“…it had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26)
Time and again in the Gospels there come forward on the stage of history hitherto unknown characters who, after playing their brief but memorable part, withdraw and vanish in the background of Our Lord’s earthly life.
Such a one was the aged Simeon. Whether his home was in Jerusalem or whether he visited the city from time to time we do not know, but he was an upright and godly man, just and devout and possessed of a tremendous hope and faith: for we are told he was waiting for the consolation of Israel – for the coming, that is, of the Saviour King, the Christ, whom the prophets of old had foretold. Those prophets had long ago died, and many a generation since had passed away without their prophecies and hopes being fulfilled. Yet in spite of these centuries of disappointment which stretched back from his own days, the hope of seeing the Christ burnt steadily and brightly in Simeon’s heart.
Then came the revelation from God which to this trusting soul turned hope into certainty. Where or when Simeon would see the Christ he did not know, but he did know that the waiting and the search of a lifetime were nearing their end.