Simeon Holds His Savior: A Sermon Recap
This Sunday, I was privileged to share sermon preparation with Trevin Wax as he preached at our Two Rivers campus. I’m grateful for the work that he did that shaped the message we delivered to The Fellowship campuses. You can watch Trevin’s message at our church’s website.
Simeon Holds His Savior – Luke 2:25-35
The post-Christmas is a mixed bag. The holidays have too much activity for some and too much loneliness for others. No matter where we set our expectations, they are hardly ever met. It shows that we are a waiting kind of people; always hoping. As we look at Luke 2:25-35, we meet Simeon, a man who was waiting. God had revealed to him that before death, he would see the Lord’s Messiah. It is a meeting of the Old Testament and New Testament. As Christians, we understand what it means to live with hope and waiting. We often ask “What is God up to?” as we wait on Him for some action or intervention. In our waiting, let’s learn three principles from Simeon.
1. Prepare your heart like Simeon – v. 25-27a
25 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex.
Waiting takes the right perspective. First, we find that his character was “righteous and devout.“ He was upright and regular in his devotion to God. In your waiting, like Simeon, we consistent and constant. We also see that his posture was “looking forward.” One of the most common commands of scripture is to “fear not.” As we keep our gaze forward to what will do, we will keep our minds off of what the world is trying to do. You do not show your trust in the awe-inspiring, soul-dazzling, promise-keeping God by being afraid to walk forward. Simeon is longing for the consolation of his people, and he is looking forward. Then, we read that his awareness was from the Holy Spirit. Simeon was attentive to the Spirit’s promptings. After all, he was waiting for the Lord’s Messiah and was not likely expecting a week-old baby to fill the role. It was only through attentiveness to the Holy Spirit that Simeon could follow God’s leading.
2. Praise the God of Simeon – v. 27b-33
27b When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said:
29 Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace, as You promised.
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation.
31 You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples—
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.
33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Him.
A prepared heart will lead to a praise-filled heart. When Simeon realized that the child was the Savior, he scooped Jesus was Mary’s arms and let loose with a beautiful statement of praise. In it, we learn the right attitude: see yourself as a slave. It is not the abusive idea that we have from near and ancient history. Rather, knowing that God is a perfect Master, we can humble ourselves to serve Him in every way. As we worship, trust God as the Savior. Simeon declared that he had “seen Your salvation.” He knew that Jesus was the embodiment of salvation and Simeon had full trust in God. Simeon’s praise also showed that he relied on God as the Revealer. Jesus would show the nature of God to the world. We’ve been in darkness and now we will see the Light of life. The Christ-child was the fulfillment of God’s covenant to Israel and the hope for the rest of us. Simeon praised God because He sent His glory to us.
3. Proclaim the Savior of Simeon – v. 34-35
34 Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
The praise of God leads to the mission of God. Jesus is the pivot point of history. Christ will bring salvation to us but it will be costly to Him. In Him, we have the sign (v. 34) that is the visible affirmation of God’s declared intentions. As Jesus is the subject of the world’s hostilities, some will rise and some will fall. His ministry will comfort our pain and confront our sin. Those who humble themselves before Him will be raised to life and those who arrogantly attempt to stand over Him will tumble into death. So, as friends, we should plead with those in this world to accept Jesus as their Savior. As a church, our prepared and praise-filled hearts should lead to lives that are on mission with God to make disciples of all men.