31 December, 2017 –
One sign of growing old is failing eyesight. At a certain age –glasses are needed. Bifocals go with seniority in age. Simeon was old and next to death. Yet, his spiritual eyesight was excellent. He saw what few others saw in the infant Jesus.
Age is no criterion for insight even though insight comes with age and life experiences. Simeon had spiritual eyes to see. In our text for today we find what Simeon saw through the eyes of faith as we consider what Simeon was led find in the Christ child.
What did Simeon see?
1. Simeon saw the messiah who brought salvation. Listen again to V. 30 “My eyes have seen Your salvation.” The Lord had given Simeon a promise. It was a simple promise and at the same time extremely profound. The promise was before you die Simeon you will see the promised Savior. When Joseph and Mary entered the temple with Jesus this old man’s eyes were open and immediately Simeon knew it! In this little baby was the promise of the Lord’s salvation.
It must have been an incredible thing for Mary and Joseph to behold. This aged man takes the infant and says, “Lord, I’m ready to die…my eyes have now seen Your salvation!”
By faith you can also say these words. By faith you believe these words of Simeon. Is it any wonder that after we have confessed our sin, heard the Lord’s promise of forgiveness and received it, that we can say these words also?
After receiving Jesus is there anything else that we need? By faith these words of Simeon are your words. Lord, I have seen your salvation in Jesus Christ! So what did Simeon see in the infant Christ?
2. Simeon saw a salvation ready for all people. Listen to v.32, “A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel.”
This salvation was not just for Simeon and it isn’t just for you alone. It’s for everyone. It is for the Jew as well as the Gentile believer. It is for the members of your family, it’s for your neighbor, yes it is offered to the entire world.
Think of all of the people whose path you have met this past year. Who were they? Where they nameless, almost faceless people? No, they were people for whom the Savior came to save and redeem... In this next year – 2018 consider that point when you meet a stranger. That one is a person for whom the Savior came to redeem and save. That one is the person for whom the Savior came to claim as His own. If by chance you would happen to strike up some sort of conversation – share with that person the Lord of Jesus Christ. As you live and witness share the compassion of Jesus Christ with all you meet.
Like Simeon may we see that Christ has come for all people. In these last days of 2017 may God forgive us our sins of omission where we have missed those opportunities to witness for Jesus Christ. But may He use us in the coming New Year to speak for Him who died for all that they may come to faith in Him.
What did Simeon see in the infant Christ? He saw the messiah which brings salvation. He saw salvation offered to all people. He saw Christ’s future suffering for the life of the world.
3. Simeon saw Jesus’ future suffering and death on the cross. “Simeon blessed His parents and said to Mary His mother. Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Vv.34-35
When Simeon picked up this infant he saw way into the future. What he saw was the passion, suffering and death of Jesus. Simeon saw into the future. You and I look back on the past. Yet we see the same image. We see the cross and death of Jesus Christ winning for us salvation and life. Simeon saw the same thing yet before it would happen.
Scripture does not tell us when Simeon passed into glory. We are not told whether Simeon died that night, the next morning, that week, or exactly when he was called. We know he was an old man and the time that he had was probably short. I would not be surprised however that during the time that Simeon had left of earth he spent that time telling everyone he knew that he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Today is the last Sunday of 2017. Next Sunday we begin a New Year. Who knows what will befall us in the New Year. Yet if we use Simeon as an example for us we can learn how to experience a life which is well lived. Having seen the Lord’s Christ we are ready to depart this world whenever the Lord would call us.
Like Simeon, we have seen the Lord. We’ve see the cross and that salvation which the Savior brings. May we share Christ with others as the Lord permits. For we have seen the Lord’s salvation. That is why whenever our Lord calls us, like Simeon we can depart in serenity, security and peace. To God be the glory in all things; in our living, in our witness, and yes, even in our dying.
Words – 935
Passive Sentences – 5%
Reading Level – 5.0