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Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

LK2:25 Now look, there was a person in Jerusalem named Simeon. And he was righteous and reverent[1] and was waiting for Israel’s consolation,[2] and holy Pneuma was upon him. LK2:26 For it had been revealed to him by holy inspiration[3] that he would not experience death until he had seen YHWH’s Christ.[4] [Psalm 2:2] LK2:27 So under inspiration[5] he arrived in the temple [courtyard][6] and when the parents of the little boy Jesus brought him – for it was according to custom regarding an infant – LK2:28 and thus Simeon welcomed [the Christ] into his arms.[7] Then he blessed The God and said: LK2:29 “Absolute Sovereign,[8] now You may dismiss[9] Your servant in peace according to Your message. LK2:30 Because my eyes have seen Your salvation [Isaiah 40:5] LK2:31 that You have prepared in the presence of all the people – LK2:32 an apocalyptic illumination[10] to the non-Jews and a glory to Your people Israel.” [Isaiah 46:13] LK2:33 Now [the infant’s] father and mother were amazed at the things Simeon had said. LK2:34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to [the infant’s] mother Mary: “Behold, this One is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed[11] – LK2:35 (and also, Mary, your own soul will be pierced by a sword!) – that the thoughts of many hearts may be exposed.”[12]

 


[1] Righteous and reverent: Or, just and devout, upright and devout. It means the person was law-abiding and observed Jewish rituals.

[2] Waiting for Israel’s consolation: Or, TCN: lived in constant expectation; TAY: constantly expecting the Messiah to come. [Isaiah 40:1; 49:13; 66:11]

[3] Holy inspiration: Or, divinely revealed. The Greek is KECHREMATISMENON [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5537, having been instructed. (GRN)]

[4] YHWH’s Christ: Or, the Lord’s Christ, Lord’s Messiah, God’s Anointed. Likely drawn from Psalm 2:2. For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Revelation 11:15.

[5] Under inspiration: Or, by the spirit, inspired by, led by, moved by.

[6] Temple [courtyard]: The Greek is HIERON and always refers to the temple compound and not the Temple proper. Women were not permitted into the inner courts so this was possibly the Court of Women.

[7] Simeon welcomed [the Christ] into his arms: Is it possible this was the priest who circumcised Jesus?

[8] Absolute Sovereign: Or, Sovereign Lord. [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #1203] For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Acts 4:24.

[9] Dismiss: Or, depart, discharge, die in content.

[10] Apocalyptic illumination: Or, KJV: a light to lighten; ASV: a light for revelation; NEB: a light that will be a revelation. Drawn from Isaiah 42:6. The Greek is PHOS EIS APOCALYPSIN.

[11] A sign to be opposed: Or, NEB: a sign which men reject; BAS: a sign against which hard words will be said; GDS: a portent that will be much debated; KNX: a sign which men will refuse to acknowledge; NOR: a controversial figure.

[12] Exposed: Or, revealed, laid bare, brought into the light of day.

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Saint Simeon with the Christ child.

Saint Simeon with the Christ child. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting

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Find also to read:

  1. Jesus Messiah
  2. Written to recognise the Promised One
  3. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. The Christ, the anointed of God
  6. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites

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  • Simeon: An Advent Reflection (knowjesusknowjustice.wordpress.com)
    The first messianic prophesy is in Genesis and was written by Moses. And while there is a great deal of debate on the exact date of the writing of Genesis, let’s just say Genesis is where everything begins. Now consider this. The last prophesy of the Messiah’s coming appears in Malachi. That book was written around 430 BC. The point is this. Literally from beginning to end, the Old Testament speaks of the Messiah’s coming. For millennia, God revealed things about Himself, His plan and His Christ through His inspired Word to a people who were waiting. Generation after generation waited and hoped for the Messiah’s coming, but from the greatest to the least, from the most righteous to the most vile, none would see prophecy’s fulfillment during that time.
  • Sermon Redux – Part 4 of The Stars of Christmas – ‘Simeon and Anna’ – Luke 2:21-38 (edraby.wordpress.com)
    If there are two forgotten characters of the Christmas story it is Simeon and Anna.
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    Simeon and Anna bring back the prophetic into the story and call us to be reminded  that God is weaving together a lot of prophecies into fulfillment in Jesus.
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    Simeon knows that Herod is not the Messiah nor have many others who have come along and tried to usurp Herod.  Simeon has been told he would not see death until he has seen God’s Christ.We need to understand that when we look a Jesus as an infant.  As Isaiah 52 says, there was nothing physically marking about Jesus to set him apart.  He looked like any other Jewish baby of Palestine.  He did not have a halo about his head.  He was in the temple because his earthly parents have brought him to be dedicated to God an circumcised.  This was a perfectly normal thing for Jewish parents to do if they were in range of Jerusalem to do it.  There was nothing unusual to mark Jesus out.  You might even begin to think that even Jesus parents were beginning to see Jesus as normal in some ways.  They had both received visits from angels, the shepherds had come a mere eight days before when Jesus was born but other than that no one was saying or marking out their son as special.  The one thing that is missing is the prophetic voice of a prophet proclaiming to people who this child is.

    That is where Simeon comes in as well as Anna.  Simeon only sees a poor Jewish couple coming to the temple and it is at this moment that he steps forward and asks to take the child in his arms and then he prophecies over Jesus and his mother.  In so doing he quotes several scriptures but the most direct reference is to Isaiah 52 which he echoes.  In so doing he announces to the world that this child who seems ordinary is actually extraordinary and is God’s chosen one.  Simeon tells anyone who will listen this is the case.

  • Relishing the Myth: Simeon the Righteous, the God-Receiver (Repost – 2013) (unsettledchristianity.com)
    Ancient historians tell us that the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.) wished to include texts of Holy Scripture in the famous Library at Alexandria. He invited scholars from Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin sent their wise men. The Righteous Simeon was one of the seventy scholars who came to Alexandria to translate the Holy Scriptures into Greek. The completed work was called “The Septuagint,” and is the version of the Old Testament used by the Orthodox Church.

    St Simeon was translating a book of the Prophet Isaiah, and read the words: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a Son” (Is 7:14). He thought that “virgin” was inaccurate, and he wanted to correct the text to read “woman.” At that moment an angel appeared to him and held back his hand saying, “You shall see these words fulfilled. You shall not die until you behold Christ the Lord born of a pure and spotless Virgin.”

    From this day, St Simeon lived in expectation of the Promised Messiah. One day, the righteous Elder received a revelation from the Holy Spirit, and came to the Temple. It was on the very day (the fortieth after the Birth of Christ) when the All-Pure Virgin Mary and St Joseph had come to the Temple in order to perform the ritual prescribed by Jewish Law.

  • Luke 2:34-35 – Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    Jesus would polarize people throughout Israel. On top of that, Jesus would bring much pain to Mary many years later as she witnessed his death on a cross. This picture of the Christ-one who will be a healing balm and an exposer of sin-describes someone who is good, yet dangerous. Do we see Jesus like this? A view of Jesus that doesn’t pierce our soul is not the Jesus of the Bible.
  • Messianic Promises of Christ Coming to Earth ~ 8 (frommyheart2u.wordpress.com)
    It was the Holy Spirit that led Simeon into the Temple at the very moment the baby Jesus was there with his mother and Joseph. The Holy Spirit always leads us to Jesus. As Simeon lifted the baby Messiah up the Spirit prophesied through Simeon’s lips that this babe was more than just another baby – He was the hope of two people groups, He is the Light of the whole Gentile world and Israel’s true Glory!
  • Simeon and Anna: Blessed to see Jesus (theroadreport.wordpress.com)
    We see that God chose to use two humble individuals to prepare hearts, including Joseph and Mary’s, to the revelation of who Jesus was, and is.  In addition, we see two people who were devoted to God and ready to give total praise to Him!  Is it possible that God blessed Simeon and Anna with the ability to see Jesus as a baby because they blessed Him?While Simeon and Anna saw and knew Christ as a baby…we have the ability to know Him as the Risen Savior.  Are we as willing to praise God as they were?
  • Simeon Had His Moment – And You Can Have Yours! (lessonsfromkoza.wordpress.com)
    Simeon understood something that the Israelites did not; he understood that the Messiah had not been sent to deliver the Jews from their enemies and place them above all other peoples, but that He had been sent to save all people, for all eternityregardless of their ethnicity, religion, or gender.Having seen the Messiah, Simeon was ready to depart the world. He had spent his life looking and waiting, and when the Messiah finally arrived he was able to recognize him because he was in tune with God’s spirit (he was spiritually aware). We also are called to be spiritually aware, and to be looking and waiting, but unlike Simeon we are looking and waiting for Christ’s second coming.
  • And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . (writingsistersblog.wordpress.com)
    When Rembrandt was younger, he painted Christ shining with a holy glow.  In this final painting, as Rembrandt reaches the end of life, we see the old man, Simeon, is the one who is glowing – the light coming from the inside out reflecting out onto the baby in his arms.
  • The Prophetess Anna (thepassionists.org)
    Anna is depicted as an aged widow who is constantly in the Temple, worshiping God day and night in fasting and prayer.
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    Anna is inspired to offer thanks to God for the child Jesus and to speak about him to others. She recognizes the moment of salvation when it dawns and she seizes this moment. The friendship with God that she has cultivated through many years of prayer and service in the Temple enables her to respond in faith to God’s visitation in Jesus. Biblical figures like Simeon and Anna, as well as contemporary men and women committed to the contemplative life, challenge us to re-evaluate what we esteem as truly important. They invite us to think again about how we measure “productivity.” They remind us that, whatever our particular vocation may be, our lives need to be rooted in God. Most of us have multiple responsibilities and many things to accomplish each day. We cannot live “constantly in the temple” as did Anna.
  • Christmas in Context: Waiting for the consolation of Israel… (faithfulstewardship.wordpress.com)
    No doubt there were many in Jerusalem longing for the consolation of Israel. How long would Israel have to suffer occupation?
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    Israel was hurting, a shadow of the kingdom it once was. Isaiah also Prophesied that the divided kingdoms that threatened Judah would be laid to waste and then Judah would be handed over to Assyria (Is 7:14-17). There were many who looked to rebellion/insurgency to fight for Israel’s freedom from occupation… perhaps looking for God to follow the redemption of the past when He would raise up a mighty man who would serve as Judge? But Israel rejected God’s Judges, and rejected His rule and asked for a king. There were others who sought political power and favor with Rome to secure for Israel a sense of freedom, to preserve their ways (while historical accounts outside the Bible attest to this, such a mentality is revealed in the Sanhedren in John 11:45-53). Herod took it upon himself to appoint his own High Priest. It was not long before the birth of Jesus that the Temple was defiled and desecrated. All this is simply to say that since the descendents of Jacob had long stopped going to God for their answers (a rebuke against Israel and Judah in Is 8:19-20) they would become a people stumbling in the darkness (leading into Is 9).
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    A man and a woman of God were waiting in the Temple Courts to see the redemption of Jerusalem, the consolation of Israel, the Revelation to the Gentiles… the Salvation of Man. I’m sure they both spread the word, as did the shepherds. So what happened? How could this young family have had any peace? Well, if you’ll remember the account in Matthew 2, the Magi came to Jerusalem looking for the one who is born King of the Jews. We don’t know exactly how old Jesus was when the Magi found Him, we just know that they were no longer in the manger; rather, they were now in a house. God sends warning to Joseph to flee to Egypt, and warns the Magi to avoid returning to Herod. So what squashed what would have been the biggest news in Israel? It was not yet Jesus’ time.

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Old language to confirm the promises

Once more in the Gospel we do find that a person speaks in language borrowed from a half dozen verses in the Hebrew Bible.

At the birth of his son, several times Zechariah or Zachariah, draws from the historical psalms. Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied that by this birth the God of Israel came and set His people free.  It was not God who came on the earth with John the Baptist, but his body was caused to be there on earth by his heavenly Father, Who set the power of salvation in the centre of our lives, and in the very house of David his servant. The priest tells us that this is just as the Most High Elohim promised long ago through the preaching of His holy prophets.

The priest knew that the Only One God is a god of His Word; Everything the God of gods promises comes true. Therefore the world should know that deliverance from our enemies and every hateful hand and mercy to our fathers shall also come true, as He remembers to do what He said He’d do.
Now God was going to make the horn of David to bud as he had ordained a lamp for His anointed.

“”Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one.” (Psalms 132:17 NIV)

“He remembers his covenant for ever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,” (Psalms 105:8 NIV)

“For He remembered His holy promise and Abraham His servant.” (Psalms 105:42 KJ21)

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV)

“and He remembered for them His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies.” (Psalms 106:45 KJ21)

“to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant,” (Luke 1:72 KJ21)

The child of Elizabeth/Elisheva and Zechariah is recognised by his father as a “Prophet of the Highest,” who will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways. He would become the man to present the offer of salvation to his people, the forgiveness of their sins. The child grew up, healthy and spirited. He lived out in the desert until the day he made his prophetic début in Israel.

The people of God had to know now the time was coming that Jehovah God His Decree would be established. A truly righteous David-Branch would by the Word of God become into being. The Holy Spirit, God His Force had taken care that a child could come into the world that would become a ruler who knows how to rule justly. He’ll make sure of justice and keep people united.  Seventy sevens were set for the people and for the holy city to throttle rebellion, stop sin, wipe out crime, set things right forever, confirm what the prophet saw, and anoint The Holy of Holies.

“”The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5 NIV)

“”Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.” (Daniel 9:24 NIV)

The  the iniquity of the house of Judah,  the house of Israel could be beard again. Remembering His covenant God now took it in His hands and used those people Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary to bring in fulfilment what He had promised at the beginning of the universe, in the Garden of Eden. His Word could come in fulfilment with the birth of John the Baptist and his nephew Jesus (Jeshua).

“He remembers his covenant for ever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,” (Psalms 105:8 NIV)

“for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.” (Psalms 106:45 NIV)

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Preceding articles:

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John

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Find also to read:

  1. God’s Salvation
  2. Waiting for Gods Salvation
  3. The Christ, the anointed of God

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File:Lucas Cranach the Elder, his studio? - The Birth of John the Baptist - Google Art Project.jpg

The Birth of John the Baptist – 1518, Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)

 

  • Luke 1:11-20 NIV – Miracles often depend on faith (pagprayer.wordpress.com)
    Zechariah serves in the temple only twice a year, but only once does he get to assist in the daily offering by going into the holy place.  Out of all of the priests (studies indicate that there were about 18,000 priests), today is the day Zechariah is in the temple, among people who are praying.  His job this day is to offer incense, in the holy place, symbolizing intercession rising up to God.  And Zechariah’s prayer is being answered.  In the midst of worship, God moves.
  • Luke 1:57-80 (oh-mag.com)
    As we read in Luke 1:17, Gabriel had given this exact account to Zechariah on the day that his speech was taken for disbelief. Now knowing that these things were indeed coming to pass, the first words out of Zechariah’s mouth are ones of praise and amazement. In verse 68 he speaks of the Messiah directly, knowing that redemption is at hand (remember, Jesus is just about to be born).  He exclaims that God is in their midst, and that He has not abandoned them.  In verse 69 the prophet says that God has raised up a horn (referring to strength) of salvation from the line of David.  As we have read in Matthew, Jesus does in fact fulfill this role as being in the lineage of David.  Inside Zechariah’s prophecy, we are being reminded of a past prophecy, found in Psalm 132 which talks about the future Messiah and his place of birth and reign.
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    Matthew 1:1-17

    There were no accidents, no mistakes, and no second plans as God laid out for all eternity the plans that brought forth a man who fulfilled over 1000 prophecies by the time of His death.  Let us consider the truths that Matthew is going to lay out before us as he makes the case that Christ is Messiah.

  • The Inerrancy of the Bible (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    In the Church, we witness God’s will happening amid human mistakes all the time. Sincere worship leaders play the wrong chords on their guitars. Obedient prophets get caught up in passion and embellish His message. Pastors lose their train of thought in the middle of an inspired sermon. Earnest theologians publish false teachings that they later wish they could retract. Evangelists mistake God’s promptings and present the Gospel message to souls who are already saved. Dynamic Sunday School teachers get stumped by a question that a child asks them. Christian publishers crank out books with glaring typos and spelling errors. Does the presence of error mean that God can’t be at work? Of course not. Human beings are imperfect bumblers. After we are saved, God chooses to let us keep on bumbling as He works through us to accomplish many good things. Our mistakes don’t slow Him down. Our immaturity doesn’t prevent Him from accomplishing His goals. If God isn’t threatened by mistakes, why should we be? Why does the Bible have to be perfect in order for it to be of value? Why can’t it still be Divinely inspired even if it has some obvious flaws?
  • Luke 1:67-69 – His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    God is looking for the Zechariah’s of our day to fill them with His Holy Spirit and use them in amazing ways.
  • Morning Prayer 12.26.13: St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr (dailyoffice.org)
    You have made my friend a bearer of your love for me; I see the light you made to shine in him. Shower my friend with blessings today, O Lord; make me worthy to receive the gifts he brings each time we’re together, and help me return in full measure the love I feel for him. You have made us one in your Spirit, O Lord; thanks be to God.
  • The Choice Mary Made (backseatwriter.wordpress.com)
    God created Mary, so He undoubtedly already knew how she would react to Gabriel’s proclamation that she would be the virgin to bear the long-awaited Messiah.But what if she had said no?  Could Mary have said, “No, you’ve got the wrong girl”?  Would there have been a Moses-like moment where God said that He created her womb, like He created Moses’ mouth?  If she had tried to flee, would God have brought her back with a Jonah and the big fish sort of event?  Could Mary have wrestled with an angel like Jacob?
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    Often times we don’t get to choose what diseases befall us, what those closest to us will do to cause us pain, or how the world will beat us up.  But we can choose how we react, knowing and trusting nothing escapes God’s loving attention.  When baby Jesus was finally born and presented in the temple, Mary was told her blessing was a double-edged sword.  Her heart would be pierced, just as her Son would be pierced for our transgressions.  My sins and yours.  The world’s greatest gift also came with huge responsibility, pain, and suffering.
  • Vayetze (rockofisraelweeklyparasha.wordpress.com)
    The answer to Jacob’s ladder right before your eyes! Yeshua (Jesus) is the ladder! He was sent to Earth to atone for our sins as the perfect Lamb of G-d, G-d raised Him from the dead through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, Yeshua went up to Heaven to serve as our King, Priest and Prophet. Moshiach is soon to Return! Oh mishpachah, can you see it? Yeshua is the Son of G-d, our Messiah! We pray through the Name of Yeshua and our prayers go up to HaShem in Heaven, and the answer is sent down to earth through Yeshua’s Name!
  • Fourth Sunday in Advent: Dec. 22 (prayerscapes.wordpress.com)
    The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
  • Tuesday, December 24, 2013 Advent Weekday (catholicquotesblog.wordpress.com)
  • You Prisoners Of Hope, I Will Restore Twice as Much to You (smritidisaac.wordpress.com)

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