Leslie M. John

“Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word” (Luke 2:28-29)

That Lord Jesus Christ has come not only for Jews but also for the Gentiles is seen here in Luke Chapter 2:21-35 where description of one named Simeon is given. There are many speculations as to who this Simeon was although there is no record of his genealogy. All that we have is the fact that Simeon was sufficiently old; he was just and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel which was divided into two as Northern Kingdom with inhabitants of ten tribes of Israel that was known as the “House of Israel” and the Southern Kingdom with the two tribes of Israel. Southern Kingdom was called the “House of Judah” from whose genealogy was David the king and from whose genealogy was Jesus Christ.

For many years from the time after King Solomon these two kingdoms were at war with each other. Jeroboam the king was the ruler of the “House of Israel” and Rehoboam the king was the ruler of the “House of Judah”. Those who were in the “House of Judah” were only called as the “Jews”. There have been successions of kings and there was no peace in Israel. At a time when Israel was under the Roman Government Jesus was born. It was a time when there was much disturbance in Israel and the inhabitants of both the kingdoms looked forward for peace.

It is at this time that an old man named Simeon who was just and devout and was looking forward to see consolation of Israel was comforted by the Holy Spirit. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death until he has seen Lord’s Christ. Holy Spirit led him to the temple and he saw Jesus there. Joseph and Mary had brought Jesus there to the temple for the circumcision when eight days from his birth were accomplished. After the days of purification of Mary were completed in accordance with the Law of Moses Jesus was brought to the temple.

“Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine”. (Exodus 13:2)

Joseph and Mary offered a pair of turtle doves as sacrifice. Because they were considerably poor they could not offer a lamb as burnt offering but as an alternative as the provisions of Law permitted they offered turtle doves. (Cf. Leviticus 12:1-6)

Simeon saw the child Jesus and took him in his arms and blessed God and prayed that now that he saw the savior of the Gentiles he may allowed departing in peace. Simeon’s testimony was great in that he said that he saw the salvation in Jesus and Jesus was the one whom the Father had prepared before the face of all the people and also that Jesus was the light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel.

“A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:32)

Joseph and Mary marveled when Simeon spoke those words. Simeon blessed them and said to them that Jesus was set for the fall of, and for the rising again of, many in Israel and for a sign which shall be spoken of. Simeon forewarned Mary that Jesus will suffer and his death shall put her to much grief. That was a forewarning for her to be prepared to see the death of Jesus in future.

Before the birth of Jesus Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist said:

“And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour”. (Luke 1:46-47)

Lord Jesus Christ was the Savior of Elizabeth and Mary. He is our Savior and salvation belongs to him. Whoever accepts Jesus as his/her Lord will be saved.

“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost”. (1 Corinthians 12:3)