Today’s part of the story tells us about a man named Simeon, whom, it seems had waited his whole lifetime for Christ to be born. Scripture says that it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Savior. Take a hard, long, look at that statement…How many people die every year…every day…every minute in our world who never “see” the Savior?
Even though Simeon was an old man, he never lost hope. Every moment of every day he was expecting the coming of the Lord. What expectations do we have this morning? Do we wake up every day thinking this might be the day; this might be the time when Jesus comes again?
Simeon had his priorities right. He had to personally receive the Christ child into his arms, into his heart and into his life. The Bible says there is no other way! I have heard some men say “Well, my wife is the religious one, not me.”…Well, I’m sorry to say that your wife is going to heaven alone! After picking up the child in his arms, Simeon said “now let your servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation.” After death there is no repentance, there are no sermons, there will be no altar calls, the opportunity to see God’s salvation in the Christ child is here and now! “Today is the day of salvation.” Do you see what I see?
So here’s Simeon, holding the Christ child, blessing the baby Jesus, who would in turn bless the whole world. Now, I want to draw attention to one phrase about Simeon. The NIV says he was “waiting.” The English word doesn’t really do the phrase justice. The NLT says Simeon “eagerly expected” the Messiah. The Living Bible says he was “constantly expecting” the Messiah. The Phillips Bible says Simeon was “living in eager expectation of the salvation of Israel” and the Jerusalem Bible says Simeon “looked forward” to Jesus’ comforting His people.
The phrase in Greek carries a lot of meaning. The word literally means “waiting forward.” Simeon was waiting forward for the Messiah. Both words are important. It’s not about standing around and doing nothing – like a waiting room. Simeon was actively listening, watching, hoping, and praying. He was not at the water cooler with his hands in his pockets, just standing around, hoping that something spiritual would happen to him. No, Simeon was waiting forward, constantly looking ahead, looking forward to the day when Jesus – the Christ child – would come.
It’s the same word given for us in Luke 12:35-37. Jesus tells us to be like servants who are waiting. The servants were ready and waiting. They were looking forward to being with the master. And Jesus says that we should be the same. Part of walking in the Spirit is “waiting forward” for God to move in, around, and through us. Keeping our eyes open and ears sensitive to what God might have in store for us. After all, we believe that Jesus is coming back…don’t we? 2 Peter 3:10 asks the question “then what kind of people should we be?” Verses 11-12 give us the answer- “we ought to live holy and godly lives as we “look forward” to the day of God, and speed it’s coming.” That’s the same word in the Greek meaning “waiting forward”. We need to be patient and vigilant. We need to keep waiting, but not forgetting what we are waiting for.
When Simeon looked at the Christ child, he saw the Savior he had been waiting for! The one he was expecting to come! When you look into the manger, do you see what I see?