February 20, 2015

Consolation of Israel

Luke 2:22-35

Simeon, who was righteous and devout . . . was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.

—  Luke 2:25

In our passage today we meet Simeon, a righteous, devout man waiting for the "consolation of Israel." Isaiah 40:1-2 speaks about this consolation with these words, "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for." Isaiah indicated that this would be the work of the Messiah, the promised deliverer of God's people.

Now, the Holy Spirit had promised Simeon that he would see "the Lord's Messiah" before he died. And when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple, the Spirit moved Simeon to go there. Simeon recognized Israel's consolation in the baby Jesus, and he praised God, announcing that the comfort of Israel had come as "a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of [God's] people Israel." This child, Jesus, would save God's people everywhere from their sins.

In Jesus, we have God's consolation, his comfort, that we have been forgiven. Let the consolation of Jesus dwell in your heart today as you bring his comfort to the world around you.

Jesus, our consolation, only you can provide true comfort. Through your life and death, you have made us alive. Help us to live in such way that we draw the world to you. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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