One of the most interesting things to me about the birth of Jesus is the variety of responses the event received. Yes, there were angels, shepherds, and wise men who cherished the Child as the Savior of the world. Yet, it seems most people were oblivious to what was going on, seeing Jesus as any ordinary baby.
But among the people who treasured the Child was a man named Simeon. When Mary and Joseph brought their baby to present him in the temple, Simeon took Jesus in his arms, blessed the Lord, and prophesied about His greatness.
We don’t know much about Simeon, but the writer Luke described him as a man in whom the Holy Spirit played a major role. Luke told that “the Holy Spirit was upon him” and that “it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (2:25-26). Furthermore, Simeon came to the temple “by the Spirit” (2:27).
While we know little about Simeon, we know enough to learn that the Holy Spirit makes a major difference in a person’s life. Even today, more than two thousand years later, we will see a major difference if we surrender our will to the Holy Spirit. The account of Simeon reveals several influences of the Spirit that we can still experience today.
First of all, the Holy Spirit will help you be patient. Even before Simeon met the baby Jesus, he was “waiting for the Consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). Waiting is not easy to do; it goes against human nature and the flow of society. While we often search for ways to make things faster and easier, we cannot speed up the process of God’s will. Sometimes, we just have to wait, and the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to do so.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit will bring you a sense of fulfillment. When Simeon held Jesus in his arms, he declared, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace” (Luke 2:29). You see, God’s purpose for leading Simeon to the temple that day was at least two-fold. Yes, God used Simeon as a minister to prophesy over the Child, but God also cared enough about Simeon as a person that He wanted to bring him personal fulfillment. There is no greater sense of fulfillment than the peace that comes from obeying the Lord. Simeon’s encounter with Jesus brought him peace that no achievement, experience, money, or gift could bring. You can experience the same fulfillment! When you follow the Holy Spirit, not only will you be a blessing, but you will be blessed yourself.
Finally, the Holy Spirit will reveal truth to you. Simeon declared, “My eyes have seen Your salvation” (2:30-31). When you are led by the Spirit, you see things you wouldn’t see otherwise. Simeon saw what many people missed, the truth that Jesus was the light of the world. While this salvation was “prepared before the face of all peoples,” many people missed the opportunity to receive Jesus (Luke 2:31). Don’t miss what God has for you! Allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to your heart that will make a difference.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit offers patience, fulfillment, and revelation that the world cannot match. In this season and always, let’s be people who are led by the Holy Spirit.