Text: Luke 2:25-32
"And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
Oh to have seen Jesus ! But that was 2000 years ago
We are (somewhat) encouraged by the account recorded in John 20:26-29
"After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
And Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:6-9
"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."
While it IS important that we believe in spite of NOT seeing, yet we have hope, confidence, assurance that we WILL see Him! It is THAT thought that I want to impress upon us this Christmas.
In a sense, it is only BECAUSE of Christmas that we WILL be able to see God!
God is spirit! and cannot be seen with a human eye. However, when God became incarnate, He became “visible”. When we “see” Christ, we “see” God.
Is that to be taken literally or figuratively?
We read Job's thoughts in Job 19:25-27.
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another.
My heart faints within me!”
Note – that is not allegory!
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." (1 John 3:1-3)
What is the basis of our confidence concerning this?
Prophecy – a unique characteristic of Christianity that distinguishes it from other “religions”. The numerous fulfilled prophecies of Scriptures are the credibility and believability of Rev. 1:7
"Behold, He is (!) coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen." (emphasis added)
It was prophecy that had Simeon waiting for the consolation of Israel.
It is the prophetic word of God that gives us a Hebrews 11:1 kind of faith, but although we don’t ALWAYS look for it…. It eventually DOES come! Prophecy DOES get fulfilled. Not one jot or tittle – until ALL is fulfilled. We WILL ! see Jesus, and thus we WILL see God. "For now we walk by faith and not by sight. Now, we see as through a glass darkly, but THEN – FACE TO FACE!" (1 Cor. 13:12)
Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ Who died for me?
Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkened veil between,
But a blessèd day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.
What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.
Face to face—oh, blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!
(Words by Grant Tullar)
How is this possible?
Luke 1:37 tells us that “With God nothing shall be impossible”
Luke 18:27 tells us that “the things which are impossible with men are possible with God”
Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”
Do YOU believe?
Are YOU diligently seeking Him?
(A Christmas 2013 devotional)