What would you do if you knew you would not die? A promise of ‘immortality’ was given to a man in the Bible. Luke 2:25-26 states, “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”
Simeon was immortal. He had been promised by God that He would not die before the Messiah came. I cannot help but imagine as he wakes up and his ancient wife looks over at him and asks, “So honey, what are you going to do today?” “I think I’m gonna go bungee jumping, without a cord, and then maybe go down to the Dead sea salt pits and do some BMX cameling, and then if there is time, maybe play a little pin the tail on the centurion!” And that is why God hasn’t given me the promise that I would not die. Simeon cherished the privilege God had given him. He continued to live a life focused on God. It seems that every day he was at the temple, it was like he was preparing to meet the King.
The only things we know of Simeon are the things that matter to God. “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout” He was a man of right character. His faith in God applied to real life. He had an inside out relationship with men. His just actions flowed from a right heart. His faith in God affected his conduct, what he believed about God came out in his actions. His actions were a monument to all who met him, that he had complete trust in his God.
When I continually choose sin, I have erected a monument that tells everyone around me, God is incapable of delivering me.
“Same man was just and devout.” He was a man of right standing with God. Could you imagine being called devout by God? That description only comes through a sole focus. He wanted to know God and please God. He was not distracted by the peripheral things of life. He knew how to worship God in spirit and in truth. Not only did he have right actions (just), he had the right focus. Because of Simeon’s devotion, he had just actions and right motives.
Right motives without right actions are pointless, right actions without right motives are a lie.
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon…. waiting for the consolation of Israel:” Simeon was also a man of hope. His hope came from believing God. Simeon had lived before the Roman occupation, he had seen the corruption of the priests and civil leaders. He longed for the day when God’s true King would come. All throughout this turbulent time, he had been listening to and waiting for the consolation of God. Simeon’s mind was saturated with the promises of God from ancient text. God had promised peace (Isa 9:6), He had promised light (Isa 9:2) He had promised a deliverer (Gen 3:15), He had promised restoration. Simeon’s hope destroyed fear.
Simeon’s faith left no room for fear. He announced the King in the capital city of the tyrant king Herod who killed his own kids because he was suspicious of treason. Simeon may as well have signed his death warrant, but he couldn’t keep quiet after seeing Jesus (2:30). His hope came from listening to God. His future hope caused his present faithfulness, and at the end, he once again found God to be faithful, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:” (Luke 2:29)
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.” He looked forward to his reward. Simeon was ready to die, because he knew how to live. (Phil 1:21). He was not afraid of death, because he looked for the King of Life. He was at peace with His maker. Imagine Simeon with his crutch and over-sized robe clinging to his ancient body happily limping home that night, probably singing a song of David. We don’t even know if he made it home to tell his family, but I am sure that when he did pass on, there was a smile on his face. And then fast forward into the future, Simeon no longer limps, and his cataract filled eyes are all healed as he looks up at the face of his Savior and exclaims, “Hey you’ve got a beard now.”
So what would you do for God if you knew you were immortal?