And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 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. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. ~ Luke 2:25-38
Simeon was privileged to see Jesus when His parents took Him to the temple on the eighth day. Simeon had been promised by God that he would see the Messiah, and he immediately recognized Jesus as the Savior. It’s interesting to note that Simeon knew that Jesus would be a light to the Gentiles. Traditionally, the Jews expected Jesus to be the Savior of the Jews—God’s people—only. With Jesus, God’s people expanded from only the people of Israel to everyone who accepts Jesus. The prophetess Anna also recognized Jesus. Both Simeon and Anna were faithful and righteous people. Anna had prayed and fasted in the temple for many decades. I so admire that—sometimes I find it difficult to pray for an hour.
Thank You, Lord, for the examples set by Simeon and Anna. They were faithful and righteous, and I want to be like them. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Image: © Depositphotos.com/maystra