“…waiting for the consolation of Israel…”
Simeon must have seen already countless babies brought to the temple, throughout his long career as a priest. His ears have probably gotten used already hearing those 8-day old infants, let out piercing cries as their parents held them up before him to be presented to the Lord. But faithful as he was, Simeon never took for granted his duty to ceremonially purify the Jewish infants, as required by the laws of Moses. He was diligent. He was prompt (Luke 2:21-24)
He was waiting (v.25).
Many years ago, the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that the “consolation of Israel” was coming. And that the old priest would actually see him in his lifetime. He believed this revelation and he waited for its fulfillment, without missing a beat (v.26).
A year had passed. But there was no Jesus. Another year had passed. Still there was no Jesus. Then, another year…and another year…and another year. Still, no Jesus.
He kept on waiting.
“When is it, Lord that you will make behold, with my failing eyes, the salvation of your people?” Simeon prayed each day.
Then one day, a young couple by the name of Joseph and Mary, walked into the temple chambers. Coddled in Mary’s arms, awake and cooing, was the couple’s first born son (v.27).
Simeon turned to the couple and asked them about the name of the baby. Mary and Joseph looked at each other and they answered, “His name is, Jesus.”
The moment Simeon heard the name, “Jesus,” he knew that his many years of waiting had drawn to a close. Finally! The consolation of Israel had come. Simeon was face to face with the Son of the Most High – the Savior of Israel and of mankind!
His frail hands almost trembling and his eyes moistening with tears, Simeon took the infant Jesus and blessed him (v.25).
Jesus is our consolation, He is our comfort amidst life’s swirling ordeals, tribulations and testing. By sharing in our humanity, He was able to feel our pain, hear our pleas, see our travails and yes, rejoice with our longings. Wait on Him. He has come!