Tuesday, September 13, 2011
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32 KJV).
Simeon, a believer dwelling in Jerusalem, had been “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (verse 25). By faith, he anticipated the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of Israel’s coming Messiah-King and kingdom. The Holy Ghost revealed to him that “he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (verse 26). In verse 27, the Holy Ghost compels Simeon to go to the Temple. There he encounters Joseph and Mary presenting 41-day-old baby Jesus to the Lord (verses 21,22).
Simeon picks up baby Jesus and holds Him (verse 28)! Can you imagine holding your Creator as an infant? Wow! Simeon blessed God, and then spoke the words of today’s Scripture. He has seen His Messiah (Christ), “a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of [God’s] people Israel.” Finally having beheld his King Jesus, Simeon is comforted and can now die peacefully.
God’s purpose in forming the nation Israel was to bless the nations (Gentiles) through Israel in her kingdom (Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 61:6). Isaiah 60:1-3 speaks of Israel in her kingdom, with her Messiah ruling: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee… the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”
Through Simeon, the Holy Ghost declared that Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled with the birth of Jesus Christ. Now that her Messiah is born, Israel can finally inherit her kingdom and be the channel of God’s blessings to Gentiles. Sadly, Israel rejected and crucified Jesus Christ, and that kingdom has yet to be set up.
At Christ’s Second Coming, Israel’s kingdom will finally be established on earth. Then, all the world will see “the salvation of the Lord!”