Meridian Star

December 7, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

     27 So he came by 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, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

    29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,

    According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel. — Luke 2:25-32

On the day Jesus first entered the Temple area, only a few noticed. The scene of this scripture is when Mary brings her newborn infant to present Him to the Temple. This act of dedication and purification was common, so, many infants would come and go from that place.

    Simeon was an elderly man who recognized the baby as the Messiah. The question that might be asked is, “How did Simeon know that Jesus was the Messiah?” While others were there to deal with challenges and problems, Simeon was looking for the major act of God that all mankind could be blessed.

    The key to Simeon’s insight is found in his lifestyle. Notice the characteristics of his life that made him ready to see the Savior.

    1. He was just and devout. Simeon lived a life committed to God and living by God’s standards. Simeon is not a man affected by politics, culture, circumstances, or anything else. Simeon kept his focus on pleasing God.

    2. He was patient. Simeon was waiting on “the Consolation of Israel.” That is the coming of the Messiah to restore Israel back to a strong relationship with God. Like all mankind, Israel could not be in a proper relationship with God by their efforts. Something supernatural must occur for the hearts of man to make God a priority.

    3. He was led by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit can lead only when a person is fully surrendered to the leadership and unction of the Spirit. A rebellious spirit will not feel the Holy Spirit prompting. A half hearted commitment will never see what one sold out for God can see.

    4. He was a man who believed what God had promised. He had been informed that he would not die before he saw the Christ. If God promised that fact, for Simeon, it would happen.

    Simeon held his Savior in his arms and celebrated. Little else is known about Simeon. We don’t know about his family, his occupation, his wealth, or his friends. All we know is he found Jesus. In the end, that is all that matters!

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.