(Luke 2:28–31 THE MESSAGE) – Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God: God, you can now release your servant; release me in peace as you promised. With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation; it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
And who could forget old Simeon who had been waiting for this day for years. How did he know who this little baby was? Was it something in his face that grabbed his attention? This was Simeon’s defining moment. This was the messiah, a supernatural birth, a sign to be spoken against. Now he could go home in peace.
When you see Him for yourself it changes the way you see everything else. Like David said, “in Your light we see light”. Simeon’s world was literally flooded with light the day he saw Jesus in the temple. He had been waiting for a long time, probably for years, to see that wonderful face. It is believed that Simeon had been a powerful leader in Israel and lost his position because of what he believed about the coming Messiah. All of that waiting and ridicule was done, He had now seen the One he had been waiting for. This was the sign spoken against that would flood the whole world with light. This light was shining on Simeon as he prophesied of things to come. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this a passage.
“Lord, now let thou thy servant depart, for mine eyes have seen the salvation I was promised a sight of before I died.”… He blessed God that he saw that salvation in his arms which many prophets and kings desired to see, and might not…..And, while it has been thus long in the coming, it hath still been in the preparing. It is a farewell to this world: “Now let thy servant depart; now mine eyes have been blessed with this sight, let them be closed, and see no more in this world.” The eye is not satisfied with seeing, till it hath seen Christ, and then it is. What a poor thing doth this world look to one that hath Christ in his arms and salvation in his eye! Now adieu to all my friends and relations, all my enjoyments and employments here, even the temple itself.”
I love what Henry said, “the eye is not satisfied with seeing until it sees Christ, and then it is”. Have you seen Him for yourself? How will you know ? When you can say goodbye to everything else like Simeon because you have seen the treasure Who is Christ for yourself. Simeon was willing to walk away from friends, relations, and the temple itself. What was his reward? He saw the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.