Luke 2:25-35 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Take a look at the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Simeon. The text says in verse 25 that the Holy Spirit was on Him. Verse 26 says that the Holy Spirit had revealed to Him that the Messiah would come in his lifetime and that he would get to see the Messiah. On the day that Joseph and Mary were headed to the temple, the Holy Spirit moved or prompted Simeon to get there. Now, that’s a whole lot of Holy Spirit involvement in Simeon’s life. Luke didn’t want us to miss this connection that Simeon had with the Holy Spirit.
Here is a first takeaway: Life with Christ is also a life with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Person of the Trinity who enables us to receive the life of Christ, to share in the life of Christ and to replicate the life of Christ through our lives on earth. It is the Holy Spirit who comes to make His home inside of us when we become Children of God through salvation, and it is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to do the things God has planned for us. We need an ongoing and growing relationship with the Holy Spirit.
As I look at Simeon’s life from our text, I see that
- The Holy Spirit will enable you to know what God wants you to know.
We don’t know Simeon’s back story. We don’t know if it was an angel that appeared to him or if he had some kind of dream that he would see the Messiah in his lifetime. We don’t know how often he was reminded of what was ahead for him. We do know that he lived convinced that God would give him the honor of seeing Jesus for himself before he died. Simeon had received a message somehow from God himself concerning the meet up with Jesus We read in verse 29: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
It was because the Holy Spirit was on Simeon that he was able to hear from God. The Holy Spirit is the great Revealer. The Holy Spirit helps us know and understand what God wants to share with us.
I Corinthians 2:12-1412 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[a] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit will encourage you to be where God wants you to be.
Verse 27 tells us that the Holy Spirit moved Simeon to get to the Temple courts so that he didn’t miss the meet up with the Messiah. I believe the Holy Spirit causes Divine delays in our days sometimes so that we will be in a certain spot at a time when God needs to use us. We shouldn’t get impatient when there are obstacles in our way because sometimes God is slowing us down for a reason. I also believe the Holy Spirit gives us green lights and an angel escort when we need to get somewhere in a hurry.
Romans 8:14 says, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” You could very easily invert the phrases and read it to say, “The Children of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God.”
When you rely on the Holy Spirit you will not only get where you are supposed to go, but you will also be prevented from going where you ought not go. Acts 16:6-7 reports that the Holy Spirit prevented Paul from going certain places. 6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. Acts 16:6-7
You get the sense that something bad or unproductive would have happened to Paul if they had gone to those intended destinations. The Holy Spirit, in that sense, becomes a real Protector for us. Simeon was needed at the temple. He was needed there on a specific day at a specific time. The Holy Spirit made it happen. He was needed because he was going to deliver a message, which leads me to my third and final point.
- The Holy Spirit will empower you to speak for God.
Simeon spoke out loud that upon seeing Jesus he had seen the Lord’s salvation. That was definitely a confirming moment for Joseph and Mary. Jesus was who they believed Him to be. It was being reiterated here on day 40 of His life. I am sure that was comforting to both of them. Someone they hadn’t been doing life with, someone they didn’t know, knew who their Son was because God had revealed it to Him. I love when the Holy Spirit confirms things in multiple ways.
Revisit the text in verse 33-35 for the rest of Simeon’s message to them: 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
What Simeon had to say was pretty serious, pretty heavy stuff. To hear that your baby will be the Messiah is pretty fantastic news. Everyone was eager for His appearing. Mary was honored to have been chosen. She felt highly favored. She was humbled. It moved her to worship. But to now hear that there that Jesus would be controversial, to hear that people would speak against Him, to hear that His coming would be a blessing to some and would cause others to be exposed and hate Him, and to be told that what would happen to Him would cause a piercing in her soul, well, that wasn’t easy news to deliver. The only way Simeon could be faithful to disseminate that truth was because the Holy Spirit empowered him to do it. And while it was tough to share, it was compassionate and helpful for Mary to prepare herself for the moments that things wouldn’t go so well for Jesus. It was kind of God to give her a heads up about what she would face. It gave her an opportunity to prepare for the shock of it all.
There are times we must deliver some tough messages. Calling out sin is never easy. Standing up for truth isn’t popular. Being a Jesus-follower in this day and time when there are so many scoffers, atheists, witches, agnostics, and people who are full of hatred for Christians, it makes being the messenger not so much fun at times. Some days I am tempted to order a t-shirt that says, “I’m just the messenger,” to try to take some of the heat off! Anyone ever feel like that? Simeon could speak for God with boldness because of the work of the Spirit in his life.
While it can be difficult to speak for God, we don’t have to do it in our own strength, and we don’t even have to worry so much about the words when our hearts are aligned with the Lord. The Holy Spirit will speak to us and guide our minds to use the words God wants us to speak. Jesus reiterated this to His disciples in Luke 12:11-12 11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
Many people talk about “the Christmas spirit” in the sense that it is an attitude of joy or celebration, that it comes with a desire to party or eat good food or to surprise people with great presents. Sure, that is part of this amazing season. But for believers, the Christmas spirit comes as we possess and walk with the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will enable you to know what God wants you to know.
The Holy Spirit will encourage you to be where God wants you to be.The Holy Spirit will empower you to speak for God.
Be sure to be looking to the Holy Spirit to enable, encourage and empower all these things and more in your life, not just at Christmastime, but all throughout the year.