A Light for Revelation to the Gentiles
Read Luke 2:25–35
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Imagine hearing these words if you were Mary and Joseph! As Jewish people, they would have been very familiar with God’s calling on Israel to be a light to the nations (Genesis 12:1–3; Isaiah 49:6). But they also would have been familiar with how Israel had failed in that mission, living lives that looked just like the pagans in the nations around them instead of living set-apart lives, dedicated to God’s ways and purposes. But now, God had sent the Jews the salvation they had been waiting for—the promised Messiah who would come to rescue them. He would fulfill Israel’s mission and be the light of the world, a light to the Gentiles, the light of all mankind. God would do this, Simeon prophesied, through the newborn Jesus.
- What does this passage tell you about who Jesus is? What emotions arise in you as you think about who Jesus is?
- How would you describe how followers of Jesus are called to live? Why do you think it’s hard to live out that call? What would make you more capable?
- What invitation do you sense God extending to you through today’s passage?
God, give me eyes to see the world through Your eyes. Give me ears to hear where You’re leading me. And may I be a light in this dark world today. Amen.