December 26 I Sunday
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel....” —Luke 2:25
The New Testament opens with Israel’s hope—a tense expectation waiting on God to bring about the Messiah. For hundreds of years, Israel had been waiting and hoping for the Messiah to come and He had arrived. Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took Him up to the Temple for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, which says, “Consecrate to Me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to Me, whether human or animal” (Exodus 13:2).
When Mary, Joseph, and Jesus got to the Temple, they encountered a man named Simeon who, like the rest of the Jews, was hoping, waiting and longing for the arrival of the Messiah. Simeon was described as a righteous and devout man. He was aware of all the prophecies about the coming of the Messiah; the Holy Spirit even revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
Some of us may wonder, at what age did God reveal this to Simeon? How many babies had come into the Temple until he knew this was the One? How many years had he been waiting for the promise revealed to Him by the Holy Spirit to be fulfilled? From these questions, the answer is God’s past faithfulness to His people enabled Simeon to wait expectantly for the promise from the Holy Spirit to be fulfilled. In fact, Luke 2:27-28 tells us, “Moved by the Spirit, [Simeon] went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for Him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God.” It was the Spirit that moved Simeon, allowing him to encounter the Messiah.
What must it have been like for Simeon to have his waiting fulfilled? When Simeon held the consolation of humanity, the Prince of Peace, in his arms he was filled with praise; “Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32). Simeon waited and his hopes were fulfilled, because the One who promised is faithful.
As God’s people, when we say that we hope in God, it is not wishful thinking—it is rooted in the faithfulness of who He is and His past demonstration of that faithfulness. We can have peace in God while we wait expectantly for His promises to come to pass.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the promised Messiah—the hope of this world. I know I can place my hope in You to fulfill Your promises. Praise You!