Simeon Or The Reception of Christ: Luke 11:25-38

Luke 11:25‑28  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 6
UK 11:25-38{THERE are two things which are very distinct in connection with the reception of Christ. In the gospel a Person is set before us. Paul says, "It pleased God to reveal his Son in me." And there are two distinct things connected with this: one is, a renunciation of the state you are in; the other, an unfolding of that to which you have come. Simeon (Luke 2) is an instance of this. He turns his back on everything in connection with the hopes of man. When he has the Savior in his arms, he says, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." It is an immense thing for the soul to understand what the reception of Christ means. Paul's word to the jailer is, " Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." A Person is brought in. The more truly I have received Christ, the more I must abandon that which is antagonistic to Christ. It is not merely to say, “I believe," and to go on as usual-that is impossible. What I really receive must characterize me.
It so characterized Simeon, that he can completely surrender everything of man's hopes and fears, and say, "Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
What a wondrous thing it is that God has sent His Son to bear the judgment that rested upon us! Instead of holding to that man on whom the judgment lay, I receive the One who bore the judgment, and delivered me out of it.
When the Israelites were coming out of Egypt, the blood of the lamb was put outside the door. That tells what the history of grace is. But are they to go on as usual in Egypt? No; they are brought clean out of Egypt. They first put the blood of the lamb outside, to meet the eyes of the Judge, and with it came the death of the Egyptian firstborn. Death was destroying the grasp of thraldom! But the people of God at the same time are eating the lamb, and in the strength of it they are driven out of Egypt; but they never are out of fear until they are across the Red Sea, and they see the Egyptians dead on the shore. In Christ I am clean away from the thing from which He has saved me, and the more I realize this, the more I shall value it. A person who never had bad health does not value health as does the one who has recovered. He who has got new and good health is delivered from the bad health, and he is careful of his health, because he knows what it is to lose it. A person who believes in Christ must break with the first-born of Egypt, that is, the sinful man who is under judgment. The Israelites knew what Egypt was, and never were happy until they were all clean out of reach of the Egyptians. The further they got away the better, for they do not reach up to the purpose of God for them until they are across Jordan. When they come to Jordan (Josh. 3) they see the ark in it, and they pass clean over. Do you shrink from death? If you do, it is because you are looking at it instead of at the ark. Death was nothing to Simeon. He takes the child in his arms, and says, “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation." I have the Savior in my arms. I am clean done with everything.
God gave His Son. He was a man here on earth, and in death He bore the judgment that lay on man, to remove it from the believer, and to transfer him from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of the Son of His love, “to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God." Are you blind, or have you been blind? If a blind man were assured that he could recover his sight, he would submit to any sacrifice to secure it, and, after he had recovered it, surely he would shrink from everything that would injure his sight again? The glory of that light made Paul blind. The light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, shone into his soul; and could Saul receive this light, and continue as he was before? Surely not! As light is distinct and separate from darkness, so is a soul that receives Christ morally separate from all that is not of Christ.
Do you think it melancholy-was it melancholy for Simeon to close his eyes on this scene when Jesus was in his arms? Was it melancholy for Paul to turn from this scene when he saw the glory of that light?
Or for Stephen, when he saw the glory of God and Jesus? You may say that is an advanced state; but Saul of Tarsus was not advanced when he began his course thus.
How differently the heart would be affected by the Lord's grace towards us, if the soul had the consciousness that not only is there a work done for me, but the Person who did the work occupies my heart. As the apostle puts it, "it pleased God to reveal his Son in me." It was not melancholy to Paul. On the contrary, he says, “I live Christ." It is not merely the effect of a thing done, but "Christ liveth in me," and that in the very scene where I am. It was not that Saul was improved, but a new plant, a Plant of Renown, was in him, and he has this One, and no other, before him. Oh! does not your heart tell you if you had this One-if, like Simeon, you so possessed Christ-what a place and what a portion it would be! It is impossible to receive Christ, and to go on in the world. In receiving Him the whole thing is changed-there is a new plant, a new Person in you. Christ is formed in you. It may be small at first. The largest oak was once very small. But if you accept Christ, you cannot go on as you were before. He diverts you from everything that you are as a natural man. The thief on the cross gave up himself when he turned to the Man who had done nothing amiss. Self is the great thing to give up, the sum of everything. He dropped himself, and took up Christ. Christ was the one absolutely before his soul. You cannot enjoy the thing from which you have been delivered, and hold to the One who has delivered you.
Impossible! Simeon is told that he shall not see death until he has seen the Lord's Christ; and the effect of grace in his soul leads him to say, "Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." He is done with all connected with this scene, and his eyes are filled with the glory of the Savior. "Christ in him the hope of glory." "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God."
It is not a sad thing. The light of the glory of Christ is above the brightness of the sun. Had you that light shining into your heart, you would find that the brightness of the sun in nature was surpassed and eclipsed! If you have received the light which is above the brightness of the sun, you are not to be pitied because other lights are gone out. He only is to be pitied who has not got it, and has only the sparks of his own kindling. J. B. S.