Saturday, 1 May 2021
Title: The Praise of Simeon
By: Wong Yoke Ming
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
There are three things that the aged Simeon had seen: first, the salvation of God; next, in Jesus, he had seen the light of the world; and finally, in Jesus, he had also seen a cause for division – for there is no neutral ground in confrontation with Jesus. Even our Lord said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:23)
But Simeon saw and held the baby Jesus. In his humanity, Simeon could not have seen the coming glory of Christ. Thus, this was a revelation from the Holy Spirit, as stated in verse 26. God’s appointed time for the faithful Simeon to be in the temple was just as Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus to do in accordance with the custom of the Law; and Simeon had seen the fulfilment of the revelation of the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Christ – God had revealed the promised Son, the Spirit had confirmed it.
As we read our bible, have we seen the presence of the Christ in our lives? Luke 2 spoke to a people who lived in the first century; it had been recorded through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for the people then. We have received the promise of His return, but that fulfilment is still distant. Both Simeon and the Prophetess Anna had seen the baby Jesus with spiritual eyes, as the Christ appointed for the redemption of all people. In reading the words of prophecy in the bible about Christ’s return to finally vanquish evil and restore His kingdom, what has God done in our lives that gives us the certainty of fulfilment of this prophecy? In Hebrews 11:1, the author wrote, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Both Simeon and Anna, in seeing the baby Jesus, had seen the assurance of the hope given them.
We have seen the increasing corruption of the secular world, in so-called ‘developed nations’ of this world, we have seen the growing rebellion against authority, the ugliness of racism manifesting in western society. The salvation had been prepared “in the presence of all people”, and yet, certain groups of people seek to exclude others from community.
Simeon and Anna saw the promised salvation for all people in the temple – in the house of God. Do our spiritual eyes confirm that final restorative hope as we seek God in our temple? And if that is so, then it calls for a response in praise. If the Spirit has confirmed that final restoration to us, it calls for a witness in our walk of faith – to reconcile hearts pierced by the sword, to challenge the ‘falling’, and to uphold the ‘rising of many’ in Israel. Indeed, Jesus has brought a sword that will unite us or separate us.
Heavenly Father, You have given to us Your Son in our lives to guide us. You have also promised us His return to unite us finally in Your eternal presence or to separate us from You. We pray that in the first instance, we know Your faithfulness confirmed in Christ; and we pray that, in the second, we perpetuate the hope of His return in our witness of Your faithfulness. Amen.
翻譯 : 王靖端姐妹
路加福音 2: 29-32 “主阿，如今可以照你的话，释放仆人安然去世；因为我的眼睛已经看见你的救恩，就是你在万民面前所預備的；照亮外邦人的光，又是你民以色列的荣耀。”
當我們閱讀聖經時，我們有沒有看到基督在我們的生命中? 路加福音第二章是對生活在第一世紀的人說話。當時是通過聖靈的啟示為人們記錄下來的。我們已經得到了衪會再來的應許，但是應驗仍然遙遙無期。西緬和先知亞拿都曾以屬靈的眼光看嬰兒耶穌，因為基督被任命救贖世人。在讀聖經中有關基督再來，最終戰勝邪惡並恢復衪的國度的預言之時，上帝在我們的生活中做了什麼，使我們確信這一個預言可以實現 ？在希伯來書11：1中，作者寫道：“信就是所望之事的實底，是未見之事的確据。” 西緬和亞拿在見到嬰兒耶穌時, 都見證賜給他們希望的保證。
我們已經看到世俗世界的日益腐敗，在這個世界上的所謂“發達國家”中，我們看到了對權威的持續抗爭，醜陋的種族歧視在西方社會中暴露了出來。救贖的工作是在“ 万民面前” 而預備的，但是，某些群体的人試圖將其他的人排除在群體之外。