29TH DECEMBER 2021
QUESTIONS FROM SIMEON
1 John 2: 3‐11; Ps 96: 1‐2a, 2b‐3, 5b‐6; Luke 2: 22‐35
I want to ask everyone here how patient we are. Come on does anyone here like waiting for things? If you were to put yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being so impatient that you don’t even know what the word patience means to 10 not having a care in the world and not even owning a watch, where would you be? Take a Poll.
Today, I want to focus particularly on Simeon and I want us to ask ourselves 4 questions about our view of Jesus and his impact he has on our lives.
1. Are you willing to wait for God’s timing?
Both Simeon and Anna were waiters. Though we don’t know how old Simeon was, we are told that God had told him that he wouldn’t die before seeing the Messiah. He may have been quite elderly and just waiting for this day, we don’t know. But what we do know, is that he waited patiently.
Let’s face it, most of us find waiting difficult. In our consumer orientated world, we are programmed to expect instant service, but this isn’t how God works. If we change our perspective a bit, we can begin to see waiting as a gift from God instead of a burden. Jeremiah wrote, "It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord" (Lam. 3:26). Waiting is not only necessary; it’s good. It may be difficult to wait on the Lord, but it is worse to wish you had. I don’t know what you are waiting for today ‐ it may be frustrating, painful, making no sense at all. But are you prepared to trust that the God who created this universe knows what He’s doing? Are you prepared to wait for the good things that God has for you?
2. Who controls your life?
A bit of a confronting question, but an incredibly important one. Really there is only 2 options here. You either take control of your own destiny or you let God take the reins. We read that the Holy Spirit was on Simeon. And in vs 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
I want to ask you the question today ‐ Who is controlling your life? Remember that there are only 2 choices – it is either you on the throne, or it is God. Are you filled with the Holy Spirit like Simeon? Are you listening to the Holy Spirit like Simeon?
Are you obeying the Holy Spirit’s promptings like Simeon?
3. Have you seen the light?
We read in vs 25 that Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel. To console someone is to comfort them. Simeon recognized that Israel was going through a tough time. They were ruled by the Romans and wanted freedom. Simeon was waiting for a Messiah to come and save them and comfort them.
Imagine the surprise of Mary and Joseph as this old stranger approached, looking, not at them, but at the child Mary held in her arms. His face seemed to almost glow as he looked at the face of their child. He gently reached for and then cradled the baby in his arms. God had opened his eyes and Simeon saw before him, not the 40‐day‐old child, but the 33‐year‐old man hanging from a cross. He knew that he held in his old, tired arms, the Saviour of the world
Have you seen the Light of the World? Have you recognized that your only hope in this world is the salvation that comes from Jesus Christ? Stop chasing after money or fame. Stop consulting the horoscopes or spirit guides. Stop believing that you yourself have all the answers. Our only hope with getting right with God is through this baby who became a man and died for us. He is the light which shows us how we can be saved from God’s judgement. Have you seen him? If you have, what are you doing to help others see him?
4. Will Jesus be your Ruler or your Rival?
After blessing this baby, Simeon spoke some rather amazing words to Mary and Joseph.
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Jesus’ life was not going to be an easy one. He was going to turn the social order upside down. He would cause many who regarded themselves as having made it to fall off their pedestals. In contrast, he would resurrect or lift up many whom society had downtrodden and who were regarded as worthless. As a result, many would speak against him. Many would oppose him because he would reveal their true motives and in turn their hatred of him would be revealed as they nailed him to the cross. This would not just be a painful experience for Jesus, but also for Mary. Simeon says it will be like a large sword piercing her soul.
Earlier, we said there were only two answers to the question of who controlled your life – yourself or God. If you are in control of your life, you will see Jesus as a rival to your control. If you allow God to take control of your life, he will be your ruler. What is your attitude to Jesus today? Is he your ruler or your rival? If he is your rival, you are on dangerous ground, because you are going up against the creator of this world and I know who I’ve got my money on. Ruler or Rival? This is an important question that has eternal consequences, so choose carefully.