December 27, 2018

Seeking the Comfort of Israel

Luke 2:22-35

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

—  Luke 2:25

In this story related to Christmas, we meet Simeon, a righteous and devout man who was waiting for the consolation (or comfort) of Israel. Based on a promise made to him by God, Simeon was waiting for God to rescue and comfort his people. Isaiah had spoken about this consolation with the words “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God” (Isaiah 40:1), and these words point to the coming of the Messiah, God’s anointed, to rescue and deliver his chosen people.

Simeon had been waiting and watching at the temple in Jerusalem for this Messiah. Then one day, prompted by the Holy Spirit, he recognized Israel’s comfort in the baby Jesus, brought in by Joseph and Mary “to do for him what the custom of the Law required.” Through the witness of Simeon, Luke announces that the comfort of Israel has come to save all God’s people from sin, wherever they are throughout the world.

At Christmas we celebrate that Jesus, the comfort and hope of the world, comes to us. He lives in our hearts, and through the Holy Spirit we trust in him as we live by faith. We have received the comfort of Jesus, and now we live in joyful obedience, serving him in the world.

Give thanks today for the comfort of knowing Jesus, and prepare your heart for his second coming.

Jesus, you are our comfort and our hope. Help us to trust and serve you in all things. 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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