It is no accident that Luke 1-2 records a wealth of people praising the newly arrived King Divine and his promise of salvation – from shepherds and wise men to devout men and women.
Each of them responds differently to baby Jesus, yet each provides great insight into how our own stance toward advent should be. Here, in Luke 2:25–32, we see a preordained meeting taking place between a man named Simeon and Jesus.
This man, who was “righteous and devout” (verse 25) bursts into praise as he encounters the living Lord.
In particular, he ascribes blessings to God, saying essentially to Him, “God, my eyes are seeing the fulfillment of Your promises. You have fulfilled Your word. Thus, I can die in peace” (verse 29 through 30). Simeon’s praise of God is important and necessary because he recognizes that Jesus’ arrival has ushered in God’s salvation for all people. This Child that Simeon holds is the embodiment of salvation. That is, since the Child will bring salvation, He is salvation itself.
Now notice how Simeon describes salvation in Luke 2:31–32a.
He indicates that God’s salvation is not limited to one ethnic group; it is not only for the Jewish people. God’s salvation extends to all people groups. This is why Simeon says, “that You have prepared…of all peoples” (verse 31). Simeon is praising God that it has been His plan for all peoples to experience God’s salvation, and he then reinforces this cosmic scope by describing salvation in a slightly different way – “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (verse 32a). To the Gentiles, God’s salvation is portrayed as “a light for revelation.” What a beautiful image!
The King Divine has come to bring salvation for all peoples and that includes you and me.
This is indeed something to praise God for! For the coming of Jesus means the coming of salvation. There can be no greater comfort for us than this truth. There can be no greater source of joy than this truth. May it overwhelm us today and cause us, like Simeon, to break forth in praise! Yes! May we recognize our own position in the darkness and the light that Jesus has brought into our lives because of His Advent to this earth.