And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
The man Simeon was an old and faithful servant of the Lord. He had spent many years waiting for the promised Messiah. One day he was in temple when Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus in to have him circumcised. I’m sure they were astonished when this old man came up to them, took the baby and began to praise God. The praise of Simeon is once again instructive to us as we seek to praise Christ this Christmas. Simeon praised God because he was able to see the promised salvation. He recognized the little infant in his arms was the one promised to deliver His people from their sin. This salvation was not limited to just the Jews. Unlike so many of that day, Simeon was not looking for deliverance from Rome. He was looking for the one who would be a light to the gentiles and the glory of Israel. Simeon praised God because that baby was Salvation incarnated. As we celebrate Christmas, the salvation purchased for us by that One gives us the greatest reason to praise Him.