2 February 2015Luke 2:22-32
“‘My eyes have seen your salvation” (v. 30)
Psalm: Psalm 24
Today is celebrated in many churches as the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, or Candlemas, and our passage is selected in relation to it. At one level Luke's Gospel is giving us a picture of a devout Jew longing for God to bring the Messiah, who is to restore the glories of Israel as the faithful people of God, freed from foreign oppression. Through Simeon's eyes we see the infant Jesus as the fulfilment of that hope.
But our passage also serves a wider purpose, preparing us for all that follows in Luke's Gospel and in the sequel volume, the Acts of the Apostles. Jesus, although welcomed by many, is rejected by the leaders of his own people and crucified, but after his resurrection is widely accepted by non-Jews as Paul and other preachers take the message across the Roman Empire. In that context our passage speaks of the universal significance of Jesus (in verse 32 Gentiles (non Jews) are mentioned first), and thus addresses us today.
- In view of the vitality of other world religions, how far is it realistic to speak of Jesus as a saving light for all nations?
- What might it mean in today's context to be "righteous and devout" (v. 25)?