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Simeon’s Prophesy

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You know you are getting older when your dreams are reruns; the stewardess offers coffee, tea, or milk of Magnesia; you sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it started; everything hurts, and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work; a pretty girl prompts your pacemaker to open the garage … More

Elderly

In this passage we are introduced to Simeon, who is a man that is something like the Old Testament character, Melchizedek, in that he suddenly appears out of nowhere (vv. 25-35). We are told very little about this man Simeon. We do not know from what tribe he is a descendent, although it would appear that he was an Israelite. We know nothing about his family, whether he was married or had any children. We are told nothing about his occupation, but it does not appear that he was a priest, for he was directed of the Holy Spirit to go to the temple. The only things we are told about Simeon are those things which pertain to his faith and his character, things which tell about his relationship with God. We are told that Simeon was righteous and devout (v. 25), which speaks of his personal walk with God and his integrity among men. Finally, he was a man who was filled by the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit who had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Lord, God’s Anointed One, Israel’s Messiah (v. 26).

We are also introduced to Anna who is a truly remarkable woman (vv. 36-38). While we are told less about what she actually said, we are given more information about her background than Simeon’s. Anna was an Israelite, of the tribe of Asher, one of the ten “lost tribes” of Israel, which were all but lost after 500 years of captivity in Babylon. It seems she was 84 years old, depending on how we understand Luke’s words. She was married for 7 years before her husband died, and had lived the rest of her life as a widow. Day and night she was in the temple, praying and fasting. She lived in absolute devotion to God, and the Lord blessed her with a sight of the infant Messiah, Jesus. I believe that Anna understood from the Old Testament that the “day of the Lord” was a day of divine judgment, and that Messiah would come to deal with Israel’s sin. It says “She talked about Jesus to everyone” (v. 38).

Application

Here we see older people setting an example of being at the right place at the right time. I want to be at the right place at the right time passing my values on to the next generation.

Luke 2:25-38 (English Standard Version)

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for 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 in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel." And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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