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Part 2: Christ is Born – Who Knew?

Yesterday, we discussed the fact that Simeon recognized baby Jesus as the promised salvation, the Messiah. Today we will address how Simeon recognized Jesus and highlight four of six key lessons about faith in Christ that we can practice today: matters of character, theology, anointing, proclamation and prophecy.

1. Character Counts

What’s special about Simeon is his righteousness. When Luke labels Simeon “righteous,” he is ascribing to him the gift of faith from God. Just as Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6), so Simeon had been given the gift of faith.

We also owe our faith not to anything we have done, not our good works, not our fervent prayers, not our loyalty to the church we attend. Our faith is a free gift of God given solely on account of God’s grace.

2. Theology Matters

Simeon had been given the power of the Holy Spirit. In that power he was inspired to “look for the consolation of Israel.” Simeon awaited the promised Kingdom of God, and the King who would reign, the Messiah. The consolation of God’s people could come only through a deliverer, through an act of God breaking in on time and space and human history i.e. Messiah, Jesus Christ.

We too through the Spirit and the word, are promised a coming of Christ, his Second Coming, when he will deliver his people and bring judgement on the world. It is only by the Spirit that we can know Christ, trust Christ and love Christ.

3. Anointing is a Mark of Faith

Simeon’s anointing by the Spirit opened his eyes to the truth of life. He walked in faith and was devout. The Greek word for “devout” means cautious. Simeon lived each day with an eye toward God; in reverence and fear, seeking to honor and please God. When the Spirit opens our eyes to the truth that is found only in Christ, we too should live by faith and walk in the fear of God, a walk of trust in God’s promises and obedience to his divine demands.

4. Proclamation and Prophecy

Simeon’s words in the presence of Mary and Joseph were profound. Simeon blessed God because he had lived to see the promise of God fulfilled in the person of this baby, this Messiah. From this child would come salvation and deliverance for Israel, not from political oppression, but from the stronghold of sin. The Gentiles would also be blessed and be lifted from their darkness by this shining light of God’s Son.

What ails our world and each of us is not our social, political or economic circumstances; our problem is sin. When we sin, when we act in direct contradiction to God’s appointed order, there are consequences. Sin leads to corruption and, ultimately, death, both spiritual and physical.

Tomorrow we will discuss the final two lessons we can learn from Simeon.

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