Simeon was well known around Jerusalem as one of those who were eagerly looking for the Promised Messiah. He was familiar with the hundreds of scriptures that spoke of this Promised One and had devoted most of his life to their study. He knew that this Deliverer would be the “seed of a woman” (Genesis 3:15), the descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:3) and of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16). He also knew that He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). His faithfulness to these scriptures and his faith that they would be fulfilled, had caused the Father God to give him a promise by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing this Deliverer with his own eyes.
And so it was on a morning just like all the rest, that Simeon felt an urgency in his spirit to go to the temple. There he met an unremarkable couple about to dedicate their eight-day-old baby boy and offer the prescribed sacrifice. Although there was nothing out of the ordinary about the couple or the baby, an amazing confirmation came in Simeon’s spirit. This was not just a baby boy. This was THE Baby Boy, the Promised One, the Messiah. Simeon could not contain his joy! He took the baby in his arms and began to prophesy: “Now Lord, You can let your bond servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of Revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Simeon’s prophecy clearly indicated that not only would this Baby bring salvation to Israel, but that this Baby would be a light to the Gentiles all over the World as well! Oh, the joy that Simeon must have felt at that moment! His life of faithfulness had been amply rewarded!
Just as Simeon was returning the Baby to Mary’s arms, Anna, another senior citizen, entered the room. Anna was well known to those who frequented the temple since she served with fasting and prayer day and night even though she was at the advanced age of 84! The same Holy Spirit that had spoken to Simeon to identify the Christ now spoke to Anna! Much to the amazement of Mary and Joseph, she also began to praise God that He had revealed His Messiah to her!
Although most of those living in the area at the time of Christ’s Birth were totally unaware of the momentous occasion, Simeon and Anna had sensitized their spirits to hear from Holy Spirit, and they were amply rewarded.