Words of Faith 3-2-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,  Simeon took him 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."
 The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him.  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 pierce your own soul too."
 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,  and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
The presence of the three in the Temple did not escape notice. There were two Godly people that came close to give a special word about this. Simeon, or Shimon, and Anna. Simeon had been promised by the Lord that he would not die before seeing the Christ, the anointed one. He took that little baby in His arms and received with joy the hope of the world that was coming to pass.
What a moment that must have been! Simeon had prayed for years for the coming of the Messiah and now, just for a moment, he was holding the baby in his arms. He confirmed the sovereignty of God in all this and the faithfulness of the Lord to complete what He promises.
Essentially, Simeon said, "Now I can die! Messiah is here!" But that was not all. Simeon knew that one day there will be grief in the heart of Mary as a different exchange of redemption would take place.
The second person to notice the holy family in the Temple was an elderly Prophetess. What a Godly woman. Anna also had been in constant prayer. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
The powerful confirmation of all that God was doing surrounded Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Why did Luke include all this? Certainly Luke calls us to the kind of hope that would allow us to say, like Simeon, "Oh God, now I can die! For I have seen the Messiah." Certainly Luke calls us to a faith that allows us to celebrate in the redemption of Jerusalem.
Lord, Jesus I celebrate the redemption of Israel. I rejoice in the coming of Messiah and truth that along with Simeon, I can die in peace now, for I have seen the Messiah of God. In Jesus' name.
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