ODJ: Hope for All

December 10, 2017 

READ: Luke 2:22-35 

He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel! (v.32).

Few things can touch the heart more deeply than holding a newborn baby for the first time. This is especially true when the little one belongs to a family member or close friend!

Today’s text contains the story of a man holding the baby Jesus for the first time at the temple in Jerusalem. This was no chance encounter. Luke records that the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that “he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah” (Luke 2:26).

Led by the Holy Spirit to enter the temple, Simeon encountered the infant Jesus. His parents had brought Him there to dedicate their first son to God according to Jewish law (vv.22-23).

Overcome with emotion, Simeon took Jesus into his arms and broke out in words of praise to the God he knew and loved: “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (vv.29-32).

This providential encounter occurred at a point in Israel’s long and winding history when the people were desperately longing for a day of rescue from their ongoing state of suffering. But Simeon recognised that the salvation God promised long ago rested in the little baby he cradled in his arms. And this salvation was not only for Israel. It was “for all people” (v.31).

The tiny infant Simeon held would grow to be “a light to reveal God to the nations” (v.32). If you’re a believer in Jesus, may you be mindful that believers are called to bear His light of hope. In a world whose future is so easily darkened by the brokenness that persists, we serve the One who provides hope for all.

—Jeff Olson

365-day plan: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18

Read 1 Peter 1:3 in the NIV and think about what it means to enjoy a “living hope” in Jesus. 
Who in your world needs to see the hope of God’s salvation? What’s one tangible way you could give them a glimpse?