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Could You be a Simeon?

Living the Christmas Story  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Luke’s Christmas story keeps on going after the shepherds return to their flock. He shares with his readers what has become known as the Presentation. It is where Jesus’ earthly parents were required by Jewish law to present their son for circumcision and then present him in the temple.
Leviticus 12:3
Leviticus 12:1 NIV84
The Lord said to Moses,
Leviticus 12:1 NIV84
The Lord said to Moses,
Leviticus 12:3 NIV84
On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.
This was an important event for firstborn sons.
Exodus 13:2 NIV84
“Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.”
The circumcision marked him as a Jewish male and sealed him with the sign of the covenant of God with Israel.
The parents were to offer a gift at the temple.
Leviticus 12:8 NIV84
If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’ ”
Leviticus 12:8
While they were there, they encountered a man named Simeon.

A man named Simeon

Luke 2:25–35 NIV84
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “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.”
We don’t know much about this man apart from this passage, but the more I study him here, the more I want to be like him!
There are several characteristics that would do any of us well to be on our New Year’s resolution list.
The first characteristic we can learn about Simeon is that he was RIGHTEOUS


This term is from the same description Dr. Luke describes about Elizabeth and Zechariah in
Luke 1:6 NIV84
Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.
Habakkuk 2:4 NIV84
“See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous will live by his faith—
Luke 1:6
Simeon exemplified walking with God. That is exactly what it meant for him to be described as righteous.
Habakkuk 2:4
Are you righteous? Are you a person that lives upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly?
Simeon was described as righteous, and he was also in the same sentence described as DEVOUT.


Devout means giving attention to religious details. It is used in several places in the Bible. King Obadiah in was described as a devout believer in the Lord.
In Cornelius, the Centurion in the Italian Regiment, and his family were described as devout and God-fearing, giving generously to those in need and praying to God regularly.
Simeon was a devout man. He gave great attention to the details of practicing his faith. Perhaps you might be seen as devout if you attend church regularly, you study your bible daily, you spend time in prayer, and you devote yourself to the ways of God.
As a result, you and I can learn much about being devout and being righteous.
But you must be careful here. Being righteous and devout does not come from being religious, but rather from being in a relationship.
Simeon knew what it meant to be in a relationship with God. He knew that there were certain things in that relationship he needed to do to help that relationship grow and flourish.
Simeon was righteous, devout and he was looking for comfort in Christ.

Comfort in Christ

Or as seen in this passage, the Consolation of Israel.
Isaiah 52:9 NIV84
Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
Simeon had studied this great prophetic passage. He had heard it read in the temple and he was given this comfort in his heart so he was expecting it.
What a joy to be expecting something or someone, and then to feel that joy when it is presented.
I think of my Granny Marlowe standing on the porch looking for us to come visit her when she was able for that to happen. When we arrived, we were always greeted by hugs, food, and a great time of fellowship.
Simeon recognized that this comfort, the consolation of Israel, was going to be found in this Christ child.
How did he know that? That gives us the next characteristic we can learn from Simeon:


Simeon was guided by the Holy Spirit and was given a gift of prophecy. The Spirit gave him a message and led him to deliver that message right then and there.
You and I are also guided by the Spirit if we have Christ in our lives. Christ uses the Spirit to lead us and to show us not only right from wrong but empowers us and equips us to carry out the tasks assigned by our Lord.
Simeon was led by the Spirit that he as a humble, righteous and devout man would see God’s child before he died. The Spirit led him to the courtyard at the just the right time to find Jesus. What a divine appointment! You and I also have divine appointments, if you are willing to let the Spirit show you!


Luke 2:28 NIV84
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
Luke 2:
Have you embraced Jesus? Jesus came from heaven to earth to the cross so that you and I can have life! He loved you enough to give you His very best. He cared for you so much that he give His all. That makes me want to embrace Him!
1 John 4:9–12 NIV84
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:
You and I are capable of embracing Jesus and sharing His love just as He shares with us His love!
WE are capable of loving as we are loved and forgiving as we are forgiven!
Simeon embraced Jesus and then Praised God!


This is another characteristic you and I can do! When we realize the Love of Christ, our first instinct should be to praise Him! Are you in the habit of praising God every day?
Simeon praised God for His Sovereignty, His promise, His peace, His salvation, and His redemptive work for both Gentiles and Israelites.
Someone once asked about the difference between praising God and thanking God. The best answer I have ever heard is thanking God is looking at His hands and Praising God is looking at His face.
Are you praising God? Are you aware of just how mighty and great and powerful and holy He is? Yet He desires a relationship with you and me!
Simeon was righteous; he was devout; he sought comfort in Christ; he was guided by the Holy Spirit; he embraced Jesus; He praised God, and he was ASSURED OF GOD’S PROMISE!


Simeon realized that God does not forget His people.
Simeon realized that God always fulfills His promise.
Simeon realized that God’s plan is forever!
As we leave this Christmas season and move on into a New Year, we have a great opportunity in front of us.
Hebrews 10:23 NIV84
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
I want to be a modern day Simeon! You can be one too!
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