Simeon’s testimony was something the priests of Israel didn’t want to hear. The nationalistic idea, during the Roman occupation, was that the Messiah and Jerusalem were for the Jews. The hope was that the Messiah would take his place as king, overthrow Rome and set up the wondrous worldwide reign with the Jews acting as his royalty pretty much. Then all the Gentiles would be subservient to them.
But as we know, and Simeon knew, that wasn’t God’s plan.
If the scribes and Pharisees had read Isaiah closely, they would have seen the references to nations coming to God and seeking him. In the second chapter, it says “All the nations will stream to it [the Lord’s house], and many peoples will come and say, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us about His ways so that we may walk in His paths.”
Also in Isaiah 9:2 it says: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…” Simeon recognized the Christ Child as this light. Or 17:7, “On that day people will look to their Maker and will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.” There are others, too.
The message of Isaiah is echoed by Simeon in the temple on the day of Jesus’ formal naming and dedication. The Messiah came not just for the Jews, but for all mankind. He came not to rule in Jerusalem on earth, but in the hearts of people around the world.
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas