The inspired canticle of Simeon is in Luke’s Gospel to be a faithful testimony to the baby in Simeon’s arms. And, on this Christmas Eve, this is an especially important matter for us to consider. Who was this baby arriving with Mary and Joseph to Herod’s Temple so long ago? God wants us to listen to Simeon and understand who Jesus is.
In Mary’s song, the first word in the original is magnifies. This word sets the tone for the whole Psalm. As a whole, Mary’s song teaches us the joy of Christ’s coming. Mary calls all men to join with her joy that Christ has come. So whether you are a mature saint who has believed in Christ for a long time, or a person who has never yet believed in Christ alone for salvation, what God wants from you is to rejoice in Christ this Christmas.
The birth of Christ brings good news to sinners because the child born is the Lord himself, because the child born is the human Christ, and because the child is born in historical humility. This week, as we gather around the Table, I want to consider the next two verses. They show the proper response to the good news that Jesus has come. Jesus’ birth and all that it means for poor sinners has one fitting response: praise. I want to draw your attention to three important truths in these two verses.
At one moment, the shepherds are afraid they’re going to perish; the next, they have abundant cause for the highest happiness. And, perhaps best of all, the good news is good news from the most High God, a powerful proof that he loves his people. Though in context, the good news is for all the people—that is, all the Jewish people—this good news will in due time come to us all the world. The point of the angel’s message is that the birth of Jesus is God’s good news for sinful people. According to the angel’s words, there are three ways the birth of Jesus is God’s good news for sinful people.