Christmas Reactions  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:41
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ILLUSTRATION: There are some things that just go with Christmas.
We can do a chain response to words...
If I say, Peanut butter and… Jelly
Milk and… cookies
Handsome… Kyle
It’s the same with Christmas
If I say Christmas you might say...
EXPLANATION: When we think of the story of the first Christmas, we have certain people that we immediately think of
Mary and Joseph
Wise men
Maybe Zacharias and Elizabeth
You might even think of the animals before you think of the person we are looking at this morning.
The man we are looking at this morning is just as much a part of the Christmas story as any of the others we mentioned.
In fact, he saw the Baby Christ before the wise men did.
And what he had to say is powerful in foreshadowing the life and death of Christ.
But no one ever talks about him.
But I hope after today, when you think of the first Christmas, you’ll think of all those other names… but I hope you’ll also think of this man’s name.
And more importantly, I hope you’ll think of what he had to say.
Today, for a few moments we are going to find our way into the city of Jerusalem, and enter through the doors of the temple, and listen to the words from a very important man in the Christmas story.
Let’s listen to the words of Simeon.
And let’s learn some things from the reaction of this important character in the Christmas story!


EXPLANATION: Some have said that Simeon was a servant in the temple, possibly even a priest like Zacharias.
This may have been true, but the Bible doesn’t actually tell us that.
In fact the Bible says very little about who this man Simeon was.
But what it does say about him is powerful.
We don’t know with absolute certainty because the Bible doesn’t give us his age, but from the text it would seem that he was probably an old man.
He was promised that he wouldn’t see death until he saw the Lord’s Christ… the Messiah
When he does hold Christ his first response is v.29
“I’m ready to go to heaven.”
APPLICATION: I’m thankful there is no age restriction on who can be used by God.
You might be the oldest person in this room, but God still has a purpose for you!
God still wants to use you!
He used Simeon as we will see this morning in a few moments to deliver a power message.
The Bible says he was “just, devout, and waiting”
Simeon had a good testimony.
When people saw Simeon around town they may have teased him because of the way he walked at his advanced age
They may have gave him a hard time because they had to repeat things to him because of his hearing loss
They no doubt had to help him do things because his body was probably riddled with pain from his age.
But there was no one that could question his devotion to his God
He was a committed follower to his Lord.
I kinda think that after the snickers about old Simeon ended, there was challenge that followed in everyone’s mind because here was someone who was the real deal.
A real committed, devout, just, patient, follower of the Lord.
APPLICATION: We could certainly use a few more of those today.
Some followers of Christ that are just the real deal!
That have a testimony with those at work that there is just something different about you.
That just loves the Lord and His church and can’t get enough of it.
Always looking for a way to serve… that’s who Simeon was!
And we could sure use a few more of those today.
3 Times in 3 verses the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit was involved in Simeon’s life.
In v.25 that Bible says, “The Holy Ghost was upon him.”
v.26, the Holy Ghost revealed something to him
v.27, The Spirit led him to the temple.
The Holy Spirit was a big part of Simeon’s life.
APPLICATION: Is the Spirit of God a big part of your life?
Let’s just be real, most of us haven’t even thought of the Holy Spirit in our life this week, let alone today!
The Bible tells us when you get saved the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of you.
ILLUSTRATION: A little girl was riding home from church with her dad and he could tell something was troubling her.
“What’s wrong” the dad asked
“Today in class my teacher told us that when we get saved, Jesus comes into our heart.”
Not really understanding the problem the dad said, “Ok”
“Well, if Jesus is living in my heart, wouldn’t he stick out a little bit?”
APPLICATION: That young lady was on to something.
When Jesus is in your heart, he should stick out a little bit.
1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV 1900
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
If you have the Holy Spirit living within you, you should be living differently!
Paul tells us in Galatians 4:3-5
Galatians 4:3–5 KJV 1900
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
He goes on to ask the question then:
Galatians 4:9 KJV 1900
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
No when you accept Christ as your Savior you are no longer under the bondage of sin… under the bondage of this world.
You have the Holy Spirit living within you and that ought to change things.
Paul goes on in the same book to tell us about this battle that we so often face.
Galatians 5:16–17 KJV 1900
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
And then he tells us there are outflows of the life that is not given to the Spirit, but rather submits to the flesh:
Galatians 5:19–21 KJV 1900
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
These works are things that those that don’t know Christ do, and yet the Christian that isn’t controlled by the Spirit will find themselves in the same pit of doing these things.
But then he goes on to share what the Christian who is led by the Spirit looks like:
Galatians 5:22–25 KJV 1900
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Friend, is the Spirit of God a big part of your life?
He should be?
When is the last time you asked for the Spirit of God to lead you?
To lead you in the decisions you are making about work?
To lead you as you are parenting your kids
To lead you as you work through struggles with your spouse?
Simeon was led by the Spirit and it led him right to Christ.
And the truth is, one way to know if you are being led by the Spirit is if you are getting closer to Christ or are you further away?
Because the Spirit will never lead you away from Jesus.
John 16:13 KJV 1900
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
We can learn much from the very little we know about Simeon…
He was probably old - Praise God He can use anyone at any age
He was devoted - The real deal
He was Spirit Led - May Jesus stick out of our life as we are led by the Spirit.


EXPLANATION: We can certainly learn much and be challenged by who Simeon was, but it is what he said that truly points our attention to the baby Jesus.
Simeon had been given that promise that he wouldn’t see death before he saw the “consolation of Israel.”
That was an interesting phrase.
The word “consolation” is the Greek word “Paraklete”
It is the same word used in John 14:16 when Jesus tells His disciples
John 14:16 KJV 1900
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
The word “Comforter” is used here to describe the Holy Spirit.
In one simple phrase we find a beautiful picture of the trinity being fulfilled.
God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost… Three in one
The thing that is often debated and yet, never fully comprehended.
1 John 5:7 KJV 1900
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Philippians 2:6 KJV 1900
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Jesus Christ, God in flesh, was now being held in the arms of Simeon.
V.30-32, Simeon says something that would shake his world and ours to the very core.
This child he was holding in his arms was God’s providential salvation.
You see Romans 5:12
Romans 5:12 KJV 1900
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 3:10 KJV 1900
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Romans 3:23 KJV 1900
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 6:23 KJV 1900
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The condemnation was passed to every person.
A condemnation to an eternity in a lake of fire.
The payment that you and I deserve for all the good works we could do, is an eternity in that lake of fire!
But in this moment, Simeon was holding salvation in flesh.
Romans 5:8 KJV 1900
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
John 3:16 KJV 1900
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The purpose of Christ coming to earth was not so that we could celebrate with Christmas trees and presents some day.
It wasn’t so we could enjoy a big meal together.
It wasn’t so we could look at the beautiful lights!
He came to die on a cross!
Because the wage of sin is death… So someone had to die!
And now Simeon held Salvation in flesh in his arms
And then he said v.31-32
V.33 says that Mary and Joseph marvelled at this.
The word “marvel” here is the same Greek word that was used when they heard the report of what the Shepherds had experience back in v.18
Luke 2:18 KJV 1900
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
Some say that they marvelled because he new who Jesus was and they didn’t think anyone knew.
And that may have been the case, we can’t say for sure.
But I think the key is something else found in those two verses
V.31 - All People
V.32 - Gentiles and Isreal!
Up to this time they believed the Messiah was coming for Isreal alone.
That’s why the Jews looked down on the Gentiles
They thought they were better than those who were not Israel.
And what Simeon says here is stunning… It was for “all people”!
Gentile and Isreal!
John 3:17 KJV 1900
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
The same grace that you can find scattered throughout the OT in times when God gave grace to the gentiles, we find once again here in the NT!
Finally in v.34-35, Simeon wraps up the finality of this greatest Christmas gift.
He turns his attention to Mary as he tells her, “Your Son is going to be the centerpiece of many who will reject His coming and then ultimately accept His coming.”
“And Mary, the suffering you are going to experience as you watch your precious son go through this… it will reveal the hearts of many.”
At this moment Mary couldn’t comprehend that one day her precious baby would be betrayed.
He would be beaten.
He would be mocked
He would be crucified
And her mother’s heart would one day be broken as she watched the greatest gift ever given be rejected and put to death on a cross.
She couldn’t imagine the pain she would feel as he was laid in a borrowed tomb.
She couldn’t understand the heartbreak as for three days she wept at the loss of her child.
Oh, but she couldn’t imagine the rejoicing she would experience on that third day when she heard those wonderful words, “He is not here, He is risen as He said!”
He had conquered death!
He had reigned victorious over sin.
And it was that resurrection that changed everything!
Paul said it in 1 Corinthians 15:14
1 Corinthians 15:14 KJV 1900
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1 Corinthians 15:17 KJV 1900
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
But then he goes on to write those wonderful words: 1 Corinthians 15:20
1 Corinthians 15:20 KJV 1900
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 KJV 1900
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is wonderful hope in the birth of Jesus, because there is wonderful hope in His death, burial, and resurrection!
And that is the message that this little old, devoted, Spirit filled man shared with Joseph and Mary on that day!
APPLICATION: And that is the message that is being shared to you and I today!
There is hope in the cradle because there is hope in the cross!
There is hope in the stable, because as Simeon said, He was born the Savior!
And there is hope this Christmas, because there is hope in a risen Christ!
Friend Ephesians 2:8-9 are so clear
Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV 1900
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Titus 3:5 KJV 1900
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Romans 4:4–5 KJV 1900
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Everyone wants to go to heaven, but so many are trying to figure out their own way to get there!
Many are trying to do it through religion:
Going to church
Being baptized
Giving money
Being a good person
But it’s not of works!
Friend, it doesn’t matter if you’re Buddhist, Baptist, Mormon, Muslim, Catholic, or some other kind of Christian… you can call yourself whatever you want, but there is only one that matters… And it isn’t you or what you do or call yourself!
It’s the One Who Christmas is all about, Christ… and it’s about His death on the cross, not your good works you try to do to get there.
Romans 10:9–10 KJV 1900
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
It doesn’t say confess the Lord Jesus, and your good works!
If you want to open the greatest gift of eternal life this morning, you can do it right where you are!


I’m all about early Christmas presents… and there is no gift greater that you could ever receive than trusting in Christ as your Savior today!
Learn this lesson from this forgotten Christmas Character, Simeon.
An old man, devoted to God, and led by the Spirit… who’s message would change the world!
And it can change your life this morning, if you’ve never trusted in Christ as your Savior, you can do it right here today!
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