Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Simeon Was Waiting! How About You?

Dear friends, two thousand years ago, Simeon was "waiting" for His Savior's first advent (Luke 2:25)! This same word "waiting" is used in (Titus 2:13), Looking" for the blessed hope!

Simeon was "waiting" with all eager anticipation and expectancy, "looking" for the Messiah to come, longing for the Messiah to come, eagerly expecting His first coming! Oh dear friends, how many believers in this same Jesus today look with all eager anticipation and expectancy like Simeon did 2000 years ago, not for  Messiah's first coming but for His return for His Body in the clouds? Tragically, not too many.

Simeon was "waiting" with all eager anticipation and expectancy, "looking" for the Messiah to come, longing for the Messiah to come, eagerly expecting His first coming!

Simeon knew that Messiah's first coming would be soon for two simple reasons. Firstly, Simeon studied the Holy Scriptures and knew from the Daniel 9:24-26 prophecy that the Messiah would present Himself to Israel around 30 A.D.,  plus or minus a few years (he didn’t measure time by B.C. or A.D. back then) and knew that Messiah would be cut off for his (Simeon's) sins and for the sins of the whole world (Isa. 53, John 3:16-17). My friends, now add 483 years (69 weeks) to 445 B.C. (the command to rebuild the temple in Nehemiah’s day) and that will bring you approximately to 30 A.D. This amazing prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus Messiah presented Himself as the King to Israel on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before the Passover (Matt. 2:1-11).

He was given a personal prophecy by the Holy Spirit that he would SEE the Messiah his Lamb and ETERNAL Atonement before he would see death!
Simeon had the sure Word of Almighty God and the Daniel 9:24-26 prophecy to go by in his very trying day, but he also had a very personal prophecy which made the coming of the Messiah even more imminent. He was given in verse 26 a personal prophecy by the Holy Spirit that he would SEE the Messiah, his Lamb and ETERNAL Atonement (Isa 53, Dan. 9:26, 1 John 2:2, 4:10) before he would see death (Isa. 53, Dan. 9:26, Rom. 6:23)! Simeon at this time was an old man and he knew that this event (the seeing of the Consolation of Israel; his Messiah) would be very soon! Oh, what great expectation and joy-filled Simeon's heart at this time when he was at the end of his life and lived in the days of Roman oppression. Simeon would personally see face to face his Consolation and Savior, who was his EXCEEDINGLY GREAT joy, hope, and expectation (Psalm 62:5, 130:5)!

The godly Jews were looking for a Messiah who would bring comfort to Israel. They were looking for a Comforter, One who could help them in their time of distress.

Now, I’m interested in the title Simeon uses for the Messiah here, “the Consolation of Israel.” The word “consolation” means comfort. It is used in 2 Cor. 1:3, referencing the God of ALL comfort! This word is used in Rom. 15:4-5, which speaks of the comfort the Holy Scriptures (Almighty God's precious Word) bring to the believing heart! This word is used also in Hebrews 6:18, to encourage the believing heart of Almighty God's two unchangeable TRUTHS, which brings ETERNAL HOPE to the child of God in this very changeable world! Lastly, there is also a closely related word in the Greek, which is used of the Holy Spirit's ministry to us as the Comforter!

Simeon and Anna and a very small remnant of godly Jews were looking for the Messiah with GREAT EXPECTATION to bring comfort to them and to the people of Israel (Luke 1-2). These were looking for a Comforter, One who could help them in their time of distress and present dark days and in their weakness they found great comfort in Almighty God and His promise of Almighty God's coming Messiah! Why was unbelieving Israel and a small remnant of believing Israelis to expect a Comforter from the Lord? Dear friends, the Holy Scriptures tell us why and gave them GREAT COMFORT that Almighty God did not forget them or abandon them! Isa. 40:1; 49:13; 52:9; 61:1-2; 66:13.

Now the day finally came when Simeon's faith became sight as he was led by the Holy Spirit to the Comforter of Israel, the Messiah, his salvation/deliverance (Luke 2:26-35)! Simeon then held his Lamb and promise One in his arms and was greatly comforted and exceedingly filled with great joy and praise! The fulfillment of God's promise to him greatly strengthened his being and he was now ready to die knowing that his salvation and Almighty God's promise (Jesus - Matt. 1:21) was now in His arms (Psalm 110:1, Isa 53, Dan. 9:26)!

Our Day

Now to our dispensation my dear friends, the Messiah of Israel is also the Comforter of the Church (the Body of Messiah)! John 14:16-18

In v.16, Jesus Messiah said He would send another Comforter, another of the same kind, another just like Himself. In one sense, Jesus Messiah was the first Comforter and the Holy Spirit our second Comforter!

In v.18 Jesus states that He will not leave us comfortless; He will not leave us without a Comforter! Literally the word “comfortless” means “orphans”. Jesus would NOT leave them and us as orphans (as those who were utterly helpless and destitute).  

The last phrase in v.18, Jesus stated, “I will come to you” and this could be understood in one of three ways, all of which are very true!

Firstly, Jesus would come to His disciples after His resurrection in various resurrection appearances. This is not likely the meaning, “I will come to you” because the context speaks of Him going away, going back to be with the Father. The focus here is upon Pentecost (Acts 1, 2), not upon His post-resurrection appearances.

Secondly, Jesus would have means that He would come to them in the Person of God the Holy Spirit since the Holy Spirit's ministry is to EXALT the Lord Jesus Messiah (John 16:13-14) and this visitation of the Savior fits this context found in (v.17).

Thirdly, even though the risen Jesus would go back to His Father and be seated at His right hand (Psalm 110:1, Heb.1:1-3, 10:1-12), yet at the same time Jesus would also be with them and working with them! Dear friends, see Mark 16:19-20 where Jesus is ascended to the right hand of the Father (Psalm 110:1), yet at the same time He was “working with” the disciples on earth. Also compare this text to (Matt. 28:20), His promise in this text, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age” !

Beloved, now hear this glorious and wondrous ETERNAL TRUTH and leap for great joy!! The Church (the body of Messiah) actually has three ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS Comforters: 1.) God the Father (God of all comfort - 2 Cor. 1:3)   2.) God the Son (the word Advocate in 1 John 2:1 is this same word “Comforter”). This word means someone who is called alongside to help and bring aid. In 1 John 2:1 this word refers to a Helper in court, or a defense attorney) 3.) God the Holy Spirit is also our Comforter, the One we most often identify with that term Comforter (John 14:16-17).

Dearly beloved of God, Almighty God has NOT left us comfortless or orphans in such days (2 Cor. 1:3-7)! He is the Consolation of Israel and the Consolation of the Church (the Body of the Messiah)!  May each of us say with a pure heart, “He is the Consolation of my heart! Oh how we are in desperate need of His daily comfort, help and encouragement.  He is my Consolation, for He is ETERNAL Consolation to ALL who put their trust in Him!”

Dear friends, are you as Simeon of old waiting for the Savior's return? Have you found GREAT consolation in the Son of God your Savior which is our ETERNAL Comforter! As we await for our Savior's return, may we find GREAT COMFORT in our God of ALL comfort by trusting in Him to outwork His wondrous will for our lives for His glory and honor till He comes! May it be so!

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

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