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Luke 2:25-38 Simeon and Anna

Luke 2:25-38 Simeon and Anna

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29   “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,

you now dismiss your servant in peace.

30   For my eyes have seen your salvation,

31      which you have prepared in the sight of all people,

32   a light for revelation to the Gentiles

and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

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A man gets lost at sea and is presumed dead. His family and friends mourn his loss. But after a while, life goes on. His children grow up and move on, his wife remarries, his home is sold.

However, the man survives. After his amnesia wears off, he makes his way back home. Finally he arrives, expecting to be greeted with joy. Instead, everyone is shocked. In fact, the man has a hard time convincing everyone of who he is.

In a way, that is what happened when the Savior came into this world. John says, “He [Jesus] came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:11). Jesus came to the Jews, his own family, God’s chosen people. They were the ones to whom God had given his promises to send a Savior. They were the very people who should have been most eager to welcome him.

Yet by the time Jesus was born, God’s promises were centuries old. So much had happened in the meantime that the Jews could not believe their Savior had finally come. Sadly, most of Jesus’ own people greeted him not with joy but with unbelief and scorn.

This was not true of all the Israelites. Even though God’s promises were centuries old, not everyone had given up on them. Simeon and Anna -and others like them- were still filled with anticipation. People like them remained close to God’s Word throughout their lives. They found that its age-old promises nurtured their faith and caused it to become strong. When Jesus finally came, these believers were ready for him, and they greeted him with joy.

There’s a lesson here for us, who live in the time between Jesus’ two comings. If Simeon and Anna were with us today, they would probably tell us: “Be ready! The fact that Jesus hasn’t returned yet doesn’t mean he won’t. Stay close to God’s Word.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, keep me close to your Word, and keep my faith alive. Keep me ready to meet you when you come again. Amen.