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John and Jesus ‘meet’ and then are born; Simeon and Anna see the promised messiah: Luke 1:39–80; Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 2:1–40

Two elderly people recognised the new baby Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. The text suggests they’d both been waiting a long time. Finally, their wait was over.

Both seemed to have believed this Messiah would ‘rescue Israel’ (Simeon) and ‘rescue Jerusalem’ (Anna): it appears to have been a practical, physical deliverance from their Roman oppressors. We’re not told if they saw Jesus bringing a spiritual kingdom instead of that (or as well as), other than what’s suggested in Simeon’s prophecy:

Luke 2:29-32 Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!

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