He’s an interesting person in the story of Christmas. We don’t know much about him. Many assume he was a priest, although this is not clearly to us. We are told, however, two things about him:
- “He was righteous and devout and eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel” (Luke 2:25b, NLT), and
- “That day the Spirit led him to the Temple” (Luke 2:27a, NLT).
It was the day Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the Law required all parents to do.
And Simeon just happened to be present. It was an ordinary day much like all of our days.
There were probably many others who had also come to the Temple. But only Simeon saw Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus fully and clearly.
Because Simeon, who had been waiting, looking, and anticipating the Messiah’s coming, he was the one who recognized the Messiah.
He saw not the babe in Mary’s arms, but the Savior , the salvation prepared for all people, the Light of the world.
In his devotional, Because of Bethlehem, Max Lucado reminds us of the day the young couple came knocking at the door of the inn. Nothing signaled to the innkeeper that this couple was different, or that the world was about to change for all time.
He turned them away saying there was no room at the inn and missed the opportunity.
“Many still do.
They miss the chance to open the door.
They let the birth of Jesus pass them by.
The miracle of Bethlehem still happens …
He sings to us through Christmas carols.
He calls to us through Christmas sermons.
He reaches out through the Christmas story.”
(taken from December 16)
This is why we read about the Advent all month. Jesus pursues us through the simplicity and majesty of the Christmas story.
Simeon was expecting the Messiah – Jesus – to burst onto the scene in his lifetime. He would not give up hope because he knew the promise.
Jesus comes knocking at our hearts in the midst of the lights, the shopping, the wrapping, the baking, and the stress.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock, if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20, NLT)
Both actions are required.
We must hear and open our hearts.
And Jesus will come.