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.Luke 2:28-32
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.Luke 2:38
Aspect #4- We should imitate their worship.
Notice what it says about Simeon’s response to seeing Jesus. He took Jesus up in His arms, and as he held him, he “blessed God”. What an incredible thing to be said about you! I want to be a blessing to God. I know there have been times where I have been a burden to Him.
He asks God to be able to “depart in peace”, an expression describing the way a believer passes away. It is not a “ceasing to be”. It is a departure to another place. He believed God’s Spirit that told Him he would be able to see the Messiah before he died. This expression is saying that He believes this child, Jesus, to be the promised Messiah. This is confirmed by what He says about Jesus.
Notice also that He calls Jesus “thy salvation”. He says that Jesus was “prepared before the face of all people”. The word for people here is a word for a kind of people. The idea is that Jesus is salvation for Simeon’s people, the nation of Israel, but also for the Gentiles. Verse 32 confirms this idea. He is saying that Jesus, the Messiah, is the prepared salvation for every nation, tribe, tongue, and ethnicity. Jesus isn’t just salvation for Israel, though He certainly is that. He is salvation for the whole earth!
Anna had a similar response in verse 38. “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord”
Luke’s inclusion of their response is instructive for us. It is confirming the identity of Jesus and giving us insight into His true mission. Yet, for these people, in this moment, it was an expression of praise and worship. It was for them a resolution to the consolation and redemption of Israel for which they had been waiting. They were anticipating God’s work and His salvation, and now they had seen it in the person of Jesus. This led them to worship!
Our worship should have an anticipatory flavor. Paul said that when we observe the Lord’s Supper that we remember his death “until he comes”.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.1 Corinthians 11:26
It is an obedient expression of worship in anticipation of Christ’s imminent return.
And Christ will return.
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. (7) Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.Revelation 22:6-7
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (13) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.Revelation 22:12-13
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.Revelation 22:20
Are you worshipping in a way that anticipates Christ’s return?