… when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, Simeon took him in his arms and blessed God, saying, “Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace.”
Luke 2:26b-29 NET
By all indications Simeon was aged, though the text doesn’t actually state the fact. And Simeon didn’t actually see the redemption of Israel. But he saw the child who, later as an adult, would bring salvation. It would not happen for another 30 years, almost a generation away.
But seeing the child Jesus, however, and perceiving that God was putting his project into action, for which Israel had waited for so long, was for Simeon more than enough, so much so that he felt fulfilled and ready to pass from this life to enter eternity.
His readiness marks the heart of every Christian. We do have, it is true, our service in the Kingdom. We still hope for many spiritual victories. We don’t stop making plans whose stamp is, “If the Lord wills.” We feel compelled still by the Great Commission.
At the same time, like Simeon, we see the divine promise fulfilled in Jesus and in his crucifixion. We see the blood of Jesus applied to our souls on the day of our immersion n Christ and each day since our conversion. We feel the transformation of our lives, as we become each day more like our Master.
And like Simeon, we are stamped with the peace of God, with the satisfaction of the turn of human history manifested in us. We receive from him the beatitudes which turn the world’s values upside down, bringing us the divine fullness.
And still like Simeon, we, old and young, men and women, rich and poor, live in readiness to leave and be with God. Yes, we work every day, but deposited in the heart is the maranatha prayer, the desire to fly far away from here, the smile which mouths this praise to God: “permit your servant to depart in peace.”