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Simeon and Anna

Luke 2:27-33

27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,  
28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace. 
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,and the glory of your people Israel.” 
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

Full bible text

Luke 2:25-38
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 
26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 
27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 
28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace. 
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” 
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 
34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 
35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 
38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

About this painting

When the newborn Jesus is 40 days old, He is presented and consecrated to His heavenly Father in the temple in Jerusalem. Among the people who are expecting the Messiah are Simeon and Anna. On the day Jesus is brought to the temple by Joseph and Mary, the Holy Spirit leads Simeon into the temple and reveals to him that this baby is the long-expected Messiah. ‘Simeon took him in his arms and praised God’ (vs. 28) This gesture symbolizes what every Christian has done; embrace Jesus by faith, enter a relationship with Him, and be rescued forever. The hymn of Simeon spoken on that occasion: For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” The 84 year old prophetess Anna was one of those who looked forward to the redemption of Israel. She re-joins the company and shares the joy of Simeon, Mary and Joseph, as she meets her Saviour, for whom she has waited for so long.

Old Testament prophecies fulfilled:

- According to Leviticus 12: 6, the newborn Jesus was to be presented to God the Father "when the days of her purification are over." Jesus thereby submitted to Jewish law. Also about this event had been prophesied: Jeremiah 30:21 ‘Their leader will be one of their own; their ruler will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me — for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the Lord.’
Galatians 4: 4,5 clarifies this state of affairs: ‘But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.’

- Isaiah 49:6 ‘He says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”’

- Isaiah 60:1-3 ‘“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Jesus said of Himself: ‘I am the light of the world.’ (John 8:12)

- Psalm 98:2,3 ‘The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.’

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