Then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart In peace, according to Thy word; For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” Luke 2:28-32 (NASB)
Forty days after Mary’s purification from giving birth was complete Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer a purification and sin offering as required by the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12:1-8). In the course of completing this obligation to the Law the parents of Jesus met a remarkable man there in the Temple. His name was Simeon. He was a devout Jew and a man on whom the Holy Spirit continually rested. The Spirit had told Simeon that he would not die before he saw God’s promised redeemer and the consolation of Israel. On this particular day the Spirit led Simeon to be at the Temple at the exact moment Mary and Joseph arrived to fulfill their duty to the Law.
I’m sure there was more than one couple in the Temple that day to present their male child to the Lord. Specifically, the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon the Promised One as Mary and Joseph entered with their precious bundle. Simeon’s delight must have been obvious for Mary willingly let him take the Christ Child in his arms. God’s word was once again proved faithful and true. Simeon gave beautiful words of praise and rejoiced in the goodness of the baby’s Heavenly Father. Israel and the entire world had received the comfort it so deeply needed and desired.
Simeon never lost hope the Holy Spirit would let him see the promised Messiah. That promise was fulfilled that day in the Temple. It thrills me how the Person of Jesus Christ continues to bring hope and joy to millions even to this day. It is so easily understood that a Kindergartner can grasp it, yet so complex biblical scholars scratch their heads at the concept. While we cannot hold the Child in our arms we can hold the Man Christ Jesus in our hearts. Simeon’s song of praise is sung among the believing peoples of the earth every second of every day and I know our Heavenly Father is pleased. He is the comfort and glory of Israel and a Light of revelation to the Gentiles. I can sit down with a child and sing Jesus loves me this I know without shame and in my alone time be brought to tears, speechless with glorious awe as I consider what He means to me. Jesus loves me this I know. Now it is possible to be lifted into His arms and blessed and called His child. He sings over us with joy.