Saturday, December 17, 2022

Advent Words 2022 ~ Word 11: Light


Word 11: Light


Throughout the Old Testament we read of One who was promised to God's People who would rescue and redeem them from the suffering and oppression they faced. The Promised One was known throughout Isaiah's prophecies as the Messiah, one who be the high priest, a servant of the Lord. Isaiah repeatedly claimed that the Messiah would be a light. 

“The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned”. Isaiah 9:2

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles.” Isaiah 42:6

“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
    to restore the tribes of Jacob
    and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

 In his gospel Luke tells us that there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who had spent his life watching and waiting for the Promised One, the light of Israel.

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” Luke 2:25-26

Simeon was known as being righteous and devout, one who stood before the Lord as a holy and faithful follower, as one whom the Lord found favor with, much as has been described of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, of Mary, and of John the Baptist in our story so far. Simeon was waiting for “the consolation of Israel”. He was waiting for the Messiah who would be the hope of Israel, who would bring God’s people comfort. Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit was upon Simeon and had revealed to him that he would not die before seeing the Messiah come to Israel.

On the day when Jesus’ parents took him to the temple to consecrate their son to the Lord, Simeon was led by the Spirit to the temple.

 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
    which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:27-32


The Holy Spirit enables Simeon to see this child for who he really is – He is the Messiah! Simeon holds in his arms the light that had been promised by the prophet Isaiah. He holds the light that is the salvation of not only the nation of Israel, but as promised, and as he proclaims, He is the light for the Gentiles as well.


God promised through the Prophet Isaiah that the whole world would see his salvation:


“The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
    in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
    the salvation of our God.Isaiah 52:10


The Hebrew word for salvation is ‘yeshua’, which when translated to Greek and then English, we get the name Jesus. So, when Simeon held the child Jesus in his arms he held the salvation of God, the One who would be the light of the world!


“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

 God kept his promise to Simeon that he would see the Lord’s Christ, the Messiah, the light of the world. He is the light of the world for us as well! He shines His light in our hearts that we may know the glory of the Lord.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

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