Tuesday, December 19, 2023



This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on December 17th 2023  by Navaz. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here.


Luke 2:22-


Do you know that movies are not made with just one camera?  Several cameras are shooting the same scene from various angles.

The 4 gospels are like that. They all bring different dimensions to the same story.

Luke is writing to a Roman official Theophilus who probably became a Jesus follower. Luke’s account is a thorough documentation to help Theophilus be certain of what he was taught and, in some ways, present a report that authenticates this new Faith.

We looked at how a Priest handled Hope. Today in our frame are two people little spoken of when it comes to the Christmas story but very important to our theme and to showing how Jesus’ birth was not just foretold, and there was nothing random about it. We will look at how a Prophet and a devout Person handled hope.


V25 – A man in Jerusalem Simeon who was righteous and devout would regularly go to the temple. He waits for the “consolation of Israel”. This is an old English phrase. In our school, we used to have a consolation prize! The word means “comfort”. So, the prize is given to someone very good but did not get the prize. It does not mean that here. It means the one who would bring comfort to all of Israel. (Remember Is 61:1-2 to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion)

This is another name for Jesus – Consolation of Israel!

What do we know about Simeon? He is a devout man. That is how Luke describes him – it meant he visited the temple regularly, observed all the feats, said his prayers, kept the Sabbath, and lived a righteous life. We do not know whether he is married, or whether he has children. It could be that in that culture it was assumed that he was married so there was no need for that information.

We are told that the Holy Spirit spoke to him in his heart that he would not die until he saw the Messiah!! Now we can read this and just move along!! What we need to realize is that the Messiah was long awaited since the fall of Adam and Eve!!!!

Have you ever had a prophetic word over your life that has taken years to come to pass? What have you done with it?

Work in the waiting

In the Biblical sense, waiting is not passive. It is engaging with all that you presently know you are supposed to do and do with gladness and with hope in your heart where you continue to believe that “you will see the goodness of God in the land of the living”.

Simeon did not stop going to the temple. It was the natural place for him to encounter the Messiah, but he did not know how.

V27 – Then came a day like no other. Simeon, moved by the Holy Spirit went to the temple. Maybe it was not his usual day to go. He arrives at the exact time Mary and Joseph are there. Is God not in charge of time? He functions out of the construct of time. Time was created for us humans. And in that context, God was bang on time!

What I see in Simeon is that he lived so tuned to the Holy Spirit. He could have missed that prompt or ignored it and would have missed being a part of history recorded!! Here is my takeaway – be alert because sometimes things come your way, that may look ordinary – like reading your Bible every day, coming to church, going to your Gym Group, and attending the church prayer.

These are some of the means of grace given to us by which we hear God speak to us and we could miss that chance to hear an encouraging word.  Can you miss out? Yes, you can. This is not about Salvation. The fulfilment of God’s promises in your life requires the right response from you.

So, because Simeon obeyed that prompting, his long-awaited Hope was fulfilled. Simeon went into the temple. Did he know what to look for? We don’t know. Was he to look for a grown man, a baby? We don’t know. But once he entered the temple, he was drawn to this young couple that had come to dedicate their baby boy! There must have been so many other parents there that day.

We can only marvel at the accuracy of how the Holy Spirit speaks if we are willing to listen and take steps of faith and obedience.

V29 – Worship in the waiting

Simeon takes the baby in his arms. Imagine holding God incarnate in your hands!!! He prays a prayer of thanksgiving and worships – acknowledging God as having fulfilled His promise.  And he makes a prophetic declaration in line with scripture – “a light to the Gentiles”. Jesus – the Light of the World! You see up till this point, even though it is in the Old Testament, the Jews had a very myopic view of the Messiah – that he would come to save them, to save them from political oppression and that he exclusively belonged to them. But here is Simeon echoing Isaiah’s prophecies – that the Messiah is not just the Saviour for the Jews but for the Gentiles as well – all the nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Is 60:3).

He also predicts in some measure that while the Messiah’s life is extraordinary, He would expose systems and hearts by whether they accept or reject Him as Messiah. This child would cause a great deal of sorrow to His mother – an indication of the death he would die.

Now the camera pans right – another person walks in at about the same time. This person is a woman!


V36 -For some reason, we know far more about her than Simeon. I think we need to track what Luke is doing. As you know 1st Cent. Jewish culture did not take women seriously at all. She was not to be heard in public places, not to be seen with men other than from her household, and she was not even considered a reliable witness. So, while Simeon needed no character certificate other than that he was old and devout, the reader needs to know more about Anna to establish her credibility.

We know she is the daughter of Pennuel who comes from the tribe of Asher. She was married for seven years and then a widow for the rest of her life!! And we were told was 84. Some translations say she was a widow for 84 years.

Here is another thing to her credit – she spent all her days worshipping in the temple.

V37 What did she do? – She worshipped, prayed, and fasted regularly.

V38 – I am sure she too was prompted by the Holy Spirit. And she must have walked up to Mary and Joseph and at that moment she felt prompted in her heart to speak out that this was no ordinary child, but the one all Israel was waiting for – for their redemption. And she does not keep this news to herself. She tells people around her. Maybe this is how Luke came to hear of this as well and now it is recorded in history. And we know that Mary treasured all these things in her heart. And she must have told some people too!

What was revealed to them was huge. So many people in those days claimed to be the Messiah and people got fed up and lost hope in the waiting. Even now, so many people claim to be Jesus or try to predict the second coming. It was huge in the 1980s. People sold their houses and lived like it was the end of the world!! This happened many times and now many Christians live like the second coming is either far, far away or a fairy tale.

I think it is no coincidence that the three people who were part of the plan of ushering the Messiah are old i.e., Zechariah (and Elizabeth), Simeon, and Anna. They represent the era that is about to close and now a new Era with the advent of the Messiah was upon them. They represent the last of the Old Covenant people.

It also shows that the coming of Jesus is not in conflict with the Old Covenant, rather He comes to fulfil the law and what the prophets foretold. By doing this Luke is rooting the significance of Jesus’ birth and the “new faith” in Jewish history. Therefore, these Jesus followers are not rabble-rousers rather they are people who wholeheartedly believe in the Old Covenant and now living in the good of its fulfilment. He wants Theophilus to see this as a legitimate expression of faith and not some strange cult or sect. That is why he stressed it four times – according to the law in v22, 23, v27 and 39.

Also, Simeon’s prophecy ushers in the Era where the Kingdom is for all who will believe – Jews and Gentiles alike.


What is my biggest takeaway from this passage?

Two people waited silently in Hope. They had a very long wait that spanned decades (symbolic of the centuries Israel waited for the Messiah). Yet you do not see a trace of bitterness or lethargy.

Why should we wait?

Because all the promises in God are yes and Amen!

How should we wait?

In prayer, worship, and hope.

Where should we wait?

 In His presence on the job.

What do we do in the waiting?

 Continue to do what you were always doing. There is something for our generation of entitlement, name it, frame it, claim it. Can we wait? And can we continue to serve God diligently, worship Him wholeheartedly, hold on to the prophetic and keep listening for His voice, and pray without giving up Hope?

What happens when we don’t wait well?

We can create Ishmael, the golden calf, or give in to pressure and do what we ought not to do like King Saul.

I want my life to be fine-tuned to the Holy Spirit.

 I do not want to miss out on His call on my life because I was not paying attention to His voice. God’s timing is perfect.

I do not want to miss out because I got fed up with waiting and missed the cue of the Holy Spirit.

I do not want to miss out because I gave into doubt or bitterness.

I do not want to miss out because I think I know better and try to make things happen in my flesh.

Which ones would you be tempted to do or have done? Let us repent and seek God’s forgiveness. And you know that He is faithful and just to forgive us and give us a second chance. 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.   

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