The Consolation of the World
by Michelle Hodges
I have a confession to make: I’ve never paid much attention to Simeon. I honestly didn’t think he was that important. I usually speed read through this part of Luke, trying to get to the rest of Jesus’ story. But, this time, I’m fixated on a particular phrase, “the consolation of Israel”.
Luke 2:25 “ Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.”
Miriam-Webster defines console as a verb, meaning “to alleviate the grief, sense of loss, or trouble of”. I do not know how old Simeon was, but I do know that the people of Israel had been grieving for a very long time. God’s people had heard no word nor seen any sign from Him for 400 years. Simeon, in his assumed advanced age, had been waiting his entire life for his, and Israel’s, release from centuries of sorrow.
But, at the sight of this tiny baby, Simeon knew Jesus was so much more than he’d expected. Led by the Helper, the Holy Spirit, it is revealed to Simeon that this child is not just the Comforter of Israel, this baby is the One Comforter of the world. Just as the Spirit “Helped” lead Simeon to the temple, The Helper also leads us to Jesus, our ultimate Comforter. So, for the remainder of this Christmas season, let’s meditate on the fact that the Comfort our souls long for is already here.
Q: What is your only comfort in life and death?
A: That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my. Heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, wherefore by His Holy Spirit he also assure me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.