Mary prepared for Jesus by believing, obeying, and praising. Joseph was a common man with a heart to Jesus that was righteous, receptive, and responsive. We now turn our attention to a little known, and yet pivotal, character in the birth narrative: Simeon. He was a man who prepared for the arrival of Jesus with the right vision of who this baby was.
We are introduced to Simeon through the gospel writer Luke, who describes him as a just and devout man, waiting for the Consolation of Israel. Being just means he was righteous, like Joseph, while being devout means that he was concerned with the things of God. However, he is also described as one who is waiting.
The last prophecy regarding the coming of the Messiah occurred over four hundred years prior to Simeon’s time, through the prophet Malachi. God had been silent since then. Israel had fallen away from God and was being oppressed by the Romans, and yet there was a faithful remnant of believers in God. Simeon was in that group. What was he waiting for? The One whom God had promised would be the Consolation, or Comforter of Israel—the Messiah.
Not only was Simeon right with God, concerned with the things of God, and waiting on God’s promises, but Luke also says that the Holy Spirit was with Simeon in three different ways: He was upon Simeon, He revealed certain things to Simeon, and He led Simeon. All of these descriptions tell us that Simeon believed in God and in His promises of a Messiah.
Luke’s account shares that the Lord revealed to Simeon, through the Holy Spirit, that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Imagine having received that promise from God. Simeon would not die until he had seen Jesus, the Messiah. Now we can begin to understand Simeon’s faith. A deep faith born of righteousness, steeped in the things of God, and strengthened in the patience of waiting on God to be faithful to His promise. No wonder Simeon, upon seeing the Christ Child, called himself a servant of the Lord. He believed in the faithfulness of God, and God delivered. God has been faithful to you and me also—for He sent us His Son. Do you believe?
For more Advent resources—podcast and booklet, please visit www.gsot.edu/advent