In Luke Chapter 2, when Simeon saw the child Jesus in the Jerusalem temple courts he proclaimed: “My eyes have seen your salvation”. The Christian faith points to Jesus the Saviour of the world. More than just a historical record of His time on earth, the good news in Jesus reveals a plan to restore and reveal God’s everlasting love for a lost sinful human race. Jesus is the very nature of God Himself made flesh. How is this far from being a mythical belief? Would Israel recognise Him when He came? How was the world to know if Jesus had come?
Prophecies some 700 years before Jesus came foretelling His birth, linked Him to God’s expressed divine purpose for human salvation. Specific details associated with the birth of Jesus were well-documented. The Israelites waited in anticipation as they watched the events of the time unfolding. Simeon was one such man, devout and righteous. He longed to be part of God’s purpose and plan. He knew the prophecies were pointing to fulfilment in his time. So certain was he that it emboldened him to make this request of God – “he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah” (Luke 2:26b). The moment Simeon set his eyes on the child Jesus, he was moved by the Holy Spirit to affirm who He really was.
- Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the whole world
Simeon declares, ‘For my eyes have seen your salvation’. Led by the Holy Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courts. The moment he set his eyes on the Child Jesus, he declared with full certainty of who the Saviour is. His whole life had culminated to that one moment. Seeing Jesus was seeing God’s promise of salvation fulfilled.
- God’s salvation plan for the whole world is through Jesus only, for all time.
Simeon’s anointed utterance left those listening without doubt of who the Child is. He is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” In Israel, Jesus is God’s fulfilment of a promise; outside of Israel, Jesus is God’s revelation of Himself to a people who have deep longing within, waiting to be filled. In Luke 16:16a, Jesus says, “The law and the prophets were proclaimed until John. Since then, the gospel of the kingdom of God is being preached.” With the arrival of Jesus the Messiah, the revelation of Holy God is proclaimed and encountered in a new way. Jesus is the long awaited Word of God made flesh. Simeon went on to prophesy that while joyous, the circumstances leading to it will not be with full acceptance nor will it be without pain.
The birth of Jesus ushered in the era of fulfilment where the kingdom of God is preached as present and powerful. God directs events to fulfil His prophecies across time. Faith is assured that God keeps His promise. He “accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 11:1).