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“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.’”- Luke 2:34-35
The Christ child is born! The shepherds have seen Him, Mary and Joseph have seen God’s promise become a reality, and the world has experienced a dramatic shift in power with God coming to earth in the flesh.
Now, Joseph and Mary have to take the child to be presented to the Lord in the temple. It was a normal event, nothing that any other Jewish family wouldn’t have done, since it was the law given to them through Moses.
However, there was something significant about this normal event. Simeon, the temple priest who had asked God to keep him alive until the Messiah came, would be called upon to perform the ceremony. He arrives in the temple and sees the very person he had been waiting for. He is able to see the Messiah.
“'Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.’”(NIV)
Essentially, Simeon realized the very thing He needed to realize: Salvation had come and glory is found in Jesus. Now, he knew he could leave in peace.
Then, Anna comes into the picture, a prophet who is 84 years old. She doesn’t have any great lines written, but she shares the greatest news to anyone who will listen. Luke shares, “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.”(Luke 2:38; NIV)
She found all who were longing to see the people of Israel redeemed and shared that the Messiah had come! Her age didn’t stop her from doing what she was supposed to do.
So, why would I recognize both of these individuals as trend-setters of our faith?
Simeon longed to see and experience the Messiah. He asked God to prolong his life so he could lay eyes upon the One who would come to save God’s people. Salvation was found and Simeon was ready to leave this earth.
If we claim to follow Christ, then we have experienced the Savior, just as Simeon did. Are we prepared to die? You see, Simeon was ready to have his life end for the very fact that the Messiah had come. Jesus, in His own words said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Simeon was willing to lose His life after experiencing salvation. Are we? Can we look at our lives and say, “God, now that we have seen and know your Son, please allow our lives to end so our new life can begin”? Simeon asked for God to keep him alive long enough to see the Messiah, so he could die in peace.
If you know the Messiah, or claim to know the Messiah, have you died to yourself in peace?
Now, Anna, the prophet in old age hanging out at the temple and instantly recognizes the glory of the Father found in a baby boy. She cannot help but to acknowledge the joy of salvation that had entered the world.
She didn’t stop. She was 84, she should have been hanging out in her home watching The Denarii Is Right (fake show, just thought I would clarify). She should have loaded up on a camel and headed to a nice vacation spot. Her time of hard work ended, so why should she spread the Word?
She had a role to play in spreading the good news of Jesus and her age was not about to keep her from doing it.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (NIV)
Anna was sharing the message of hope found in a baby…FOR EVERYONE!
She knew what was at stake and everyone who had been waiting for redemption to come heard the great news of Jesus coming into the world.
If an 84 year old woman could get that excited about a baby, not even knowing all the things He would do, then shouldn’t we since we have heard and experienced it in our own lives?
We should be just as excited as Anna to spread the Word of God and help others who are longing for change in the world and their lives to hear that salvation has come!
This is why we should look at these two individuals as “trend-setters”. They showed us how to live in faith, with perseverance, and hope.
May we be willing to be like Simeon and Anna. May we live lives of sacrifice and peace. May we continue to share the gospel, no matter how old we are. May we continue to seek the face of the Messiah and know why we have died, in order to live.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How often do you take time to seek the Savior?