The passage can be read here.
Simeon and Anna show us that although there was a great deal of hypocrisy at this time, some people stood out and were seeking God. Simeon’s words are some of the first that reveal that not everyone will rejoice at the arrival of the Messiah. He will be ‘a sign that is spoken against’; the life of Jesus would divide opinion some would respond in faith and some would rebel against him. It was prophesied hundreds of years before he was born (Isaiah 53:3, 7), when he was still a small child Herod sought to kill him (Matthew 2:16), He would face opposition throughout his ministry, as the gospel spread across the Roman Empire the division continued (Acts 17:32-34) and it remains so today.
As his mother, Mary would feel every harsh word that would later be uttered against her son. The wise words of Simeon must have resounded in her mind thirty years later when she stood at the cross; “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” They speak to us as yet another reminder that nothing in the life of Jesus is accidental or haphazard. He came to do the will of the Father, to save us by dying in our place. His mission is woven into the fabric of his life from beginning to end.
“And the child grew and became strong”, just a few words that tell us that Jesus grew up like us; he learned to walk, to speak, to feed himself and all of the other things that happen as a child develops. He was and is the eternal Word after all, the one who formed the universe and here he is learning to do things like any other child!
We have rejoiced in the fact that Jesus was born, that he became a baby and rightly so but the truth is, he did not remain a baby, he grew up to become a man. Perhaps we are more comfortable with the babe of Bethlehem than we are with Jesus the man. Is that why Christmas services are better attended than say Easter?
We thank the Lord for Simeon and Anna and words they gave to Mary and Joseph but are we prepared to be like them today, to stand against the flow and speak up for God?
Thank you Lord for Jesus; that he became a baby and that he grew up to be a man.
Help us Lord we pray to live in a way that proclaims the death of Jesus. May every part of our lives would show evidence of being a redeemed people.