17 Dec. Luke 2:25-35

17 Dec. Simeon recognises Jesus as the 'Messiah' or 'Christ'

"In Jerusalem lived a man named Simeon who was a good man and godly. He was waiting for the time when God would take way Israel's sorrow, and the Holy Spirit was in him."

"Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Christ [the 'Messiah', or 'anointed one'] promised by the Lord."

"The Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. When Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple to do what the law said they must do, Simeon took the baby in his arms and thanked God:

'Now, Lord, you can let me, your servant, die in peace as you said.
With my own eyes I have seen your salvation,
which you prepared before all people.
It is a light for the non-Jewish people to see
and an honour for your people, the Israelites.'"

"Jesus's father and mother were amazed at what Simeon had said about him."

"Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, 'God has chosen this child to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God that many people will not accept, so that the thoughts of many will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart sad, too.'"

          (Luke 2:25-35)


 

When Mary and Joseph visited the Temple in Jerusalem to present the purification sacrifice after Jesus's birth (see Luke 2:22-24) they met Simeon – a devout Jew who had been given the special gift by the Holy Spirit of recognising the promised Messiah or Christ before he died.

When Simeon took Jesus in his arms he immediately knew that he was holding the Messiah who would save the Jewish people from their sinful ways and bring them back to God.

So he praised God, saying, “Now, Lord, you can let me, your servant, die in peace as you said” (Luke 2:29). This prayer of praise and thanksgiving is now known as the ‘Nunc Dimittis’, the first two words of this prayer in Latin.

Before leaving the Temple, Mary and Joseph also met an old lady called Anna – a prophetess – who told them that Jesus would grow up to be the saviour of the Jewish people (see Luke 2:36-38).

The photo shows the colonnaded porticoes on the Temple Mount above the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Temple courts where Mary and Joseph met Simeon would have had similar colonnades to provide shade from the sun's heat.

You can read more about Mary and Joseph's visit to the Temple in Jerusalem @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/the-bible-journey/3-jesuss-childhood-journeys-b/jewish-religious-rituals/


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