When Henry was younger, he would come into the kitchen point at the fridge and say, "I want." So, I would take him to the table strap him in the seat and come back in to the kitchen to prepare whatever it was that he wanted (or I thought he wanted). He would unbuckle, climb down, and come sit in the middle of the kitchen. This pattern would repeat itself over and over again. Henry had no idea that I was positioning him in the best place to receive what he wanted. I was positioning him in the best place to be fed. I was positioning him for what he desired.
In Luke 2:21-35 (reread it), we see a man who was able to listen to the Holy Spirit and allowed the Holy Spirit to position him where he needed to be to receive what he desired. Simeon was a layman (layman are those who are not clergy/ or pastors) but Scripture tells us that he was righteous and devout. Righteous indicates an outward act and devout indicates an inward one, which tells us that Simeon really walked the talk. Simeon, unlike many other Jews that we will read in the New Testament truly was seeking God instead of just following the law. We see Simeon have a relationship with God, hear from God, and be obedient to God. Many say that in the person of Simeon all of old Israel is represented. This old man, desired to see the coming Messiah. The Lord promised he would see his desire before he passed.
Simeon follows the Holy Spirits prompt to go into the temple. We maybe talking about perfect vision, but to have perfect vision sometimes we have to position ourselves in the right place to see perfection. Simeon allowed the Holy Spirit to position him to see. So he goes to the Temple.
In comes a mother, father, and a newborn baby. Simeon doesn't seem to miss what he is supposed to see, He has perfect vision.
He Sees His Messiah
He changed the way he saw so that he could see Jesus. Most people of that day expected the Messiah to be one who would overthrow the Roman army... but Simeon allowed the Holy Spirit to guide him to seeing the Messiah without his own expectations of what he thought the Messiah should be. Jesus wasn't packaged the way many would expect. But Simeon was looking for him and didn't miss him. Simeon had perfect vision.
Simeon doesn't just see Jesus. He takes Jesus into his arms.
He Holds His Messiah
Simeon takes this baby into his arms and looks his Lord right in the face. This being the first time since the fall (Genesis Chapter 3) that man had been able to look the Lord in the face. The Lord took on flesh and now Simeon was holding Him. Verses 29-32 are said directly to Jesus. In fact, the word that Simeon uses for Lord was a very personal, very submissive Lord, some translations translate it to Master. Simeon was able to change the way he saw to be able to see Truth and that allowed him to be able to Hold on to Truth.
Church, I know many of you are still wrestling with the thougth of having young pastors. I know some of you still wrestle with the idea of a female pastor. But I want you to hear my pastoral heart for a second. My desire for you is that you are able to be so intuned with the Holy Spirit that you see Jesus this new year. I also am praying that you don't just stop at seeing but you HOLD HIM! May your sight of Him move you to action. I'm not satisfied with you just getting a glance, I want you to HOLD HIM. And I pray the things we do and say as your pastors helps you see Him and Hold Him!
What Iove about Simeon's story is that Simeon's desire was to see Him. He wanted to see the Messiah. Did Simeon know it was going to be the Lord, Himself? I have no idea but when Simeon saw Him... He didn't miss who or what Jesus was! He called Him Messiah and Lord! Simeon's desire was completed in Jesus.
Let Jesus be What Completes Your Desire.
We desire a lot of things. But nothing is going to be able to fulfill us like Jesus. My challenge for you this year is to desire Jesus. Look for Jesus. Hold Jesus. Make sure you are positioning yourself in a manner that allows you to see and hold Him. Here are ways to do that:
I am praying for you all! Love you all so very much. See Jesus. Hold Jesus!