Simeon finds baby Jesus in the temple with Mary and Joseph. He prophesies Christ's suffering. Anna, the prophetess, also finds baby Jesus and tells others.


                              Luke 2:22-40


Jesus was circumcised when He was eight days old. At this time He formally received the name Jesus (Matt. 1:25; Luke 2:21). Probably around this time, Mary and Joseph moved to a house in Bethlehem. Matthew 2: 11 tells us that they were living in a house when the Magi came to worship the Child.

When Jesus was forty days old, Joseph and Mary with Jesus had to go to Jerusalem for two special ceremonies at the temple. Jerusalem lies six miles to the north of Bethlehem.

Joseph and Mary hurried through the streets of Jerusalem to the temple at the time of the morning sacrifice. Joseph very likely bought either two young pig­eons or a pair of turtledoves as an offer­ing to the Lord, probably in the outer courtyard of the temple.



Mary and Joseph entered the large, beautiful outer courtyard known as the Court of the Gentiles. Anyone was per­mitted to enter this courtyard.


The buildings of the sacred part of the temple was set on a somewhat higher terrace within this courtyard. On this ter­race was a low stone wall, 411z feet high, some distance from the walls of the sacred buildings. At each entrance through this wall was a sign in both Latin and Greek warning all non-Jews not to go beyond this point on the pain of death. The Romans specifically permitted the Jewish authorities to execute any non-Jew who went beyond this point.


There were several entrances to the sa­cred buildings. Perhaps Mary and Joseph walked up the wide stairway which led up from the stone wall to the Beautiful Gate of the temple into the Court of the Women. This gate faced east; its two huge doors were of bronze and were very beautifully decorated.    Hence, the name "beautiful gate."



As Mary and Joseph walked through the Court of the Women, an old man named Simeon stopped them. Simeon was a very pious man\ He longed for the time when God would send the Savior. Luke tells us that "the Holy Spirit was on him"-Simeon had the gift of proph­ecy. Through the Holy Spirit God had promised Simeon that he would see the promised Savior before he died.


On this morning the Holy Spirit moved Simeon to come to the temple. When he saw Joseph and Mary with the Baby Jesus, he knew at once that the Child was the promised Christ. He took the Baby from the arms of his surprised mother and praised God.


Simeon's beautiful song is known as the Nunc Dimitti.  Simeon praised God that he had been privileged to see "Your Salva­tion." Simeon speaks of Jesus as a Light to be revealed to all people, to Jews and non-Jews alike. As the Savior of the world, Jesus had come to rescue all peo­ple from the darkness and fatal gloom of sin and bring them to the heavenly light through the forgiveness of their sin! Isaiah 42: 6 and 49:6). As the: of mankind, Jesus was the greatest of His people Israel.


Mary and Joseph were greatly surprised at the words of Simeon. Simeon was a total stranger. But, Simeon said in his song of praise more about the future world ministry of Jesus.


Simeon blessed Mary and Joseph. He spoke words of prophecy. They remind us of John's words when he says of Jesus, "He came to His own, and his own people did not accept Him"


Simeon foretold that Jesus would be opposed by His own people. \


We think of the suffering of Mary as she watched Jesus' agony on the cross ( 19:25). But these are words of joy for many would see in Jesus the Salvation God had promised for many centuries

Just then, a very old woman Anna came. God had also granted her the gift of prophecy. Anna thanked God for permitting her to see the fulfillment of  His promise. She shared her joy others in Jerusalem who longed for the coming of the Savior.

When Simeon and Anna had finished, Mary and Joseph made their way to the Court of the Women up a stairway and through a large doorway, known as the Gate of Nicanor. Here stood a priest who came to receive the offering brought for Mary's sacrificial cleansing (Leviticus 12).

When the sacrifice for Mary had been made, the priest came again for a second ceremony. According to God's Law if the first child was a boy, he was to be dedicated to serve God full-time at the sanctuary (Exodus 13: 2, 12ff.). When the Levites were chosen for service, God permitted the parents to the child to give back five shekels (around $2.50; Numbers 3:11ff.)    The priest now came to pronounce a praise of thanks for the gift of a son a second prayer.

Mary and Joseph returned to Bethlehem. The wise men found the Child when they came to worship Him.