It had been revealed to him that before he died, he would see the Messiah. But as he grew older, he began to doubt. “Time is running out. Have I deceived myself?” In his weaker moments a sneering thought would whisper, “What makes you think some big thing is going to happen to you? Do you think you’re better than everyone else?”
But then there were many times of being nourished by a sense of divine love. Something positive was going to happen. Something positive was happening–inside. And it kept leading him on and on, hoping and waiting and praying.
When he first laid eyes on them, they seemed like any other young couple Simeon had seen dedicating a male child in the temple. He’d been there day after day for years. But then he took a second look at them. Something about this family was different. They moved with quietness. They had a peace that drew him.
Simeon gazed at the newborn, then again. He looked a third time. Yes, it was true. The feeling got stronger every time. He looked again and this time savoured what he felt, a blending of pure goodness and sheer power. It smelled like the overwhelming love he’d come to know in the best of his prayer times. He was now transfixed on the baby and all the time the feeling was getting stronger and stronger. His gut was moved and his eyes watered. Not thinking about what he was doing he walked deliberately toward the couple and with authority took the baby from the mother’s arms and prophesied, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, dismiss your servant in peace!” Then he lifted Jesus up in the air and with a sweet, delicious smile proclaimed, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
The voice was true–the voice he’d associated all these years with goodness and love . His doubts vanished. He had seen the Messiah.