In the Temple Courts: Simeon’s Song
Simeon with the infant Jesus by Petr Brandl, ca. 1725.
“Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God” (Luke 2:27-28).
Forty days have passed since the birth of Jesus. Here come Mary and Joseph into the temple precincts, ready to present their firstborn son to the Lord. There was nothing to mark them as anything other than another poor young couple coming with their newborn son.
At this point Simeon enters the story. Aside from what we are told in Luke 2, we know nothing about him. We don’t know his background, hometown, education, or occupation. He simply appears on the stage of history as a bit player in the drama surrounding the birth of Christ. After his part is over, he fades from the scene, never to be heard from again. When Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms, he called him “a light of revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32).
This is a huge piece of good news. He came to shine the light of God into every nation, every tribe, and every culture. He’s the Savior of the whole world: rich and poor, young and old, black and white, Jew and Gentile, American and Japanese, healthy and handicapped. All people are included in his coming. He didn’t come for a small group. He came for the whole wide world.
I received a phone call from a dear friend who was watching a loved one slowly die. When my friend called me, he made a very telling comment: “At a time like this you realize what’s really important. When you watch someone die before your eyes, you realize that the things of the world aren’t that important. The money and the power and the big career, they all just wash away. At the end the only thing that matters is to know Jesus Christ.”
He’s the Messiah of Israel.
He’s the Savior of the world.
He came for you. Do you know him?
Lord Jesus, nothing is more important than knowing you. Open my heart to welcome you as my Lord and my King. Amen.