Becoming a Giant
By Christopher Eyte
“And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
‘Now, Lord, You are letting Your bond-servant depart in peace,
According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all the peoples:
A light for revelation for the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.’
And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and as a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” - Luke 2:25-35, NASB
The power of the spoken word changes lives: ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’ (Proverbs 18:21) and that is what we see in today’s reading. Simeon’s prophecy helps to guide the future of this very special family. Surely most of us can recall such a moment too when a friend or church leader has spoken direction into our personal situation. We need to be encouraged and then to encourage others.
Jesus once gave a surprising ‘word’ to his disciples. He told them to ‘change and become like little children’ (Matthew 18:3). Even when we’re in our older years, God still wants us to adopt the simple nature of a child. Why? Wisdom lives in the joy of children. That’s why I try to listen carefully when my own children speak to me. There is a Godly power inherent in their words. There was a particular day, a few years ago, when I looked at myself in the mirror and discovered gray hairs in my hair for the first time. It was a shock - and I felt sorry for myself! Later that afternoon, as I walked with my little daughter, she looked up at me suddenly, and said: ‘You’re getting older. One day, you’ll be a giant’.
Simeon was at that point of metamorphosis in the temple. We don’t know much about his private life and no doubt he had personal struggles, but he’d gotten older and now reached the end of his life on Earth. Yet this joyful man, his heart full of the Holy Spirit, was still positively embracing the future. In a sense, he wanted to become a giant. To attain the next level in his relationship with God - for his ‘earthly tent’ to become an ‘eternal house’ (2 Corinthians 5:1).
We become giants through knowing the living God who resurrects the dead. Simeon understood that. Children (such as my daughter) understand that. It’s simple. And it took the appearance of a child - the Christ Child - to make that truth evident. We can all feel small and helpless at times, especially in the face of getting older and enduring health problems. How can we reach God in our pains and struggles? We don’t reach him. He reaches us. That’s why Simeon walked with the Holy Spirit into the temple of Jerusalem that day. He understood that Jesus was literally the embodiment of God reaching us. This childlike man had built a daily relationship with his creator, to the extent that his greatest fear wasn’t death - but not seeing the Christ!
Then it happened. Picture it in your mind: Simeon walks into the temple. He senses the leading of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps there are many people there and his eyes scan the crowds. Maybe he hears the baby cry and turns his head. And then he finds himself looking directly at the Creator. There, right in front of him! The little boy who was going to change everything. The Child who later called the world to be child-like and follow Him. The King of Kings who would bring death to Death - forgiving sins. Simeon’s soul surely quaked at the sight of the Son of God! We are told he enfolded the Messiah in his arms and blessed him. A man blessing God! What a thought.
Simeon became so full of life at finding Jesus, that he was ready to bid farewell to his earthly state! He found his home in the Messiah. That is the effect of the reality of Christ! Jesus personifies God’s embracing of us. He reaches and interrupts our insecurities. If you struggle to accept positive words today - become like a child and hear the Word of God. He is for you and not against you. Because of the Lord, everything will work out well in the end. Yes, you are getting older. One day, you’ll be a giant.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Are you building your relationship with God? Do you talk with him every day? How do you avoid distractions - to listen to Him? Do you really understand this is real - Jesus loves you? How do you share that love with others?
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/wildpixel
Christopher Eyte lives with his wife Céline and three children in Swansea, Wales, UK. He has worked as a journalist for many years and writes his own blog (hislovefrees.life) encouraging others in their walk with Jesus. He became a Christian in February 2002, after a friend explained God's amazing grace!
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