Luke 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
We see further here that Jesus was raised according to Jewish law. He was a Jew and His mother and Joseph would follow the law. They were faithful followers of God and sought to follow the law because they believed in God. Following the law did not save them, it demonstrated their true faith in God.
In verse 22 they brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. This was not a baby dedication service. This was God’s law for the mother of a male firstborn children. Leviticus 12:4-6 stated that the days of purification for the woman was thirty three days for a male child.
Jesus was Mary’s firstborn child and the law stated that the firstborn child belonged to the Lord. The same was true for a firstborn animal. The redemption of the firstborn was according to God’s law in Numbers 18:15:
Numbers 18:15 Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem.
In verse 23 we see that Mary and Joseph honoured God’s law. Jesus Christ was already the second person of the Godhead, however to fulfil the law, Mary and Joseph followed the Old Testament law for her son.
In verse 24 we see that the offering Mary brought was an indication of their modest means. They were not a wealthy couple. The law stated that the first option for the offering should be a lamb and a young pigeon or a turtledove. If they were not able to bring a lamb, then they could choose two turtles or two young pigeons.
We see here again that God is always reasonable in what He requires of man. Serving God is never designed to be overbearing.
In verse 25 Matthew recorded the brief account of Simeon. Simeon was a just and devout man. He was a man who was waiting for the consolation of Israel. He was looking for the coming of the Messiah. Old Testament saints knew of God’s promise of a Messiah. They trusted He would come in their time. Those who lived prior to this time, did not miss out on God’s salvation. Those who believed in God’s promise were saved, awaiting the coming of the Messiah. It was His sacrifice on the cross that provided salvation for all those who trusted in God.
Simeon was a true child of God. The Holy Spirit was upon him. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would be blessed with seeing the Messiah Who is here called “the Lord’s Christ.” Simeon was led by the Holy Spirit into the temple at the right time. Simeon was able to take up his Saviour into his arms and he blessed God at that time. As noted already, he was a just and devout man. He believed the Scriptures and lived with the hope of the coming of the Messiah. He was blessed with the promise of actually seeing Him.
Simeon lived by faith as did all the Old Testament saints. However, he was also blessed with seeing the fulfillment of God’s promise of the coming of the Messiah. He was a man who understood what was truly important. In verse 30 he acknowledged that Jesus Christ was the One through whom salvation would come. Salvation is a gift of God. He is the provider of salvation. John 3:16 declares that God gave His Son as a gift to mankind.
Jesus’ coming was not in secret. The prophecies regarding His coming were not secret. All people could know of His coming. All people could put their trust in Him.
Jesus Christ would be a light to lighten the Gentiles. Jesus Christ came unto His own. He was a Jew. He presented Himself to the Jews as the Messiah. John records that “His own received Him not.” However, He is the Messiah for all people. Gentiles must know that He is “the Lord’s Christ.”
Jesus Christ is also the glory of the people of Israel. Sadly, most would not recognize this during Jesus’ time on earth. He did not meet their expectation. Simeon was different. He did not allow the false teachers to turn him aside from God’s truth. He knew why the Messiah would come. He knew the need of Israel was not to get out from under Roman rule. He knew the need of the Jews and Gentiles was to be set free from the bondage of sin. This is the message that needs to be proclaimed faithfully in our day as well. Jesus Christ alone is the Saviour of mankind. The attention of true saints should be on His coming and on His gift of salvation. True saints need to remind the world that this is the reason why Jesus Christ came. The lost need to be reminded that they need to be saved. Those who are saved need to guard against the many distractions that interfere with making this message clear and plain.