"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."
Simeon was a godly old man who took hold of the things of God, cautiously. He was faithfully waiting for the time the Messiah was to be born (Luke 2:25-32). The Holy Spirit told him that he would live long enough to “see the Lord’s Christ,” the Messiah (v. 26). The Holy Spirit also let him know when it was time to go to the Temple to see the Christ child (v. 27). At last, the day came when he would hold the newborn Messiah in his own hands (v. 28)! Simeon’s response to seeing the Christ child…
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:”
In his joy, Simeon acknowledged that the Lord had kept His promise to let him see the Messiah, and now all of his anxiety is alleviated, and he is ready to die in peace (v. 26).
“For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,”
By Divine appointment, Joseph, Mary, and the Child were at the Temple the same time that Simeon had been called there, (v. 27). And now he was holding the Lamb of God, the sin-bearer, God’s sacrifice, the Redeemer, the Prophet, Priest, and King, the One who will bring salvation to man! This is the One for whom Simeon has been faithfully waiting. Jesus had come and was born at just the right time in human history that His Father had planned (Galatians 4:4-5).
“Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;”
God prepared His salvation in front of everyone. This redemption was not secret salvation to be given to only a few people. No, this was God’s salvation to be carried to the ends of the earth and preached to “every creature!”
Here salvation is prepared by God like a great feast and spread before all mankind to eat (Isaiah 25:6). Will you come and partake of His salvation and have your soul fed?
“A light to lighten the Gentiles,”
The “light,” the Children of Israel has had since Moses. Now the Christ is bringing the light of salvation to the Gentiles.
“He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God,” (Psalm 98:3).
“And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth,” (Isaiah 49:6).
“And the glory of thy people Israel.”
From Moses and all the prophets, Israel had special revelation, the writings of God’s Word telling them of the coming Christ who would save them, His people. Jesus is the glory of all they had heard and read about their future Messiah.
God’s salvation was intended for the “Jews first.” But as they rejected God’s anointed, for a time God has turned from His people to the Gentiles and blessed us with the possibility of His salvation (Romans 9:31-33; 10:20-21; chapter 11).
As a Gentile, how thankful I am for this:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentiles],” (Romans 1:16).