The Meeting with Simeon (verses 25-35)
Simeon is another of the faithful remnant in Israel who was waiting for the coming of the promised Messiah. He lived in Jerusalem and was righteous in his living and devoted to God. Note the import of the Holy Spirit in this man’s life.
Separation in Service
“The Holy Spirit was upon him” (verse 25). God had set him apart for service by the Holy Spirit. How important to know that we are fulfilling our Spirit-given service today!
Revelation through the Spirit
God had given him a revelation by the Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Christ.
Direction in the Spirit
The Spirit of God controlled his movements. So, he was led by the Spirit into the temple and was there when Mary and Joseph brought in the young child Jesus. The messianic identity of the child was confirmed as Simeon received the Lord Jesus up into his arms and blessed God. He recognised that this child was the Christ and that, having seen Christ, he could now depart this life in peace. Simeon acknowledges the sovereignty of God over him as he says: “Sovereign Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.” He also speaks words of prophesy, declaring that salvation light and glory would be found in the child before him. Mary and Joseph were amazed at the things that were said, and Simeon blessed them. He then revealed directly to Mary that Jesus would cause the fall and rising-up again of many in Israel and would be spoken against as the reasoning of many hearts would be revealed. He let Mary know that she herself would also suffer in her soul at the things that would happen, as if a sword had pierced her.
Anna the prophetess (verses 36-38)
Her sorrow recorded
Anna was a godly woman who lived in the temple, and she was very old, possibly even over one hundred years of age! She had been widowed after only seven years of marriage and had been a widow for eighty-four years.
Her service unhindered
Luke emphasises her separated life to God in the temple, where she served Him night and day with fasting and praying.
Her speech focused on Christ
Anna came in when Jesus was there, and she also gave thanks to God for Him and continually spoke about Him to those in Israel who looked for redemption through the Messiah.
After everything required by the law had been fulfilled, they returned to Nazareth in Galilee. Luke records that the child grew, was strong in spirit and full of wisdom as the grace of God rested upon Him.
The doctors of the law and Jesus’ growth (verses 39 – 52)
Mary and Joseph made the journey to Jerusalem at Passover time every year. When Jesus was 12 years old, they made this same journey to keep the feast. When the Passover was over, Jesus waited behind at Jerusalem when the others started the journey back home, but Mary and Joseph were not aware of this. Their supposition led to a day without Christ, and, when they couldn’t find Him, they turned back to Jerusalem looking for Him. It took them 3 further days to find Him sitting in the temple with the teachers, hearing them and asking them questions. All those that heard Him were amazed at His understanding and answers. Mary and Joseph were also amazed, and Mary questioned Him as to why He had dealt with them in such a way, causing them to look for Him with great sorrow. Jesus said: “How is it that you sought Me? Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” (speaking of His Father in heaven). Mary and Joseph didn’t really understand what He meant.
After that, Jesus went with them to Nazareth and submitted to them, but Mary retained all these things in her heart.
So, Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Someone has said of His growth that “there was development but not improvement, as He was perfect at every stage He passed through.”