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Simeon sees God’s salvation and predicts the fall and rising of many in Israel (Luke 2:25-35)
Created by Jon Taylor - Tuesday 05 Dec 2017
Jon Taylor
Simeon sees God’s salvation and predicts the fall and rising of many in Israel (Luke 2:25-35)
 
Simeon’s ultimate desire was to see the Messiah before he died. And he did; and similarly, that is our greatest need and should be our greatest concern in this world, even if we don’t realise that yet. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God (Matt. 5:8).” Many Jewish folk are still waiting for the Consolation of Israel whilst some have recognised and believe in Him as Messiah. There were those who saw our Lord’s miracles, heard His teaching and witnessed His precise fulfilment of detailed and specific prophecy, though they still pondered his exact identity and asked whether he was one the prophets, namely Moses, Elijah or Jeremiah.
 
These things are revealed by the Spirit of God. It was revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Messiah. These events were foreordained by God and it is no coincidence that Simeon was in the temple as the parents of Jesus were presenting Him to God. As Matthew Henry stated, ‘Those who would see Christ must go to His temple’
[i].
 
Seeing God’s Salvation
 
This reminds us to question our motives and examine our hearts in relation to ultimately what we are living for and what we would value most before we pass through this world. Simeon could die in peace since He had seen the Consolation of Israel, the coming of Messiah who was present before him. He was like Jacob before him who could rest and die in peace when he had seen Joseph who was a type of our Lord, though a far greater One than Joseph was before Him now. Simeon didn’t just have purpose or an honourable cause to aim towards, he met with the Son of God and predicted the response, that there would be a fall and rising of many in Israel and that a sword would pierce through the soul of Mary so that the thoughts of many hearts would be revealed.
 
The Child was taken in Simeon’s arms as he blessed God in the form of a song known as ‘Nunc Dimittis’ (Luke 2:29-32) reminiscent of the song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55). Sometimes when we hold a young child or meet them for the first time we make bold but not serious predictions, for example if they pick up a piece of lego they will become a great builder or architect, if they smile when music is played they will become a conductor or soloist and if they kick a ball in a straight line then they will play for England one day! This however, is an entirely different matter and context; and was understood and received most reverently and fulfilled unequivocally.
 
When Simeon’s eyes saw God’s salvation, he saw Jesus meaning ‘Saviour’ who would bring salvation. Isaiah had prophesied that all the ends of the earth would see the salvation of our God (Isa. 52:10), therefore bringing light to the Gentiles (Luke 2:32). The glory of Your people Israel relates to His second coming. The lord will return at His second coming on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). For those who know the Lord, that is their expectant hope, to be ready for His return.
 
The Fall and Rising of Many
 
The Child was destined for the fall and rising of many. There is a reference here in my Bible to 1 Peter 2:7-8 which helps to explain this. The Old Testament consistently affirms the Lord as our Rock of salvation and cornerstone but at the same time the gospel inevitably causes offence and can also cause many to stumble.
 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”[
b]
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,[
c]
“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”[
d]
and
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”[
e]
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
Furthermore Ephesians 2:4-7 explains how the Lord causes those to believe in Him to be raised up.
 
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He  loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus
 
A sword will pierce through your own soul also that the thoughts of many may be revealed
 
Simeon said to His mother that a sword would pierce through her soul also; undoubtedly speaking of the anguish which she endured as the just and entirely perfect Son of God was crucified for alleged blasphemy, although Jesus is exactly who he said He was and further fulfilled the Scriptures through His resurrection and ascension (Psalm 16:10; 68:18).
 
This would happen so that the hearts of many would be revealed (Luke 2:35). The way that a person responds to the Saviour tests their motives and actions
[ii]
. The Consolation of Israel has come into this world and is a light to the Gentiles and will be the glory of Israel. The details of His birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension were both prophesied and miraculous and a sign which Simeon said would be spoken against.
 
Be ever so careful not to stumble on a stone of stumbling and rock of offence. Believe only on the Rock of Ages, the chief cornerstone and capstone, the Lion from the Tribe of Judah, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Consolation of Israel and the Saviour of the world.
 

[i] Matthew Henry Matthew Henry Concise Commentary (Moody Press, Chicago), p743
[ii] William Macdonald Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, Nashville; 1995), p1375

   
Tuesday 05 Dec 2017