Read Luke 2:25-35
Salvation For All
Simeon is a man of whom very little is known. Adam Clarke claims he was the son of Hillel, who was also the father of Gamaliel. Another scholar, H.D.M. Spence, made note of the fact that the Mishna, which included the sayings of many great rabbis, contained no record of any words from Simeon. He surmised that this may have been the case because of the “hatred incurred because of his belief in Jesus of Nazareth.” Luke’s inspired testimony of Simeon is sufficient for people of faith.
Simeon “was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him” (Luke 2:25). At times we view the religious elite of the first century as unrighteous and selfish, but there were some like Simeon who still held to the truth and patiently looked forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises through the prophets of old.
The word “devout” is translated from a Greek word that means, “taking hold well; carefully and surely; cautiously.” He was living his life in such a way that he carefully watched his behavior. He was pious and reverent in his conduct, not wanting to stray from the path God had established.
The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die until he had witnessed the Christ. He believed God, and Simeon praised God when the Christ was presented at the temple. “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
Simeon proclaimed what many in the Jewish world considered a curse: “revelation to the Gentiles.” It did not matter that he also declared “the glory of Your people Israel.” Men like Simeon were few and far between. Men who wanted to see the salvation “of all peoples,” not just one race or nation.
Do we desire the same today? Do we want to see all nations accept the gospel and obey the Lord? Or do we believe it is a special honor bestowed only upon the citizens of our country?