Simeon's Song

January 17, 2020 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: The Gospel of Luke

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Luke 2:25–35

We have been going through our series in Luke’s Gospel called, THE MISSION OF JESUS. If you have been here from the beginning, you would remember that we have so far looked at FOUR songs of praise, recorded in these first 2 chapters. The first song is from 1:42-45 - Elizabeth’s Song. Mary’s Magnificat in 1:46-55 is the second song. Zechariah’s Benedictus is found in 1:68-79 and the angels’ song is recorded in 2:14. Today we are going to look at the fifth and last of these nativity songs that Luke records, from the righteous and devout man whose name was Simeon. We are going to see the hope that Simeon had and how it was rewarded, then we will meditate on the object of his hope.

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel." And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."
(Luke 2:25-35)

I want to start with a story from the Readers Digest, about Charles Eliot who was the president emeritus of Harvard University at the beginning of the 1900’s. During the summer of his 90th year, he made his way slowly down the road from his cottage in Northeast Harbor, Maine, to the cottage of his neighbors, the Peabodys. Mrs. Peabody greeted him warmly and invited him into the living room. After a brief conversation, Eliot asked if he might hold her new baby. Mystified, she lifted her infant son from his crib and laid him in the arms of Harvard’s venerable president emeritus. Eliot held the baby quietly for a few minutes. Then, with a little gesture of thanks, he returned him to his mother, explaining, “I have been looking at the end of life for so long that I wanted to look for a few moments at its beginning.” (In Reader’s Digest [8/83].)

We all need hope. Especially in old age, but also at all other points in life, we need hope. One of the blessings that comes along with the little ones God entrusts to us is hope.

And yet, the hope that comes with children is an uncertain hope at best. There is always the uncertainty of disease or death. What parent of a newborn has not gone in by the crib in the middle of the night and put his or her ear down close enough to make sure that the little one is breathing? If the child survives disease or an early death, there is the uncertainty of this evil world. Crime, child molesters, drunk drivers, the threat of terrorism or war, and economic instability make every parent worry about the kind of world our children and grandchildren will grow up in.

Given these uncertainties, when we meet an elderly person who is filled with hope, we need to sit up and take notice. Here in our text, is someone who could be pessimistic, cynical, filled with fears and anxieties. But he is brimming over with firm hope. We had better listen. We might learn some things. Simeon was such a man. When he held the infant Jesus in his arms in the temple courtyard, we see more than just an old man taking hope in any newborn. Rather, we see an old man who has put his hope in the promises of God. This was no ordinary newborn! He was the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people. As we observe this elderly saint with this child in his arms, we learn some valuable lessons about the hope we all so desperately need: Those who hope in God’s promises in Christ will be rewarded. Luke begins by telling us that there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon (2:25a).

  • The Character of Simeon (2:25-27)
  • The Song of Simeon (2:28-33)
  • The Prophecy of Simeon (2:34-35)

More in The Gospel of Luke

July 24, 2020

Love So Amazing So Divine

July 17, 2020

How To Respond In Faith.

July 10, 2020

Our Living Hope.