Bible Reading: Luke 2:21-35
I’ve saved my favorite Christmas passage for last. It is a passage that tells us of one of my favorite Bible characters, a man named Simeon. Truly, this elderly saint possessed a most precious trait that we would all do well to emulate.
The Scripture tells us of several commendable traits Simeon possessed. For instance, he “was just” toward men and “devout” toward God. He knew, as few seem to understand today, that a right relationship with God demands right treatment of our fellowman. He was also an anointed anticipator—“the Holy Ghost was upon him”— of the promised Anointed One—“the consolation of Israel.” And he even “came by the Spirit into the temple,” which is the only way the people of God should ever come to the house of God.
On the particular occasion depicted by this passage, Simeon actually came to the house of the Lord in hopes of seeing the face of the Lord. Like the Greeks of old, we should all come to worship with the sole desire to see Jesus (John 12:20-21). As long as we’re seeking His favors rather than His face our worship is spurious and our faith synthetic. Neither our worship nor our faith will ever be true until we’re seeking Christ alone and completely satisfied with nothing more than being in His presence.
Simeon wanted nothing more from life than Christ. He shared the Apostle Paul’s inspired sentiment that “Christ is our life” and our “all and all” (Colossians 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:28). This precious old man had actually lived out his days with only one lifelong desire. Before he died, he wanted to hold the baby.
Having been promised by God “that he [would] not see death [until] he had seen the Lord’s Christ,” Simeon was prompted by the Spirit to go to the temple on the day that Joseph and Mary were presenting the baby Jesus “to the Lord.” Seeing the Child, the old man scooped Him up into his arms and “blessed God,” declaring to one and all: “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.”
Undoubtedly, only those like Simeon, who have seen the salvation of the Lord, can “depart” from this life “in peace.” Furthermore, only those who live to embrace the Savior will ever understand what life is really all about!
In this new year, seek Christ’s face and not His favors that you may come to know His fullness!