Luke 2:25-35 Seeing and touching the Christ
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous 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 And he came in 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 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
On the 8th day of Jesus’ birth, Jesus was brought to the temple to be dedicated to God according to the custom of the Law. Simeon, a devout and righteous man came into the temple being led by the Spirit. He was deeply satisfied in seeing and holding the Christ Child in his arms. He prophesied concerning the authority that Christ would be given to judge all people.
Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation
Simeon having seen with his own eyes and held in his arms the Christ Child, was deeply satisfied in his spirit. For he saw before his eyes and held in his bosom the Christ; the unfolding of God’s salvation for the world. What gave Simeon this profound assurance of salvation was the tangible encounter of Christ in the flesh. By seeing and touching the Christ Child, he consummated his faith in the promises of God.
Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel
Simeon gave a preview of Christ’s future ministry where He will be appointed by God to execute judgment on all the people. He will judge the hearts and the works of each person and determine their place in eternity. Therefore, under the righteous judgment of Christ, many will fall and be condemned, and many will rise in the ranks of glory.
For a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed
Simeon spoke these words to Mary in that she will experience great pain, her grief like a sword piercing through her soul. Simeon was referring to Christ being handed over to be crucified by the Jews thus revealing the envy and darkness of their hearts.
As our desire to see God intensifies, He begins to speak to us intimately face-to-face, mind-to-mind and heart-to-heart. It is God’s desire to reveal Himself unreservedly to those who love Him. Simeon, upon seeing the Christ exclaimed, “My eyes have seen your salvation.” Hence, it is legitimate to seek a deeper and more tangible experience in our encounter with God. Our encounter with God should over time pervade all our human faculties: our thoughts, emotions, spirit and our five senses. Simeon and Anna were both devout and full of faith but yet they were not satisfied until they see and touch with their hands the Christ. Apostle John talks about realizing the fullness of joy through encountering Christ with human senses,
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life… And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1-4
Christ came in person (in the flesh) so that man may encounter God face to face, mind to mind and heart to heart. Today, the Holy Spirit continues to commune with us through various faculties so that our joy may be complete.
People may harbor opinions concerning you, but it is what Jesus thinks that truly matters. Others may pass judgment on you, or you may even pass judgment upon yourself. But make no mistake about it, our judgments don’t matter as much as Christ’s: Christ is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel. People make comments based on what they hear and see, but God judges the heart. Even as we sample the comments of others and learn from their wisdom, it is Christ who has the final word concerning you. Jesus says,
For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. John 5:21-23
Christ’s judgment is perfect and righteous perceiving the motives and intents of our heart. Christ’s perfect judgment puts to rest all human opinions that are based on limited knowledge and subjective standards. One only has to repent and to honor Him as the Lord through whom we receive assurance of forgiveness on the Day of Judgment.
- As you commune with God, ask the question: do I know His thoughts more clearly this year than I did last year? Do I feel His emotions more vividly? Do I sense His nearness and intimacy more keenly? Make a resolution in the coming year to seek His presence and fellowship above all things.
- Do you tend to gravitate towards “favorable” opinions and surround yourself with people who will not resist you? Has the Spirit been tugging at your heart’s strings and urging you to confront issues that you have been avoiding? The Spirit’s voice and judgment is perfect and must not be ignored.
Dear Lord, I desire to hear you more clearly and feel your emotions more intimately. I desire to encounter you in a refreshing and supernatural manner. Speak to me concerning the issues that I have been trying to avoid. Help me put to rest all human chatter and comments and to hear the voice of your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.