit of God, Joseph, Mary and Jesus completed their ceremonies and started home again for Nazareth.
Spend some time today praying with someone (even if it's on the phone), like Simeon did with Joseph and Mary.
Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor and the author of many books, including Spirit-Filled Jesus, which you can order here. He currently pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family. For all of pastor Mark Driscoll's Bible teaching, please visit markdriscoll.org or download the app. You can download a free devotional e-book from pastor Mark here.
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