During the Christmas season, we hear much about angels, shepherds and wise men. Yet, none of them had a more personal revelation about the baby Jesus than Simeon (Lk.2: 25-35). No one could see into the future as he did. Luke tells us that he was just, devout and waiting for the Messiah. The Spirit of God assured him that he would meet the Anointed One. On the day that the parents presented Jesus in the Temple, Simeon was urged by the Spirit to be present at the dedication.
‘Simeon took him (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”‘ ‘Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will also pierce your own soul.”‘
Aside from the parents, only Simeon was allowed to hold little Jesus in his arms and identify Him before all that were present that He was the light of the world and the glory of Israel. The incident was God’s reassurance that He keeps His promise. Those that want to see Jesus and lead the kind of life Simeon did, will be privileged, not just see Him but be with Him (Jn.14: 3). The Beloved John tells us that they did not just see Jesus but touched Him with their hands (I Jn.1: 1). Simeon was not hugging a myth and the disciples were not touching a ghost. These were genuine human encounters recorded for our benefit (Jn.20: 31).
The message to Mary was Simeon’s prediction how the world would receive and treat her Son. Long before this mother felt her heart pierced, Simeon predicted that it would happen. She would see the humiliation of her Son being crucified. Even before Jesus died, the Jewish people everywhere were mostly against Him. The sword over Jesus became active throughout history. In our time, Christ’s followers face physical punishment and death daily. I lived in Poland for my first fourteen plus years. The Germans brought in teachers and our young lady taught us that the people the Roman Catholics were eliminating during the Reformation were witches. My parents did not belong to the Lutheran Church or Roman Catholic and we were being ridiculed by Lutherans. Of course, Jesus too predicted that He would be the cause of persecutions (Jn.15: 20-21).
The most drastic affect Simeon saw the baby Jesus would have was the impact on human thoughts and hearts. Those that would be touched by Him would reveal the evil sin is causing. More than that, they would disclose who is behind the upheaval in the world (Jn.8: 42-47; Rev.12: 9-12). The angels sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Lk.2: 14); but Simeon saw the sinister nature in God’s enemies that would hunt to kill the Christmas Baby. The end result would be that man would either rise or fall because of Christ. Without Christ, not just individuals but also many nations have fallen. The U.S.A. rose with Christ to become the envy of the world. Now, where is it going without Him? Can we see where we are headed?