January 18, 2022 – Tuesday
Luke 2:29-32 NIV
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.
What is the context and background for the above verses and who is speaking? Going back to verses 22-24 we find Mary and Joseph had taken the newborn Jesus to Jerusalem for purification rites required by the Law of Moses which said, Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord and offered a sacrifice of two doves or two young pigeons as required by the Law of the Lord. Now we know why Mary, Joseph, and Jesus are there, but who is speaking and what is he talking about?
The speaker is Simeon who was moved by the Holy Spirit to go to the temple courts in Jerusalem at the same time that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were there. What is unusual about Simeon is that (v26), It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. We know from our verses of the day that he recognized Jesus as the Lord’s Messiah and that the promise of the Holy Spirit had been kept.
Now look at what he said about Jesus, He is to be a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel. Looking up the Greek word for light used here, Strong’s G5457 was found, and it is a word we have seen before, phos. Strong’s definition reads: to shine or make manifest, especially by rays; luminousness (in the widest application, natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative):—fire, light. Frankly, that hardly seems sufficient for what Simeon has said. Looking further, the Helps Word-studies provides: phos – properly, light (especially in terms of its results, what it manifests); in the NT, the manifestation of God’s self-existent life; divine illumination to reveal and impart life, through Christ. This, to me, seems a more realistic definition of the light Jesus has brought to the Gentiles (and the Jews) as He defeated death, imparting life!
Before closing, a little bit more about Simeon. Recall what he initially said, Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss] your servant in peace(NIV) or Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (AKJV). The word he used for servant is often written as bond-servant or bond-slave. Simeon looked upon himself as a slave to the Lord. The word he used for the Lord is something of a surprise, despotes, the despot. No, Simeon was not calling the Lord a despot, but was defining his position before the Lord. He looked upon the Lord as his absolute master and himself as a completely subjugated man. It was a position he freely chose, much as Paul did when he described himself as a bond-servant or bond-slave of Christ. At the end Simeon is looking forward to his heavenly reward. (Source: The Refiner’s Fire Volume 1 by David Wilkerson)
Very early in His life Jesus was recognized not only as the promised Messiah, but a light onto the world and especially to the Gentiles. We can be thankful Luke was so careful in recording this.
Prayer: Almighty God, Again, thank You for Your Son, who brought divine illumination to the world. His light still shines brightly today through the Word that You have given us. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton