Weekly Devotional

Week 4

January 26, 2024

In Luke 2:22-35, we see Joseph and Mary being obedient and dutiful parents, bringing Jesus to the temple to be dedicated to The Lord. This would have taken place forty days after the birth in accordance with the ritual purification that all mothers would have to be part of according to the Mosaic law. It is one of several prescribed in the Old Testament to render clean those who have been made unclean for any reason. Such a purification rite would also have included a sacrifice and they brought with them the recommended sacrifice which, in their case, would have been a pair of birds.

But at this dedication ceremony, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus are joined by unlikely pair of people…Simeon and Anna. They are presented to us together but we don’t know if they really even knew each other as the temple tended to be a busy place.

Simeon is called a devout and faithful man who was waiting for what Luke calls ‘The Consolation of Israel”. I believe this is the only time this title is given to the Messiah. The title is loosely based on Isaiah 66:1-11 (which is a worthy study itself). It refers to the Messiah in terms of He who would bring peace and comfort to Israel.

It was revealed by The Holy Spirit to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah with his own eyes. Now he has and he is ready to die in peace now that he has seen Him whose coming was promised for so long. He also gives 2 prophecies (Simeon is not called a prophet but he acts in prophetic ways), one on general regarding Jesus and one directed to Mary.

His general prophecy as recorded by Luke is that this Child is God’s salvation to all people. He will be the Light to bring the news of salvation to the Gentiles (everyone not Jewish) and He will be the Glory for God’s people Israel. As for what He speak to Mary…some will rise or fall based on their reaction to this Child (Peter and Judas and both thieves on the cross are good examples of people going different ways based on Him). Mary would also have to endure personal pain because of her Son and Simeon uses the very poignant phrase ‘a sword will pierce through your own soul.

Anna does not speak. She is described as a prophetess (in Scripture a prophetess is not a source of revelation but rather one who teaches about given revelation) and is 84 years old. She never left the temple (tradition says that she lived on the grounds). As a widow she knew pain and loss in her life but did not become bitter, rather using her pain instead as a motivation for continued worship and prayer. She, like Simeon, spoke to all those around her that the Redemption they had sought was now here.

For both Simeon and Anna, their long seasons of waiting were now over. They both knew that The Lord had come to be with His people as Immanual (God with us). We, following in the footsteps of Simeon and Anna, await The Lord’s return in yet greater glory. And in the meantime we see Him continuing to spread His Light and Glory over all the earth.

Simeon and Anna are a picture for all of us who hunger and thirst for God. Like Simeon we look for consolation and comfort. Like Anna, we know that redemption is available. Let us come to The Lord with the same attitude that they both had. Be a Simeon who recognizes the Messiah and His work when you see it. Be an Anna who takes pain and disappointment in this life and turns them into wholehearted devotion to The Lord.


Jeff Miller

January 26, 2024