Do You See What He Saw?
Do You See What He Saw? What’s the Big Deal About Christmas?
The Christmas message is about expectation, hope, faith, and fulfillment. At the end of the day, we are celebrating a baby’s birth. We are celebrating a child who hadn’t even done anything yet. He was lying in a manger and people came to worship Him, because wise men and shepherd alike KNEW who He was. They believed who HE was. They waited a long time for Him.
It wasn’t just the wise men and shepherds but the whole of Israel and God-fearing Gentiles who were waiting and expecting Messiah to bring comfort through delivering them. Every bit of the Christmas story is saturated with the message that now is the time. It is full of the fact that the expected wait is over. Hope is now a reality. Hope has come.
In Luke chapter 2:22-32, we discover an old man named Simeon. This passage of scripture shows what expectant hope gives.
“22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[a]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[b]
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[c] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
Do you see what he saw?
Simeon is our type of guy. He was righteous and devout. He was waiting for Messiah to come and deliver Israel from her oppressors. He was expecting God to show up and intervene. Intervention in human history is the very nature of God’s Kingdom and Simeon knew it. We call this intervention “breakthrough.”
Luke 2:26 “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” What a promise to have! He was old and clung to the promise of God for his life. Do you see what he saw?
We must expect that our moment is coming. God’s promises are yes and amen! No matter what happens, our hope will not disappoint. The future has already been determined for those that remain in Christ Jesus. Our hope will be fulfilled, we can be expectant and glorify God every day, just as we do at Christmas time.
It says of Simeon that “He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.” He was full of the Holy Spirit. The message of the Bible births fruit in our lives because the Holy Spirit testifies of its truthfulness.
Simeon was moved by the Holy Spirit to go to the temple courts when Joseph and Mary brought in the child. Simeon’s moment had come. He sees Jesus and declares, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.” It’s as if Simeon is saying, “Lord I have seen this baby and now I can die.” Do you see what he saw?
Simeon goes on to say, “for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” He saw all of this in a baby. He saw that the hope of Israel had come. He saw the mission of God to bring salvation to all nations being fulfilled in Jesus! The Old Testament’s Prophetic hope was realized in Jesus and Simeon sees it.
The word for “nations” in the Greek is “ethne”, which is where we get the word for ‘ethnic’. The context here is every single tribe, nation, people, and tongue. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus proclaimed, “you are the light of the world!” Jesus immediately brings his disciples into His mission from God!
Simeon saw so much in Jesus. I challenge you to ask yourself: What do you see when you see Jesus? Do you see hope for your life? Do you see hope for your family? Do you see the lamb of God who takes away our sins and calls us to new life? Can you see His kingdom around you? The Holy Spirit helps us to see and understand how God operates right here and now!
34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the fallingand 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.”
It goes on! As if Simeon didn’t see enough! Simeon saw that Jesus wasn’t just coming to be a light to the Gentiles. He was coming to turn the world upside down. Simeon saw that Jesus reveals every thought in your innermost being. Do you see that when you see Jesus?
Lord, know me in my innermost being. Search me Lord and know! David said it like this in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Jesus caused the rising and falling of many in Israel, and eventually the world. There are those that spoke against Him, as Simeon said above, and even to this day. His own people opposed Him, Rome opposed Him, and today whole nations stand against Him, but nothing can stop God.
Anew people were called out by Jesus to be his disciples, his followers, and they were commissioned to carry out his mission to all peoples. To this day followers of Jesus take part in that same mission of God. That’s why we are passionate about the work God has called our ministry His Feet International to do.
The words Simeon spoke about Jesus are the words spoken to a warrior. These are the words describing the savior. He is referring to the prophecies foretold about a King. In Jesus, Simeon saw the anointed King, the son of God, the one whose Kingdom would never end.
Let us see in Jesus what Simeon saw! Do you see what he saw?
Jesus was born but he came from already being! He came from the realm of eternity, He has always been and always will be, for He is from God, and He is God. He has always existed. He came to us as a baby, but he already always was! That’s what believers celebrate when we see baby Jesus, God coming to be with us, to save us, and to deliver us. Emmanuel.
Since the fall of man, God’s redemptive plan has been unfolding. Christmas is the climax of God revealing himself and his redemptive plan for sinful people. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection revealed the full extent of His plan. God unveiled himself in Jesus to everybody. Before that God had revealed himself to individuals like Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, and the people of Israel. All of this was setting the stage for Christ’s advent.
Jesus came once and he’s coming again. While we wait, He is with believers. His Kingdom reigns now and forevermore. His Kingdom came in Jesus, is still here, and coming in full consummation.
That’s the big deal about Christmas. What do you see when you see Jesus?
Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
May the joy of Christmas be yours today. May we glorify God the way they did in the first Christmas everyday.