Luke 2:25-35

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said: Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace, as You promised. For my eyes have seen Your salvation. You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples— a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel. His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be oppose— and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

            When we pick things up here in the story of Jesus’ birth we find and interesting encounter with a man named Simeon. This just stuck out to me because this man and this encounter is so interesting, and honestly it leaves me thinking a little bit.

The first thing that comes to my mind is, what is going through Mary’s mind as this complete stranger tells her all of this information about her new born son? She was only a teenager at the time and had already had quite the unusual experience already. She got pregnant as a virgin, she had been visited by angels before the birth, wise men and shepherds at his birth, and countless other things!

Secondly, what exactly was Simeon talking about and why is it in the Bible? Well, that’s what I really want us to look at, is what he said, because it gives us a glimpse to the reason why Jesus was born to begin with.

Let’s concentrate on what Simeon said directly to Mary. He told her “Indeed this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed- and a sword will pierce your own soul- that the thoughts of many hearts will be healed”.  What an amazing statement. First, this child “will cause the fall and rise of many”. Simeon is telling Mary that this baby is destined for greatness that she can’t even imagine. And we know this to be true, this was not ordinary baby. He would grow up to be the greatest preacher ever known, 100% God and 100% man. He will cause some to rise to belief in that fact and to eternal life, but others will chose not to believe and be destined to eternal death. That is why Simeon says that Jesus will be a “sign that will be opposed”. We see this in our world all too often today. People who are sternly opposed to Jesus.

Then finally he says “a sword will pierce you own soul- that the thoughts of many hearts will be healed”. What could this mean? Especially what could this mean to a young mother? This was one of the happiest times of her life, she had just had a baby. But what we see here is Simeon telling Mary what will happen in the future and the real reason that Jesus was born to begin with. Jesus was the Messiah that had been promised as far back as Genesis 3:15. This was the child that that prophets had preached about it. The one who all of the Old Testament fathers had looked forward to. This was the real deal. Why do we say that? Well because we know that we celebrate Jesus birth because it ultimately leads to his death. A death that will cover a multitude of sins. (Romans 4:25 “He (Jesus) was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”)

            So while we celebrate Christmas this season let’s keep our minds on the real reason for Christmas. God humbled himself to become a human being, die for our sins, and be raised on the third day. What an awesome truth that we have!
-Tyler Mooring