Read: Luke 2:25-40
For my eyes have seen your salvation.
Simeon Saw the Peace of Christ in Person
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Your family is home together, and everyone is busy with school or work. Suddenly, Dad lets out a loud chuckle. Something he is watching is VERY funny.
“Let me see! I want to see!” the children cry as they run to Dad’s lap. Everyone wants to see for themselves what made Dad laugh out loud.
There is something rather special about seeing something with our own eyes. Simeon knew that. God had promised Simeon that he would see the Savior Christ with his own eyes before he died. Simeon believed God and was waiting patiently for that day.
On that special day, the Holy Spirit moved Simeon to walk out into the temple court. Maybe he needed to stretch his legs. Maybe he heard the soft cries of the baby Jesus and was drawn to the noise. When Simeon’s eyes fell upon the child in Mary’s arms, he immediately knew he was seeing something special. He broke into song:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.”
Not only did Simeon know who Jesus was; he also knew what Jesus would do—bring salvation to all people. As a faithful servant in God’s temple, Simeon knew a Messiah, or Savior, would be born into the world (Isaiah 7:14) and he would bear the sins of many (Isaiah 53:12). Simeon was carefully and constantly watching for these promises to happen.
When God finally allowed Simeon to gaze into the eyes of his Savior, Simeon knew that the child looking back at him could see right into his heart and see the sin living there. Through eyes of faith, God allowed Simeon to see that this child would take away Simeon’s sin and give him peace with God. That moved Simeon to burst into praise!
What does God see when he looks into your heart? Sadly, he sees sin living there. Whether we like it or not, whether we see it or not, we sin daily. Happily, we know from the Bible what Jesus did with our sin: He paid for it all through his death on the cross. Like Simeon, when we look with eyes of faith at Jesus, we see our Savior for who he really is—the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Now, because of what Jesus did, God sees us as his forgiven, sinless children.
Simeon could leave this world in peace. We can leave our devotion time together at peace, knowing Jesus brings us peace for each day, now and for eternity.
Loving Savior, when I see my sins, let me also see your forgiveness. I know that you lived, died, and rose to bring me peace. Thank you for doing that for me, and for all people! Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What does Jesus see when he looks into your heart?
- What does your heart look like after you ask for forgiveness?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- What prompted Simeon to burst into song?
- How do you feel when you see Jesus through faith and remember what he has done for you?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- What role did the Holy Spirit play in the story of Simeon?
- Explain how our family can see Jesus, even though we are living centuries after his birth. (cf. John 5:39 and 1 Corinthians 2:12 for help).
Hymn: CW p. 61 – Song of Simeon
In peace, Lord, you let your servant now depart according to your word.
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for every people.
A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.