When our Lord Jesus Christ was still a baby, His parents took Him to the temple in Jerusalem. They were following God’s laws for their people. The laws said that the people should present their first son to God and bring a sacrifice of two birds to the temple when they came.
When this happened, there was a very holy man in Jerusalem. His name was Simeon. He loved God very much. God’s Spirit was on Simeon and had told him that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he died.
On the day that Jesus’ parents brought Jesus to the temple, God’s Spirit told Simeon to go to the temple too. When Simeon saw Jesus, he picked up the baby Jesus, and held Him. As he held Him, Simeon thanked God.
He said, “Lord, now You can let Your servant go in peace, according to Your Word. For I got to see with my own eyes the One who will save us — who You have put right in the middle of Your special people. He is a light to the Gentiles, and He is the glory of your people Israel.”
Joseph and Mary were amazed at all the things Simeon said about Jesus. Simeon blessed them too. Then Simeon told Mary, “Look, this Child will not always be liked. He will help many of the people of Israel. Others will not let Him help them and will even act in ways that hurt Him. This will hurt you too. He will even be able to show what people think in their hearts.”
When this happened, there was also a woman named Anna, Phanuel’s daughter, at the temple in Jerusalem. She had been married for seven years but then her husband died. That was long ago, and she was now 84 years old. Every day, Anna stayed in the temple, worshiping God, fasting, and praying. When she saw Jesus, Anna thanked God. Then she started telling everyone about Jesus and that He was going to save people!
After Joseph and Mary did all the things the law said they should do at the temple, they went back to Nazareth, their own city in Galilee.
And Jesus grew! His Spirit was strong and He became more and more wise. It was easy to see that God’s favor was on Him.
1. How old was Jesus in this story?
2. Where did His parents take Jesus? Why did they go there?
3. Who was the special holy man that they met? What did that man do to Jesus?
4. Was Simeon glad to meet Jesus? How do you know?
5. Have you ever heard Simeon’s prayer before? Where, or when?
6. Did Simeon say only happy things about Jesus? How do you think this made His parents feel?
7. Who was the other special person who got to meet Jesus on this day? How did she feel about meeting Him?
8. Where did the family go after this happened? What happened to Jesus there?