The Messiah Simeon Waited For

Day 44, Blessed to Receive

Genesis 12: 2-3, 6-7

“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. (NIV)

I have started watching Christmas shows. It is that time of year after all.

A prevalent theme in these presentations is that giving presents is more blessed, more honorable and more holy than receiving presents. If you desire a gift, the story goes, somehow that is wrong.

I don’t know about that.

We get a bit of this theme from the book of Acts. Paul, when he is about to head to Jerusalem, says that Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35) But that quote says more blessed, not less evil. In other words, receiving can be blessed as well.

After all, Simeon wanted a gift. He wanted to see and hold the Messiah before he died.

And Abram (later Abraham), the patriarch of the chosen people, wanted the promised child and lineage. He wanted it so badly that after years of waiting for God’s promise to come to pass, he bowed to his wife’s shortcut idea and caused himself all sorts of problems. But it didn’t mean that wanting to receive the gift was wrong—just the impatience.

So what’s the same between Simeon and Abraham? Why is receiving and wanting a gift so good for them? And can it be good for us as well?

To answer the second question first, yes it can. Giving is indeed good. But sometimes you have to receive first in order to give.

As far as Abraham and Simeon, and many others in Scripture, they were good in wanting a gift for one reason. They wanted what God offered. Wanting something that fulfills a personal need or contributes to greed or any other sin is not good. But hungering for what God would like to give you anyway—that’s blessed.

So this Christmas season, in the midst of giving and loving others, let’s do a bit of receiving. Read the Bible, find out what God would like to give you, and then ask for it.


In that way, we’ll be doubly blessed.


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