Simeon: anticipation personified

Luke chapter 2 gives a unique account of incidents that took place in and around the temple when the child Jesus was presented to the Lord according to the law of Moses. Two people enter the scene – seemingly out of nowhere. The first was a man named Simeon described in Luke 2:25 as being “righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.”

He was deemed “righteous” – in how he lived his life, in his ways, as he sought to live right before God, to be in right standing before God. He was also considered devout – in his handling of or approach to his faith. The original Greek word for devout (“eulabés”) denoted handling well, taking hold well, carefully and surely, holding fast, clinging and cautious. It describes a person who is totally committed to a cause – in this case of God and Christ, a God-fearing, godly and pious man. Finally, he was described as living in active waiting posture or mode, anticipating the arrival of the Messiah.

His sole purpose for living seemed to be “waiting” for the Christ, for the arrival and appearance of Israel’s hope and consolation. His was a life of waiting, a life of anticipation. He was looking forward to this day. He lived to see the day he would meet the Christ – albeit in baby form.

The difficulty we so often have is that there is something else we live for – or someone else rather other than Christ, most often ourselves, when we are in fact wired to live for Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:15 – and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. There is something else we live more for than Christ and His appearance principally because we have failed to take Jesus’ conditions for Discipleship at face value. Luke 9:23
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” As disciples of Christ we are called to practise self denial and die to ourselves everyday so as to live for the One who died for us. When we fail in this department, when we fail in the basic, we fail everywhere else.

Our lack of longing and anticipation also stems from a lack of fellowship or communion with the Holy Spirit who alone helps us enter and stay in that waiting posture. For Simeon, once his anticipation was fulfilled, it was mission accomplished – his life was done, he was now more than happy to go. Luke 2:29-30 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation… At the heart of Simeon’s piety and His active waiting posture was none other than the Holy Spirit. What drove and sustained Simeon’s righteousness, devotion and eager anticipation of the Christ was the Holy Spirit who was upon Him. The source and engine driving all of this was the Holy Spirit who rested upon him.

Upon closer inspection of the relationship between Simeon and the Holy Spirit we find that:
1) the Holy Spirit was upon him (Luke 2:25) – Simeon was a Holy Spirit soaked man, a guy who was drenched in the Spirit;
2) he maintained an open communication channel with the Holy Spirit; he was in communion and in listening and responsive mode in relation to the Holy Spirit (Luke 2:26); and,
3) He walked in the Spirit, he kept in step with the Spirit (Luke 2:27) for he did not come into the temple randomly or accidentally but “in the Spirit”. Luke 2:27
And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law,

This meeting or encounter between the child Jesus and Simeon did not happen by chance or coincidence but was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit Himself. It was a Divine orchestration, a Divine encounter conducted by the Holy Spirit.

This same Holy Spirit is the One now living in us today – and not just upon us. We need to deliberately cultivate and nurture a relationship with Him, the third person of the trinity. We need to acknowledge Him in our lives every single day and continuously throughout the day making room for Him in our lives if we too are to benefit from our communion with Him leading to divine encounters. He looks to us to share our lives with Him each and everyday for He is indeed our intimate companion and most trusted confidant. So make room for Him in your thought and intimate life where you wouldn’t even dare allow anyone else. Acknowledge Him and seek His counsel and guidance each and every day.

However, all this is not done in thin air but very firmly grounded and rooted in God’s Word which is authored by Him. Acknowledge His presence in you by feeding on and listening to Him through His word. Avoid reducing or restricting the Holy Spirit to His “common” manifestations like tongues or prophecy or visions – which are all His remit by the way. He is a person who lives in you – acknowledge Him as such. Here is how The Lord Jesus first introduced His disciples to The the Holy Spirit in John 14:15-17 –
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Whether you dream dreams, see visions or speak in tongues (or not), according to the words of the Lord He dwells with and in you if you belong to Christ. He is “another” helper, that is, the “other” one in place of the incarnate God-man Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is a person and so is the Holy Spirit. He is a person the disciples of Jesus were meant to relate with just like they did with Jesus but this time living within them.

His presence in you – according to the promise of the Lord – is to be with you, to come alongside you, to be your life companion, to help and support you in your discipleship journey, to counsel, to teach and to lead you. You are not (left) alone – John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

It is as if Jesus never left but even better – His Spirit now in you.

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