After Jesus’ birth, Scripture tells us he was named Jesus and circumcised on the eighth day. The Law of Moses then required that every first born male be presented in temple for consecration after 40 days and that a sacrifice be offered at that time. When Mary and Joseph entered the temple they encountered a man named Simeon.
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 upon him It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 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 now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation , which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to 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.”
This encounter with Simeon gave Mary and Joseph another glimpse into the power and might of God. They saw and heard their child being prophesied over by a stranger in the temple that revealed His purpose for both Jews and Gentiles-salvation and glory to God. He also revealed the reception Jesus would receive from people- rejection in unbelief and hearts touched by faith. Simeon said there would be sword piecing pain for Jesus, which happened literally at the cross, and for Mary in her sorrow over the way her beloved son was treated. All of these revelations reveal the Righteousness of God.
What is God’s righteousness? God is right in all He does. He has always been right and always will be right. All of His words and actions are right. All of His plans are right. God has no sin and is positively perfect. God never lies. He is fair, just and faithful in all He does. We never need wonder if God is right, so we can trust God when we do not understand. We do not always see God’s righteousness in the world today, but He has promised His righteousness will prevail. Because God is righteous, He expects us to be righteous. Even the best person cannot be perfectly righteous. But God see His children clothed with Christ’s righteousness. Because of what Christ did for us, suffering that sword piercing pain, we can be righteous before God. The plan Simeon revealed that day in the temple was God’s right plan for mankind to bring about our righteousness.
Just like Mary and Joseph, I marvel at God’s plan of redemption. Here we see it is a plan not just for the Jews but for all Gentiles too. As you study the gospel accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry you see how He was received in unbelief, rejected and crucified just as Simeon foretold. God’s righteous plan was to save us. Praise God for His righteousness that saves all of us through faith in Jesus.
Marveling at Jesus today,