Day 7: Our God of Promise
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
Simeon, a righteous, upright, and devout man, speaks these words over Jesus. This occurs as Jesus is being presented to the Lord, consecrated and set apart as the firstborn male according to the law. Jesus says later in Scripture to John the Baptist that He has come to “fulfill all righteousness.” This being the case, He fulfilled the law perfectly, which would have included being consecrated as a baby.
Simeon was waiting for the “consolation” of Israel and the “Holy Spirit was upon him” (verse 25). The word rendered “consolation” is an interesting word in the Greek. It is paraklesis which means “the act of exhortation, encouragement and comfort” (New Testament Lexical Aids–Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible). Simeon was waiting for the encouragement and comfort of Israel!
Actually, all of Scripture is a paraklesis. Stay with me for a moment!
Jesus is called the Word in Scripture:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:1-5)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:14)
Do you want to know the paraklesis of Jesus? Know His Word. Jesus came to “flesh” out the Word–flawlessly. We have a unique privilege on this side of the cross to have every access to the very Word of God incarnate! We must not take this lightly!
Moved by the Spirit, when Mary and Joseph brought in the child Jesus, Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God! Can you even imagine what Mary and Joseph were thinking?
Simeon proclaims the Lord as his supreme authority and tells those present that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise God gave to him.
God always keeps His promises! I am reminded of the verses in Joshua:
The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. (Joshua 21:44-45)
Simeon goes on to say that he can be dismissed in peace–a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being. Yes, Simeon reckoned, all was well. He tells us that his eyes have seen God’s Salvation prepared for His people–all His people–which includes us!
Go back for a moment to the verses found in John 1. God gave the world a light in order to disclose and reveal His Salvation. The word used here for revelation is “a comprehensive word denoting not merely the thing shown and seen but the interpretation, the unveiling of the same” (New Testament Lexical Aids–Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible). Not only does God show us His truth, He interprets it for us as well!
Christ is the glory of Israel. Glory signifies for believers “the exalted status as the objects of divine approbation and blessedness. It is a state in which one is accorded the fullest enjoyment of the admiration and honor of God–the object of His highest regard and praise” (New Testament Lexical Aids–Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible).
Take It to Heart
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
“God is the God of promise. He keeps His word, even when that seems impossible.” (Colin Urquhart)