Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Baby Jesus Is Welcomed

Usually when we tell the Christmas story we include the shepherds and wise men, but there are other important characters in the story that we too often forget about. But the gospel writers must have thought they were important because unlike the shepherds and wise men we know these people by name; Simeon and Anna.


Simeon was “just and devout” and had been “waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him” (Luke 2:25). The Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah and on the day that Joseph and Mary came to present Jesus, Simeon was led by the Spirit to go to the temple. As he beheld the child, he took him into his arms and joyfully cried, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).

Luke tells us that these words caused Mary and Joseph to marvel. We can imagine how much joy and comfort this must have given them after all the gossip and persecution they had experienced to encounter someone who believed and shared in their secret.

But the comfort was short lived as Simeon turned to Mary and prophesied, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35).

Also in the temple that day was the prophetess Anna who had been a widow for eighty-four years and who lived at the temple serving “God with fastings and prayers night and day”(Luke 2:37). When she heard Simeon proclaim the Messiah, the Spirit also bore witness to her of the divinity of the child and she gave thanks to the Lord that at last the long awaited Redeemer of Israel had been born.

Both Simeon and Anna were ready and waiting so that they recognized their Messiah when he came into their lives. Likewise the promise to all of us is that if we are ready and waiting, Jesus Christ will come into our lives and we will know Him.


3 comments:

Becky Rose said...

I love the story of Simeon and Anna. My blog has some pictures of Christmas and the last one is of Simeon that i just love- all sparkly and arrayed in the light of the gospel! http://becksome.blogspot.com/

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

I saw your pictures. They are wonderful! Merry Christmas!

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