The Messiah Simeon Waited For

Day 34, The Messiah as Light

Isaiah 9: 1-2 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,
As when at first He lightly esteemed
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
And afterward more heavily oppressed her,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles.
 The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

Anyone who knows me very long would remember that Isaiah is my favorite book of Scripture. (Hebrews comes in a close second!) It is mostly poetry—which I love. But it also conveys a lot of information.

In Simeon’s praise, he calls Jesus ‘a light for revelation’. That alludes to this passage. Jesus himself says in the gospel of John, “I am the light of the world.” A light for the world needs to be one that is easy to see and will help direct those on their path while illuminating the way so they don’t get lost or stumble. That’s why I put a lighthouse in as the picture. Jesus spreads his light in every direction. In his presence there is no darkness.

But I thrill to this passage, too, because it says so clearly where the Messiah will minister. The people of his day thought that region was for the poor and the lowly—not the real Jews. The good and prosperous Jews would live close to Jerusalem. Even Nathanael’s attitude when Jesus called him shows this: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Well, yes.

Time and time again throughout history, God has chosen people from the wrong side of the tracks to do incredible things for him. Even in Scripture, he has chosen the youngest (David), the poorest (Amos) and even a couple of donkeys—Balaam’s to testify and a colt to carry the Savior into Jerusalem. He has used women to prophesy and lead. He brought a pagan and a prostitute into the lineage of Jesus.

So the fact that Christ first ministered to those ‘lightly esteemed’ and ‘heavily oppressed’ makes sense. God has never been in the business of reaching those who are doing OK. He calls out to those who realize just how desperately they need him. He offers his help to those who know they cannot survive without him.

We all dwell in the land of the shadow of death. It is called the sin of Adam. When we see that truth, Jesus will shine such a great light on us that it not only exposes our sin and wretchedness, but burns it away in the radiance of his sacrifice.

A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas

More Days

Introduction to The Messiah Simeon Waited For

Holding Jesus

Day 3, A Sketch of Simeon

Simeon Was a Godly Man

Day 5, Simeon's Testimony

Day 6, Prophecies for the Gentiles

Day 7, Blessing to Nations

Day 8, A Holy People

Day 9, Welcoming God's Firstborn

Day 10, The Name of Simeon

Day 11, Staying Alive

Day 12, Following the Spirit

Day 13, Taking Up Jesus

Day 14, God's Slave

Day 15, True Peace

Day 16, Seeing Reality

Day 17, The Intent of the Law

Day 18, For All Peoples

Day 19, Making Mary and Joseph Marvel

Day 20, A Blessing

Day 21, Hinting at the Rest of the Story

Day 22, Mary Will Grieve

Day 23, Making Simeon into Simeon

Day 24, Prophet to the Prophets

Day 25, A Priest Like Melchizedek

Day 26, Destined for Sacrifice

Day 27, Jesus and the Passover Lamb, part 1

Day 28, Jesus and the Passover Lamb, part 2

Day 29, Jesus and the Passover Lamb, Part 3

Day 30, Jesus as the Lamb (con.)

Day 31, Simeon as a Man of Gratitude

Day 32, Sacrificing Lambs in the Old Testament

Day 33, The Silent Lamb

Day 34, The Messiah as Light

Day 35, Jesus the Stumbling Block

Day 36, Jesus as the Rock

Day 37, The Precious Cornerstone

Day 38, The Stone in Zion

Day 39, The Cornerstone and the Gate

Day 40, The Stone of Judgment

Day 41, Into Zion First

Day 42, Restoring the Booth of David

Day 43, Forgotten Stones

Day 44, Blessed to Receive

Day 45, Crown Him with Many Crowns

Day 46, Identifying the Son of God

Day 47, The Best Storyteller Ever

Day 48, In Bethlehem, the City of David

Day 49, Born a King

Day 50, The Living Jesus

Day 51, The Mountain Tree (Part 1)

Day 52, The Mountain Tree (Part 2)

Day 53, The Root of Jesse

Day 54, David's Branch

Day 55, The Cursed Tree

Day 56, Time Fulfilled

Day 58 through 60

Day 57, Born David's King