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Simeon – The One Who Celebrated Jesus

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“Simeon – The One Who Celebrated Jesus”

Series: The Characters of Christmas [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

January 2, 2022

Introductory Comments:

Here we are at the end of our Christmas series called, “The Characters of Christmas.” We are a few days past Christmas but we took a one week break last week. Today, we’re going to pick it back up and conclude with the story of a less famous character of Christmas. 

We will pick up our study, once again, in Luke 2.  

Before we go any further, let’s pray together. 


Have you ever had to wait a long time for something? Perhaps you have to wait for a long time for a new movie to be released. I was always excited about the next Lord of the Rings movie. Perhaps you’re like Pastor Dirck and Pastor Richard and you’re waiting for the 45th Marvel movie to be released. Maybe you were waiting on getting your driver’s license, becoming an adult, getting married, retiring, or starting church services back in person.

Oftentimes, when you wait on something for a long time, when you finally receive that something or do that something, it leads to celebration! That was the case with the character we are studying today.

Today, we are learning about “Simeon: The One Who Celebrated Jesus.”[on screen]

So as we look at Simeon, let’s first look at . . .

I. The Life of Simeon. [on screen]

There’s not a lot that we know about Simeon, but we do know that he was in Jerusalem around the time that Jesus was a child; perhaps he lived in Jerusalem full-time. 

From what we can gather, we know that he was a faithful man who looked forward to the consolation of Israel. 

When we read “consolation” it means the comfort of Israel or the care-taking of Israel. Simeon was looking forward to God taking care of and comforting the people of Israel. 

The people believed that God’s comfort and blessing to His people would come beautifully and powerfully through the coming of Messiah. 

So, as with other faithful Israelites, Simeon believed that Messiah would come and he looked forward to that moment. 

We also know that Simeon was a devout man and a righteous man. 

Look at Luke 2:25 – There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation . . .

So, Simeon was not perfect, but he was a good man who was devoted to God, and he was a faithful Jewish man who looked forward to the day that God would rescue and bless Israel. 

Well, that’s a little bit about who Simeon was. Now, let’s learn about . . . 

II. The Legacy of Simeon. [on screen]

In order to learn more about Simeon’s legacy, let’s look at the passage as a whole. 

Look at Luke 2:25-35:

25 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,

29 Now, Master,
you can dismiss your servant in peace,
as you promised.

30 For my eyes have seen your salvation.

31 You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—

32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to your people Israel.

33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary, “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

As we speak about the legacy of Simeon, I want to start by pointing out how much the Spirit of God was at work in the life of Simeon.

Verse 25 says of Simeon, “ . . . the Holy Spirit was on him.”

Verse 26 says, “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit . . .”

Verse 27 says, “Guided by the Spirit . . .”

Simeon was a man who was in touch with the Spirit of God and the Spirit of God was in touch with him. What a legacy! Don’t you want to be known as a person who is described as being in tune with the Holy Spirit of God?

Notice also in verses 34 and 35 that Simeon is able to prophesy concerning Jesus (we’ll talk about that more in a moment). This prophecy that Simeon delivered was only possible because the Holy Spirit of God was on Simeon. 

Next, concerning the legacy of Simeon, we must stand in awe of the fact that he was able to see the Messiah before his death. 

Verse 26 says, “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah.”

Then, miraculously the Holy Spirit guided Simeon to the temple on the same day that Mary and Joseph were there to dedicate the child Jesus. 

Now, we don’t know exactly how this next part happened, but verse 28 says, “Simeon took him up in his arms.” Obviously, the Spirit of God had to be involved in this part as well because if a man came and took my child up in his arms, there would probably be a tussle of sorts. However, God was all over this situation!

As a result of this miracle of holding the Messiah in his arms, Simeon sang this beautiful song of praise (look at verses 29-30):

29 Now, Master,
you can dismiss your servant in peace,
as you promised.

30 For my eyes have seen your salvation.

Now, this is not the end of Simeon’s legacy. We also have these prophecies concerning Jesus that Simeon delivers. 

First, we see the prophecy that the Messiah will bring salvation. 

In verse 30, Simeon says, “For my eyes have seen your salvation.”

This is how God will bring consolation to Israel; this is how God will comfort His people. He will bring salvation!

We also see the scope of the salvation that Messiah brings in verses 31 and 32. Simeon says that this salvation is for “all peoples” and “revelation to the Gentiles.”

So, this salvation that the Messiah will bring is not just for the Jewish people. Simeon is prophesying that this salvation is for all peoples!

Second, Simeon prophesies the future of Jesus the Messiah.

Simeon says in the second part of verse 34 and in verse 35, “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed—and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Simeon prophesies that some people accept the Messiah and some will not. Some will rise and some fall. 

Further, Jesus will be opposed, so much so that a sword will pierce Mary’s soul. Indeed, Mary would be present when her son Jesus, now just a child, would later be crucified as a man on a cross. She would witness this moment and it would pierce her soul. 

So, Simeon’s legacy centered around the fact that he was led by God’s Spirit, he was able to witness Jesus the Messiah, and he delivered stunningly accurate and important prophecies about Jesus the Messiah. 

Next, let us learn . . . 

III. The Lessons of Simeon. [on screen]

Lesson #1 – The Holy Spirit must guide us to Jesus.[on screen]

Simeon just so happened to be at the temple that day; Mary and Joseph just so happened to go to dedicate Jesus that day; and Simeon just so happened to come in contact with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Is that what happened? No! The Holy Spirit was at work and He was involved in all of this!

We need the Spirit of God to guide us to Jesus also. None of us come to Jesus on our own. God draws us to Jesus by the power of His Spirit!

The Spirit can work through a variety of ways to lead people to Jesus. 

He worked in Simeon by leading Simeon to the temple. 

I’ve heard from some new Christians in our church how God worked in their lives by speaking to them in dreams, or through a worship service, or even through written words on a piece of paper. 

I don’t know how the Holy Spirit does everything that he does, but if He leads us to Jesus, then praise God!

God was at work in Simeon’s life and we should pray that His Spirit is at work in our lives and the lives of others as well.

Lesson #2 – Jesus is the comfort we need.[on screen]

Simeon looked forward to Israel’s consolation. God did console, or comfort, His people Israel through the coming of Jesus the Messiah. 

So also, God brings comfort to all of those who turn to Jesus. 

God can comfort those who are hurting from the troubles of this world. God can feed those who are hungry for true blessings. God can warm those who are suffering from the coldness that surrounds us. God can provide what we need most. God can bring clarity when we are confused. God can find us when we are lost. God can save us when we are doomed.  

God can perfectly comfort us through Jesus!

Lesson #3 – The Messiah is for all peoples.[on screen]

Remember, the angel prophesied this to the shepherds and now Simeon prophesies this after he held the baby Jesus. 

Jesus is not just a Jewish Messiah, He is the Messiah for the world! Jesus is the Messiah for all peoples! Every tribe, every tongue, every nation needs to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God means to save people from everywhere on this earth!

Lesson #4 – We must celebrate the coming of Jesus. [on screen]

Simeon was so excited by the coming of Jesus that he said in verse 29, “Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace.” He’s saying, “Now I can die in peace.” Meeting Jesus was so special to Simeon that nothing else mattered after that; he was ready to die.

Is Jesus that special to you? Do you celebrate the coming of Jesus like that?

As Simeon looked forward to Jesus’ first coming, we must celebrate his coming and look forward to his return.

That takes us nicely to our bottom line:

Bottom Line: Simeon lookedforward to the coming of Jesus. May we celebrate the coming of Jesus and lookforward to His secondcoming. [on screen]


I want to be like Simeon: I want to be someone who celebrates Jesus. What about you? Do you want to be known as someone who celebrates Jesus?

As we are just past Christmas, let us remember to always celebrate His coming into the world; and as we celebrate a new year, let us remember that Jesus will come again and make all things new, forever!

Let’s celebrate Jesus!

Challenge yourself this week to live out what we’ve learned in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

1. Rate your celebration of Jesus. [on screen]

How are you doing when it comes to celebrating Jesus in your life? Do you sing in celebration of Jesus? Do you talk to others about the great work of Jesus? Do you make worshiping with your brothers and sisters in Christ a priority so that you can celebrate together?

2. Thank God that Jesus came. [on screen]

Take some this week and thank God for the work He’s done in your life because He sent Jesus. Thank God for the work He’s done in the life of your family and friends. Thank God for the work He’s done in the life of our church. 

Thank God that Jesus came!

3. Express your excitement about Jesussecond coming. [on screen]

Take some time this week and actually express excitement about Jesus coming again someday. 

Listen to what Paul says about this in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” [on screen]

Let us encourage one another and be excited about the return of Jesus!


Simeon waited his entire life to be able to see Jesus the Messiah. Listen, Jesus spent His entire life living in faithfulness, obedience, and holiness; and then He entirely poured His life out on the cross to pay the entire penalty for your sin. Then, Jesus rose from the dead and made it possible for you to be made entirely new. So, don’t waste your entire life chasing after the things of this world or your own desires. Rather, give yourself entirely to Jesus and be made entirely new.  

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

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