Bible Study Index
Simeon - and the End Time Church
"And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple..." Luke 2:25-35
Very little is written about this great man of God named Simeon, but I believe he is without a doubt a type and shadow of what the end time Church must be. There are four major qualities about this man of God that stand out as essential for the last day Church, they are as follows:
- He was a just and devout man.
- He was watching for the coming of the Lord.
- He was full of the Holy Ghost.
- He was resting on the promise of God.
Matthew Henry in his Bible Commentary writes:
(1.) That he was just and devout, just towards men and devout towards God; these two must always go together, and each will befriend the other, but neither will atone for the defect of the other.
(2.) That he waited for the consolation of Israel, that is, for the coming of the Messiah, in whom alone the nation of Israel, that was now miserably harassed and oppressed, would find consolation. Christ is not only the author of his people's comfort, but the matter and ground of it, the consolation of Israel. He was long a coming, and they who believed he would come continued waiting, desiring his coming, and hoping for it with patience; I had almost said, with some degree of impatience waiting till it came. He understood by books, as Daniel, that the time was at hand, and therefore was now more than ever big with expectation of it. The unbelieving Jews, who still expect that which is already come, use it as an oath, or solemn protestation, As ever I hope to see the consolation of Israel, so and so it is. Note, The consolation of Israel is to be waited for, and it is worth waiting for, and it will be very welcome to those who have waited for it, and continue waiting.
(3.) The Holy Ghost was upon him, not only as a Spirit of holiness, but as a Spirit of prophecy; he was filled with the Holy Ghost, and enabled to speak things above himself.
(4.) He had a gracious promise made him, that before he died he should have a sight of the Messiah, Luk_2:26. He was searching what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in the Old Testament prophets did signify, and whether it were not now at hand; and he received this oracle (for so the word signifies), that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah, the Lord's Anointed. Note, Those, and those only, can with courage see death, and look it in the face without terror, that have had by faith a sight of Christ.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible
The Church is not ready for the return of the Lord because she lacks holiness of character, a steadfast watchfulness of the Lord, a steady infilling of the oil of the Holy Spirit, and a genuine hope in the promises of God.
Simeon was led by the Spirit into the temple, and so must we, for there the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to meet you, and there you must be ready to meet him. Without spot or wrinkle, full of the Holy Ghost, ever watching and waiting, steadfast in His promises. To these, will the Lord reveal Himself, "...and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." (Matthew 25:10)
More about Simeon from Matthew Henry's Commentary.
A very honourable testimony is borne to him by Simeon, which was both a reputation to the child and an encouragement to the parents, and might have been a happy introduction of the priests into an acquaintance with the Saviour, if those watchmen had not been blind. Now observe here,
1. The account that is given us concerning this Simeon, or Simon. He dwelt now in Jerusalem, and was eminent for his piety and communion with God. Some learned men, who have been conversant with the Jewish writers, find that there was at this time one Simeon, a man of great note in Jerusalem, the son of Hillel, and the first to whom they gave the title of Rabban, the highest title that they gave to their doctors, and which was never given but to seven of them. He succeeded his father Hillel, as president of the college which his father founded, and of the great Sanhedrim.
The Jews say that he was endued with a prophetical spirit, and that he was turned out of his place because he witnessed against the common opinion of the Jews concerning the temporal kingdom of the Messiah; and they likewise observe that there is no mention of him in their Mishna, or book of traditions, which intimates that he was no patron of those fooleries.
One thing objected against this conjecture is that at this time his father Hillel was living, and that he himself lived many years after this, as appears by the Jewish histories; but, as to that, he is not here said to be old; and his saying, Now let thy servant depart intimates that he was willing to die now, but does not conclude that therefore he did die quickly.
St. Paul lived many years after he had spoken of his death as near, Act_20:25. Another thing objected is that the son of Simeon was Gamaliel, a Pharisee, and an enemy to Christianity; but, as to that, it is no new thing for a faithful lover of Christ to have a son a bigoted Pharisee.
2. The seasonable coming of Simeon into the temple, at the time when Christ was presented there, Luk_2:27. Just then, when Joseph and Mary brought in the child, to be registered as it were in the church-book, among the first-born, Simeon came, by direction of the Spirit, into the temple. The same Spirit that had provided for the support of his hope now provided for the transport of his joy. It was whispered in his ear, "Go to the temple now, and you shall see what you have longed to see."
Note, Those that would see Christ must go to his temple; for there The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to meet you, and there you must be ready to meet him.
— Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible
25. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Read the entire Chapter in the KJV