Key Verses: “For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.”
Luke 1:26-31; 2:21-33
THE WORDS RECORDED IN Luke 2:29-35 are those expressed by Simeon, a Jew who “was just and devout, … and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” (vs. 25) He had been assured by God that he would see Israel’s Messiah of promise before he died. When Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to Jerusalem in accordance with the customs of the Mosaic Law, Simeon rejoiced to see him. He took the babe in his arms and blessed God. Through his enlightened eyes of understanding, Simeon spoke the words recorded in our Key Verse, which point to the fact that salvation had been “prepared” for all people. Moreover, he said that Jesus would come to be “a light to lighten the Gentiles,” and the glory of Israel.—vs. 32
The many promises made by the prophets concerning a savior began to be fulfilled when the angels announced, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) Truly, Jesus’ birth was a bright dawn of hope for the entire human race. This had been expressed earlier when the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary concerning her future son, Jesus: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”—Luke 1:32,33
John, when later writing his Gospel, pointed to Jesus as “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1:9) The Apostle Paul further testified: “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” This, the apostle continues, would become a reality because the “man Christ Jesus … gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (I Tim. 2:3-6) The full scope of this vital truth has not yet been revealed to the majority of mankind. The “due time” for their enlightenment will be during the Millennial reign of Christ.
In God’s earthly kingdom, Christ shall call forth all who sleep in their graves: “The hour is coming, … when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25) Both the enlightenment of mankind in righteousness, as well as their healing from the effects of sin and death, are shown in these beautiful words of the prophet: “The Sun of righteousness,” the glorified Christ, shall “arise with healing in his wings.” (Mal. 4:2) Christ, the “Sun,” will illuminate the whole earth with a knowledge of the Heavenly the Father. The “healing” will be in the form of a “restitution of all things,” and the blessing of all the families of the earth.—Acts 3:20,21,25; Gen. 12:3; 28:14
Of this time, the Prophet Isaiah said, “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isa. 35:10) This has been God’s eternal purpose for his human creation. Jesus was “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8) “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. … that the world through him might be saved.”—John 3:16,17