FOR MY EYES HAVE SEEN YOUR SALVATION
DENN MEINE AUGEN HABEN DEINEN HEILAND GESEHEN
A man shuffled across the narrow, uneven, cobble-stoned alleyways
of Jerusalem. Outwardly he is old, but his soul has remained young
Every now and then he is asked, "Simeon, Simeon listen a moment!
You always seem to give the impression that you are waiting for something
"I am." Simeon answers, "I am waiting. I am waiting
for Israel's coming consolation, I am waiting for the saviour."
Simeon walks the streets of Jerusalem as a living reminder: "Do
not forget God's promise! - Do not forget God's promise!"
... For my eyes have seen your salvation ...
there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and
devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy
Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved
by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought
in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the law required,
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: "Sovereign
Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the
sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for
glory to your people Israel.
Luke 2, 25 - 32
"And why should it be you", he is questioned, "who
is to wait for the Saviour?"
Simeon replies, "As you well know, a man can travel far nowdays,
even as far as to the heathens in Rome.
But I have come to myself, to my own heart: Deep within it is inhabited
by despair, the weariness of life, sins, the fear of failing, jealousy,
an inferiority complex, pride, a yearning for attention and much more.
Suddenly I realised that I need a saviour, a redeemer. And all our
old scriptures speak of he, who is to come.
Even Eve believed she had found the redeemer as she named her first
born son "won". Yet it was this son who became the murderer
of his brother.
As he died Jacob called aloud, "Lord, I await your salvation!"
And what about the prophets? Did they not continually see the arrival
of the Messiah? Do you not know the scriptures?
"Oh, well," they answered, "that may be as it is. Our
ancestors dreamt up some things, but who can say that what they dreamt
of will come true? And can it be true that you will see the saviour?"
Simeon replied, "You can see it is like this: Through the scriptures
we learn that the saviour will come. And through the Holy Spirit we
learn, I learn, that he will come to me.
The prophet Isaiah writes:
Behold the lamb of God, who will carry away
the sins of the world.
And the Holy Spirit says, Behold the lamb of
God, who will carry away your
The angel says to the shepherds, ...a saviour
has been born to you.
From the Holy Spirit I learn, ...a saviour
has been born to me.
That is how I know that I will see the saviour."
The question Simeon pondered over is not very popular today.
And yet this text can be frightening. For it could mean that we will
die before we have seen Christ our Lord and saviour.
That would be terrible. To die without having known the one who could
save us from the anger of God, sin, debt and eternal damnation. "Man
is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement." And
all that without a saviour! without a redeemer! without the forgiving
of our sins! Without the hope of life eternal!
Blessed is he who can speak as Simeon does: ...now
dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation!
PICTURE: REMBRANDT: "Simeon's Song of Praise" or "Simeon
with the Christ Child", unfinished (1669),
Rembrandts last painting which remained not
quite fully finished. However because of this, Rembrandt gives us
the impression that at the end of his very active life he too could
join Simeon in saying, "now dismiss your servant in peace as
you promised. For my eyes have seen your salvation!"
TEXT: Dependent on: BUSCH, Wilhelm: 365 MAL ER, 2nd December and
following dates, Schriftenmissionsverlag, Gladbeck 1966