By Pastor Ted R. House
The Bible account of the birth of Christ has many aspects. One of these aspects is the adoration and prophecy Simeon gave. Luke 2:25-35 tells us: "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 raising 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."
Picture in your mind a young couple traveling to Jerusalem with a newborn baby. They were taking Him to be circumcised on the eighth day according to the Jewish law, and to give Him the name Jesus. When they entered into the temple, they were met by an old man named Simeon. He took the baby up in his arms and said that this child was the promised salvation; “a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of God's people Israel!” Imagine the thoughts of Joseph and Mary as they watched him and listened to him? The Bible tells us that they marveled at his words. What a wonderful moment for this young couple! Then Simeon turned to Mary and spoke directly to her. Consider the four things Simeon revealed to Mary. First, Jesus was set for the fall of many in Israel. About 30 years passed and again Jesus was in the temple. He was talking to the elders of the people and to the chief priests. In Matthew 21:43-44 He said: "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to power." And it came to pass. Jesus was crucified, many rejected Him, and the gospel went to the Gentile nation. However, Simeon also said the rising of many in Israel. That also came to pass. Acts 2:41 says: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." And after that, many thousands believed also! That is not all; after the time of Jacob's trouble, Israel will be restored.
Israel will rise again! Simeon also said that Jesus would be a sign which would be spoken against. He was and still is today. He either attracts or repels (I Peter 2: 6-8). Then there was that personal message to Mary: "(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy soul also)". Have you ever had someone you loved very much be ridiculed or abused? Have you ever had to watch a child die a horrible death? Mary, as the mother of God's Son, was set to suffer many things. She saw Him laughed at, mocked, spit upon, beaten, and spoken against, and finally, she had to watch Him suffer and die on that old rugged cross. When they pierced His side with that sword, it pierced her soul.