Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 3 Study # 6
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.
1901 ASV Translation:
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Textual Issues: There are three very minor textual differences in 2:25-27 between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26. Two of these are very minor word order differences and one is the Nestle/Aland 26's inclusion of an untranslated particle that is omitted by the Textus Receptus in 2:26.
May 29, 2005
- I. In the paragraph of 2:21-39, it seems to be Luke's intention to address the characterization of the newly born Jesus by two elderly saints in the Temple.
- II. The content of Luke's record breaks down into these parts...
- A. 2:21 -- the "Name" given
- B. 2:22-24 -- the occasion for the comments made by Simeon and Anna
- C. 2:25-35 -- Simeon's character and comments
- D. 2:36-38 -- Anna's character and thanksgiving to God regarding His redemption
- E. 2:39 -- Luke's conclusion of this part of his record: the departure to Nazareth and the subsequent growth of Jesus
- I. Luke's Preparation for the Record of Simeon's Statements Regarding Jesus: 2:25-27.
- A. "And, behold...".
- 1. Luke has already used "behold" eight times in this record up to this point (and uses it 47 more times after this verse in this Gospel).
- 2. Each time, the record indicates a rather remarkable announcement to come.
- 3. Thus, the implication is pretty clear that Luke wished for Theophilus to not "brush aside" the fact that there was a man in Jerusalem who had something significant to say about the baby son of Mary.
- B. "...there was a man in Jerusalem...".
- 1. Jerusalem is first mentioned by Luke in 2:22 as the place where the "presentation" was to be made.
- a. The name "Jerusalem" has a long and complicated background, but Hebrews 7:2 is of significant help in that Melchizedek was King of Salem which is there interpreted to mean "King of Peace". The first part of the name means "the foundation of". Thus, in etymological terms, Jerusalem means "the Foundation of Peace".
- b. There is no doubt from Luke 2:14 that the angelic message regarding the twin "foundational" issues of the coming of Jesus included "glory to God" and "peace to men". Thus, "peace" is extremely "foundational". Paul alludes to this in Romans 5:1 where he makes the very first consequence of "justification" to be "peace with God".
- c. It is even geographically significant that Jerusalem was known as a "dual" name that referred to the two distinct "elevations" (hills) on which it was situated. When we realize that "the mountain of the house of the Lord" had a first reference to the geography of the Temple site, but a theological reference to the Kingdom of God, we can "see" that Jerusalem was destined early to be a city of "two" kingdoms as is pointed out both by Paul in Galatians 4:25-26 and by the author of Hebrews 12:22. Jerusalem is called "spiritual Sodom and Egypt" in Revelation 11:8, but is also the name of the heavenly City of the Kingdom of God. The worst and best of all of history came together in Jerusalem. It was Jerusalem that was to bear the brunt of the judgment of God for all of the blood shed from Abel to Zachariah (Matthew 23:34-39), but it was also Jerusalem that was to be crowned with glory and honor as the seat of Messiah's kingdom. It was in Jerusalem that the Son of God was murdered and it will be in Jerusalem that the Son of God will reign. Two, totally opposite, kingdoms vie for final dominion with the geographical point of contention being "Jerusalem". And everything done there by the false kingdom will ultimately be used in triumph by the Kingdom of God which is notable for the first proof of this reality in that the crucifixion of the Son was turned into the foundation of peace by the irresistible wisdom of God the Almighty.
- 2. The "man"...
- a. In Luke, Zacharias was first brought into the picture, then Mary. These two served as the instruments of God for bringing Peace to men. Now, it is Simeon and Anna. They are to announce the presence of the Prince of Peace.
- b. This man was in the city which was to serve as the foundation of Peace.
- C. "...whose name was Simeon..."
- 1. The name arises out of the conflict in Genesis 29.
- 2. Its focus is upon Yahweh's response to seeing that someone is hated.
- D. "...and this man was righteous..."
- 1. Luke 1:6 is the prelude to this statement: Zacharias was first described as "just".
- 2. Luke 1:17 said that John would turn the disobedient to the "wisdom of the just" as he prepared a people for the Lord.
- 3. Luke obviously wanted Theophilus to understand that Simeon was "qualified" to be the initial spokesman for the identification of Jesus as Messiah.
- E. "...and devout..."
- 1. Luke is the only New Testament author who used this term.
- 2. It meant (according to the ONLINE Bible) 'anxious to not offend' or 'scrupulous in taking hold of divine things'.
- 3. It is a characteristic that ought to follow hard on the heels of "just", but often, sadly, does not.
- 4. Simeon was a man whose theological understanding was significantly personal: he was not only a "justified by faith believer"; he was also a man upon whom the privilege made a major impact.
- F. "...waiting for the consolation of Israel..."
- 1. The word "waiting" signifies "having deeply embraced the hope of, so that one is waiting for the fulfillment with great longing and real expectation".
- 2. In 2:38 of this text, Anna also speaks to those who have this same longing.
- 3. The "consolation of Israel" is, ultimately, the establishment in peace of one whose life was marked by strife and manipulation.
- G. "...and the Holy Spirit was upon him."
- 1. Here is recorded the basis for his identity as "Simeon" (a small representation of the larger Rock Who was to be the foundation of Peace): the Holy Spirit.
- 2. The "upon him" terminology was typical for the age of the Law, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given to indwell because the Christ, Who made Peace possible, was not yet glorified (John 7:39).
- 3. Nonetheless, it was the Holy Spirit Who formed the words this man was to utter as he identified the Prince of Peace.