Advent: Looking for Consolation

 

“Now the Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; for my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou has prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” Luke 2: 29-32

These are the words of Simeon. He had been promised by the Lord to be able to see the Messiah before he was to see death. He was a good man. How do I know?  Let me take you through a little inductive study, read the verse below:

“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” Luke 2: 25

Ask yourself the 5 Ws and H

  1. Where was this man from?
  2. What does Luke tell you about his character?
  3. What was he looking for?
  4. What about him was special?

By doing a quick online word study you would find the transliteration “looking for” in the Greek is prosdechomai and means

      to expect: the fulfillment of promises 

 

Think about it. Simeon put all of himself into this expectation! He was expecting the consolation of Israel. He wanted it and he waited for it! He knew it was coming even if no one else was with him. He threw himself into this belief!

Let me ask you this, are we coming into this season with the same desire? Now, we know that Christ has already come once in the form of a baby and we know that He will not return in the same way.  But we do believe that He is coming back. Why do we believe this? His Word says so! We believe it! It was the same for Simeon. Take a look at this passage:

“And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” – Luke 2:26 

He was told; therefore, he believed it.  Think about this. What was upon him? The Holy Spirit! When? Obviously, it was before Acts and before Christ had left earth so that the Helper would dwell among us! Yet, what did the Holy Spirit do? He gave him a promise and he “looked for” it…he expected it.

What was the consolation and why was he looking for it?  Again, by doing a quick online word study you would find the transliteration from Greek is paraklēsis which, in this context, means

consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment

 thus of the Messianic salvation (so the Rabbis call the Messiah the consoler, the comforter)

In this time, Israel was oppressed and God had not spoken to them for over 400 years. I think that I would want some consolation or comfort as well.

Do we “look for” the consolation of the world? Do we expect the consolation of the world? We are coming up on Christmas to remind us of our hearts desire and eternal expectation! Here are a couple of things that Christmas does for me:

  1. Christmas reminds me of Christ.
  2. Christmas reminds me to be thankful that an innocent baby was my consolation
  3. Christmas reminds me to be expectant for His coming again

 

What is Christmas for you? What type of expectations do you have for Christmas? Are they similar to Simeon’s expectations?

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