The Great Faith of Simon the Elder – Father Andrew Bahhi
Today we have the presentation of the Lord to the Temple, or Simon the Elder. Usually in our church tradition we bless candles, do our procession and do the elevation of the cross. According to our Bible and church tradition, 40 days after the first-born male, the family must take him to the altar and make offerings for the sanctification of his mom.
When they brought Jesus to the temple, there was a man named Simon the Elder. This man was guided by the Holy Spirit and asked to take Jesus into his arms. And Simon lifted him up to pray and prophesize – “let me die now Lord,” he said. “My eyes have seen salvation” as he looked to Jesus.
We need to keep in mind that this person was reading the Old Testament. Today, any Christian knows more, and about The Holy Spirit in the New Testament. When we get baptized, we get the Holy Spirit, but in the Old Testament it only came for certain times but the Holy Spirit was not dwelling in people as in the New Testament.
Also, a lot of verses or prophesies about the coming of the Messiah in the Old Testament were not as much as those about the second coming the New Testament. In the New Testament, all 8 writers wrote about the 2nd coming of Jesus. So, we, as the children of the resurrection, we have way more information about Jesus and His coming and more by the power of the Holy Spirit than in those of the Old Testament.
And yet we see Simon from the Old Testament, where they were translating prophecy from the Old Testament. “Behold the Virgin shall conceive a son and be called Emmanuel” in Isaiah Chapter 7:14.
So, while translating the Old Testament, he was trying to change “virgin” to “girl” – until the Holy Spirit & God, spoke to him in a revelation, “you will be alive Simon to see this Emmanuel coming from a virgin to save his people” – so he waited over 200 years. He was waiting eagerly, patiently for the salvation of these people who were waiting for the Messiah.
This story tells us how much this man waited. Simon the Elder was a just and devoted man who had the Holy Spirit upon him.
Can you see how strong a faith this old man had? First, because all he had was the Old Testament. And second, the Holy Spirit was not really dwelling in people during his time.
This man puts us to shame. How much does our faith compare with this man?
And we must ask ourselves, how is the Holy Spirit guiding us in this life? Are we being guided by the world or by the spirit of the eternal life? Are we guided by our worldly desire, or are we guided by the Holy Spirit’s heavenly desire? Are we guided by the spirit of judgement, and of corruption?
Many of us say “I am not committing adultery or killing people” – not the big sins. But these are also sins.
We should be as a mirror so people can see the true Christ within us.
We need to clean our hearts and minds, to have a strong faith, and to have very good devotion in our lives to be like Simon the Elder to carry Jesus in our life, receiving him in church, through communion and he will open our physical eyes and the eyes of our souls.
Simon the Elder is a good example. This person did not have much information like we, the children of the New Testament, and yet he was so devoted, so just and such a righteous person.
This should be all of us to open our hearts and arms like Simon. Let’s take this feast as an opportunity from God. As much as I have been away from God. Guided by the Holy Spirit, to receive Jesus, and the forgiveness to be saved.
Today, Jesus is calling you. He is giving you His hand to pull you up and open your eyes.
Learn more in Father Andrew’s Sunday sermon here.
January 28, 2024
January 21, 2024