“Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation … a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32 KJV
For my eyes have seen Your salvation … A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32 NASB
“She spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Luke 2:38 KJV
“She … continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:38 NASB
These two statements interrupt the flow of events in the life of the Lord Jesus which occurred, first as an infant of forty days, and then as a boy of twelve years of age.
The expressions of worship of Simeon and Anna serve many purposes. They reveal to us a faithful remnant in Jerusalem who were waiting for the coming Messiah. They are among God’s special six: Zacharias and Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary, and Simeon and Anna. Here were a faithful few who, like those in Malachi 3, “Feared the Lord and spoke often one to another.”
But there is another aspect of truth which is delightful to consider. Simeon made his appearance when Mary was coming with her sacrifice of turtledoves in accordance with Leviticus 12. Anna’s statement, although made when He was only 40 days of age, precedes Luke’s account of His ascent to Jerusalem to mark the Passover.
To the casual observer, Mary’s sacrifice for her purification might suggest that she needed to sacrifice because she had brought a child of Adam into the world with a fallen Adamic nature. The attendance of the Lord at the Passover might also suggest that He was owning and recognizing the need for redemption.
To avoid this, the Spirit of God brings along Simeon and Anna. To avoid any possible error in thinking, Simeon not only dismisses any idea of “this child” needing salvation because of a fallen nature, he actually confesses that “this child” is God’s salvation Himself. Far from coming short of the glory of God, He is the glory of the nation. That glory which had once departed had now returned, but it had returned in infant form. Not only was this child not part of the darkness of this world, but He was the light which had come to shed light on the nations.
Anna’s confession, also, would diffuse any confusion about this Child needing redemption. She spoke of Him to all that looked for redemption. Her widowhood doubtless made her conscious of the widow’s need for redemption through a kinsman Redeemer. All the circumstances of her life brought her to this: that she could recognize the Redeemer when He appeared.
So as a boy of twelve, (Luke 2:41-42) no one should ever presuppose that His attendance at Passover was an indication that He needed redemption. He was the Redeemer.
How carefully the Spirit of God protects any possible misunderstanding as to the inherent moral perfection and person of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Elizabeth had sung of Him (Luke 1:42-45). Shepherds had come to worship. Wise men had come with their gifts. Butt none had hinted at sorrow and suffering for Mary. It was not until 40 days later that Simeon in the temple revealed that a sword would pierce Mary’s heart. Why do you think the Lord delayed this revelation until this time?