How long had old Simeon been waiting to see the Messiah? When he heard the Holy Spirits promise that he would not die until he saw the Lords Anointed One, what did he expect?
Anna waits too. Shes a godly woman. She is well-respected and comes to the Temple daily often she stays from sunrise to sunset. She has the gift of prophecy and that is exceptional. In a society where women are not given much respect, it is astounding when a woman claims to speak for the Lord God. Annas manner of life is above reproach and that lends to her credibility.
Annas from the North country, but she and Simeon have a lot in common, these two aged Israelites. They are both quite old and their lives span almost a century. During that century they have seen dark days.
Simeon hopes for the day that Israel can be comforted.
Anna has taught her students that despite all the difficulties of the age, God will keep the promises he made to Abraham and rescue Israel he will make this declining nation into something wonderful.
Simeon and Anna are waiting for a ray of Gods light to pierce the darkness.
So, when the aged Simeon with his wrinkled, crippled hands holds this six-week old child his hope is fulfilled. All the years of waiting and praying, the recommitment to believe the Spirits promise all pays off in this one simple moment he has seen with his own eyes the salvation of Israel. Now Simeon is at peace. His wait is over.
Simeon has spiritual insight. Chalk it up to the power of the Holy Spirit and years of waiting to see what God has promised. Though he is old, Simeons spiritual vision is keen and sharp. He knows that though he has waited for years to see the Lords savior and receives this as a blessing, he knows that some will not be so receptive. And so his blessing for Mary and the child speaks of the grand destiny of the child Jesus yes, Jesus represents hope and salvation, but that which makes Jesus a hope for many also threatens others.
"This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed
"This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealedand a sword will pierce your own soul too."
Simeons blessing has a shadow in it. Some will fall and some will rise. Some will accept the sign and others will speak out against it. Why? Because the inner thoughts and motives of all will be revealed. . .
After Simeons blessing, Anna steps up and places a hand on Marys shoulder. She smiles and looks at the child. Her students have gathered around and she tells them though she is not certain if she will live to see it, that many of them will see with their own eyes Gods redemption of Jerusalem. They will see the rule of God spread out from Jerusalem and into the far reaches of the earth. This child is the light of the world!
Its been centuries since old Simeon and Anna saw the Light of the World come into the world. Simeon died in peace. Like all righteous men, he longed to see Gods work done on earth. When he saw Jesus, he had all the hope he needed.
Since the time of Simeon and Anna, the great battle was won too. The enemy is defeated, but he has not conceded. He will never concede until Jesus brings his light into the world once more. Wouldnt it be great to see that before you die?
You dont have to be old to be like Simeon and Anna. If youve just had enough darkness and are looking to see a ray of light. If you want peace in your heart having no fear of death or darkness. Then you are Simeon. You are Anna.
When you see the child laid in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes, do you see a holiday scene or do you see a sign from heaven? Do you see a savior wrapped in funeral clothes and laid in a tomb?
When you see the child raised up in Simeons old arms and blessed do you see an ancient custom, or do you see a glimpse of the Christ raised up from the dead by God and invested with all authority? Do you see the king of heaven and earth who is away preparing for his return?
Will we wait as faithfully as Simeon and Anna to see the salvation of Gods creation?
Keep watch! Keep praying! You may yet see the Light of the World shine forth ever brighter in your lifetime!
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