1 August 2013

Luke 2:28-32

“Master now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.” (vv. 29-30)


When he was eight days old, Jesus was brought by his parents to be consecrated at the temple. The temple was the place where Jews believed that humans could most surely touch God's presence. Mary and Joseph were faithful Jews and they brought Jesus to an old priest, Simeon, a devout man who had lived under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Luke 2:25). Because of his devoutness, he had come to believe that he would not die before he had seen God's salvation for God's people (Luke 2:26).

The Jewish people were living under foreign occupation. Simeon was therefore built up as a credible witness, whose quietly faithful living was being rewarded by God. Simeon recognised the significance of who Jesus was. He sang a moving song of salvation (the Nunc Dimittis), expressing the joy of an old man who has lived to see his hope fulfilled.

It is a striking vision of how salvation has been prepared and offered to all the peoples of the earth. Jesus offers a way of salvation not just to Simeon's own people, Jews, but to Gentiles (non Jews) as well, and by implication to Romans too. It is a universal vision of salvation.

To Ponder

  • Is there something you have prayed and hoped for, for many years that has come to fulfilment? If there is perhaps write your own song of joy.
  • What does a vision of salvation for all people mean in the street where you live or your work place?
  • What does a vision of salvation mean for you and those you find it difficult to get along with? And for the both of you together?

Bible notes author

The Revd Jenny Ellis

Jenny is a Methodist minister and this year has permission to study, as well as work alongside a rural chapel to help it find a new physical presence and sense of mission in its village. She is leading a number of quiet and study days.