Sunday 02 February 2014

Bible Book:

“For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples.” (vv. 30-31)

Luke 2:22-32 Sunday 2 February 2014


As faithful Jews, Jesus' parents fulfilled the requirements ofthe law. The systems of sacrifices were God-given religiouspractices which brought love of God and respect for the wellbeingof the community into every element of daily life. Here twoceremonies were involved: one to present the first-born male childand the second to purify the mother following childbirth. We cantell that Mary was poor because with the birth of a son she wasrequired to offer a lamb and a dove or pigeon, but if she could notafford the lamb then a second bird was also acceptable (verse24).

Simeon was righteous and devout, a person who exemplifiedrespect for the wellbeing of the community and his love of God. Theconsolation of Israel was the hope for the coming of the Messiahwho would deliver the Jews from the tyranny of foreign rulers, atthis point the Romans.

Simeon was unusual in that the text says that the Holy Spiritrested with him (verse 25). In the Old Testament, the Spirit cameupon people on special occasions, but here the Spirit seemed to bea continuing presence. This suggested that the Spirit was pointingto a particularly significant event, the birth of the Messiah.

Simeon was not necessarily old. Inspired by the Spirit he wasprompted to come to the temple, and his faithful waiting andheart's longing were fulfilled. He took the baby Jesus in his armsand praised God that his eyes had seen God's salvation prepared inthe presence of all peoples.

In the Psalms to 'see' God was often a synonym for theexperience of God delivering the psalmist from troubles or for thesense of life lived in God's presence. Simeon's moment of 'seeing'was a moment of profound unveiling of the purposes of God for thehealing of all the nations. Jesus' birth was witnessed to by allpeoples. It was light showing God's nature to Gentiles (non Jews),and showed the beauty (glory) to God's chosen people Israel.

To Ponder

  • Describe the picture or image which speaks to you of God'ssalvation to you and your people, which also includes allpeoples.
  • How could God satisfy the deepest longing of your heart, sothat like Simeon you could depart in peace (verse 29)? How can yoube faithful in working with God in this?
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