Luke 2:30 – My eyes have seen Your salvation.

Simeon was a resident of Jerusalem. The Scriptures record that he was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him. Israel had been in difficulty for centuries. From the days of the Babylonian captivity, they had been under the domination of a number of nations. For a couple hundred years, they had experienced the cruelty of Roman rule. The nation was looking for and expecting the promised Messiah. They knew that the Messiah would bring comfort through deliverance to the covenant people.

The Holy Spirit came on Simeon, and He revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. “He came in 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 into his arms, and blessed God” (Luke 2:27-28). Simeon knew he could now die in peace because his eyes had seen God’s salvation. He prophesied saying, “You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).

Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Simeon blessed Joseph and Mary. He spoke to Mary, “Behold this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35).

The fall of many speaks of those whose hearts were evil. In His earthly ministry, Jesus revealed the evil hearts of many of Israel’s religious leaders. In Matthew 23, Jesus condemned these evil men and pronounced eight woes upon them. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus, in symbolic language, speaks of these religious leaders as “the false prophet” (Revelation 19:20). The rise of many, speaks of the new creation man that Jesus is bringing forth, first in Israel and then among the Gentiles. It is those who were dead in their trespasses and sins, but are now raised from the dead and made alive in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

What a powerful word Simeon gave to Mary! Jesus was opposed, but overcame all His enemies through death on the cross. Indeed, Mary was pierced in her soul as she watched her Son die on the cross for the sins of the world. Overwhelming joy must have filled her heart when she beheld Him after the resurrection.

Father, I thank You for the consolation of Israel. I thank You for the rise of all those who have put their trust in Christ. I pray for the salvation of many during this Christmas season as they hear of the Savior’s birth and learn of His death on the cross for their sins and the gift of eternal life.