Monday, December 11, 2017

 

“First Words”

by Superintendent Bob Wilburn

Luke Chapter 2:25-35

 

“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.  And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.  And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;  Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

 

In the second chapter of Luke, we find a detailed account of Jesus’ birth.  Most Christmas narratives stop at verse 20.  If you continue reading you will be introduced to a man by the name of Simeon.  Perhaps with coffee in hand, on this December morning, you and I can learn something about this man….named Simeon. Simeon was a common man.  With these words we are introduced to Simeon:

 

• “And behold there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon”.  No history, no lineage or biographical background……just a common man. God has always used the “common” to do “uncommon” things.  God used a common unknown and unnamed poverty stricken widow to host the prophet Elijah. In 2 Kings 5, God used a young girl….a victim of human trafficking, to connect Naaman with the man of God who would speak healing over his diseased body. More times than not it’s the ordinary rather than the opulent that God uses to do extraordinary things.  Man looks at our position - God looks at our passion.

 

• Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel.  In simplest terms, Simeon was waiting for the advent of the Messiah…Jesus.  The spiritual condition of Israel was at its’ lowest point.  There had been 400 years of prophetic silence, but Simeon expected…he was believing for a visitation of God.  May it be so for pulpit and pew—may we believe for a visitation of God…an outpouring of God’s Spirit that revives the Church and redeems the lost.  How we need the sweet, powerful presence of God!

 

• Notice these three things about Simeon & the Holy Spirit:  “the Holy Spirit was upon him” (v.25), secondly, he had a revelation…a revealing from the Holy Spirit (v.26). And thirdly, he was led by the Spirit (v. 27).  What the Holy Spirit did for Simeon then, He wants to do in us, now.

 

In conclusion, we see that Simeon blessed…he spoke blessing over Joseph and Mary and Jesus (v. 34).  May the Holy Spirit help each of us to speak blessings over those around us as we go through this Christmas Season.  May we purpose in our heart to speak encouragement and faith…to speak Jesus into the lives of those we encounter.

 

 

 

 

 

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